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Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Volume II

Krzysztof Janowicz 





S u m m a r y

ISBN: 83-89088-37-1
Media: Soft cover, 112 pages of text with 8 pages of line drawings, profiles of 24 individual aircraft and a sheet of decals.
Price: USD$22.46 from Squadron Mail Order.
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Polish and English text in parallel columns. Decals in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 for 7 aircraft.
Disadvantages: Questionable facts
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations

Reviewed by
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

Kagero's Fw 190 Volume II is available online from Squadron.com



This second volume in Kagero’s series on the FW 190 is more about the men who flew the FW190A and the units that operated the aircraft, than it is about the aircraft itself.  For those who want to learn of the development of the FW 190A, they should turn to Volume I. 

In what seems to be the Kagero style, this volume begins with a very dramatic, first person account of a 190 pilot in combat.  In this case it is Major Kurt Bühligen of JG 2 during June of 1944. 

The volume then goes on to cover the use of the FW 190 on all fronts. The author begins with the Western Front, then goes on to operations in Africa and the South and North of Europe and concludes with the Ostfront (Eastern Front).  Within each section, the focus is on specific units that flew the 190, and on specific pilots. 

While the story flows reasonably well, there are some bumps in the road.  Just as we learn of JG 2’s transfer from Italy back to France, the narrative abruptly takes us to Norway, without warning. Also, Norway is “North Europe”, with only a very cursory discussion of  JG 5. 

The combat story of the 190 is given its own drama.  We hear of the “aggressive FW 190” and how many Soviet aircraft were shot down in a matter of a few minutes. Sometimes the story of the FW 190 tends to be overwhelming.  The author at various times has to pull back and remind the reader that success is relative.  By the time that we believe the 190 swept B-24s from the sky, the author notes, in one instance, that the total US aircraft destroyed barely amounted to a week’s production, and that the Luftwaffe suffered virtually irreplaceable loses of men and machine. 

There is, however, a problem that usually raises red flags of warning for me.  That is the use of unqualified facts, or facts that should be clarified or even questionable facts.  Often the uncovering of a little inaccurate information may mean that there are other errors, which one may not discover, or know about. 

For example, in no more than a parenthetical note on the night raiding activities of SKG 10, the author notes that the raids were conducted using A-4s.  In fact, SKG 10 used both the A-4 and A-5.  This is like saying the USAAF 354th FS used P-51B’s during 1944, and not mentioning the D model. 

Some information may be selective or incorrect.  According to the author the first 190s in Africa arrived on 21 November 1942 and were incorporated into JG 53.  This is nearly four months after the first 190s actually arrived, assigned to EKdo 19, and days later than when III. / ZG 2 actually received them. III. / ZG 2 was the first unit equipped with the 190 to see combat.* 

Other shorthanded facts may cause confusion.  The author notes that the aircraft of I. / JG 51 were finished with two tone dark green 70/71 upper surface sprayed in a ‘splinter’ type scheme. This leaves one with the incorrect impression of a 1939 looking camouflage scheme.  Where as, this was a post-production application over 74/75/76.  While this may seem petty, a few more words of clarification would have gone a long way. 

While on the subject of camouflage, the author does not cover the subject at all.  The profiles present some quite eye-catching schemes and markings, some of which raise questions. But, these are not discussed.  There are two quite interesting pictures of crashed 190s with a diagonal white (?) stripe across the fin and rider that bisects the swastika.  The caption only states that this stripe characterized the aircraft of III. / JG 54.  It is a shame that no other information is given about this strange marking. 

Speaking of pictures, this volume is full of them.  The problem is that they are not in any particular order.  It is a random jumble, with factory and structural pictures interspersed with front line pictures.  There is one great picture, most likely created with a1940’s version of “Photoshop”, that shows a 190 attacking a Spitfire.  I won’t comment on the degree to which the pictures are “unique’, as that all depends on how many pictures of FW-190s a reader has previously seen. 

Included in this volume is a random assortment of reprints of technical documentation.  They are merely unrelated drawings of some aspects of various models of the 190. 

Finally, the bonus to a Kagero purchase, the decals in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale, printed by TECHMOD.  In this volume there are markings for seven aircraft.  As usual, there are no national markings or swastikas 

1.         FW 190A-8; Black 11. Lt Günther Heym; JG 51; Zichenau Airfield; Summer / Fall 1944. 74/75/76.  The name “TANJA” is blow the cockpit.

2.         FW 190A-5; White 8; IV. / JG 51; Eastern Front, Summer 1942; mix of greens and browns. Yellow fuselage band and under-cowl.

3.         FW 190A-8; White 16; 13. / JG 54; France; Summer ,1944; 74/75/76.

4.         FW 190A-8; Black 9; II. / JG 301; Spring 1945; 75/83/76 with 81 mottle on rudder; red and yellow defense band.

5.         FW 190A-5; Black 8; 2 ./ JG 11; Husum Airfield, Germany; Summer 1943; 74/75/76 with a white fuselage band.  “Kübelsahl” written below the cokpit.

6.          FW 190A-8/R8; Uffz. Oskar Bösch; Sturmstaffle 1;Salzwedel, Germany; February 1944; 74/75/76.7.         FW 190A-2; black “< + l”; Fw. Walter Grünlinger; Stab. III. / JG 26; 1942; 74/75/76 with a personal emblem of a seven of hearts playing card with the inscription “Rata’ on the card. Yellow rudder and under-cowl. 




For those who are interested in the exploits of Luftwaffe Units and pilots, this Kagero volume would be of interest.  I recommend this volume to those individuals. 

But I must caution that the contents should not be accepted as ascertained fact.  Also, the volume is limited to the A model, and almost exclusively in fighter role. For those who are more interested in the aircraft itself, its broader role and its camouflage and markings, this volume will not suffice. 

Recommended with caution

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample


*Source:  Focke-Wulf FW 190 in North Africa, by Andrew Arthy and Morten Jessen, Published by Classic, an imprint of Ian Allan, 2004.

Review Copyright © 2005 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
This Page Created on 27 January, 2005
Last updated 27 January, 2005

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