Review of Fw 190D-9 Defence of the Reich 1944-1945

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
My next door neighbour, Harold, was a tail gunner in Lancaster aircraft though he and his crew never returned from a particular flight in 1944 over Northern Germany. He hated the Fw190 and always reckoned it was the worst adversary compared with Messerschmitts 109 and 110. The Fw190 series was considered similar to the Hurricane of the Allies as being a workhorse and not the best thing for altitude or tight manoeuvring but that all changed completely when the design engineers of Germany produced the Fw 190D-9. The aircraft was known colloquially as ‘the long-nosed Dora’ because of the lengthened nose which was necessary for the incorporation of the Juma 213A engine. In fact because the aircraft was ‘nose heavy’ ballast was introduced to the tail area, how much depending on the actual type of the aircraft. Eventually later versions had a longer rear section overcoming the problem of ballast.

Although only approximately 80 pages long, Robert Forsyth, the author has not only provided references for those who wish to read further but excellent drawings and plates with technical data and comments by some of the lesser known pilots who used the Fw 190D-9.

The book has been arranged in six chapters with pages at the end of the book providing information concerning the Aftermath, Sources and Index. Initially the first chapter covers the end of World War 2 and indicates the success of the Fw190D-9 when compared with the later Tempest of the UK and the American Mustang. In fact the majority of the chapter is given over to the fighting on 12th April between the 14 Fliegerdivision and Tempests of 33 Squadron with comments from different pilots. The second chapter backtracks somewhat into the previous year, providing information regarding the need for a fighter which could cope with the modern aircraft of the Allies reminding us of the change in the German role as being from aggressive to defensive. Although the losses were mounting due to being attacked on more than one front and with the Allies having longer range aircraft to strike at German airfields production of replacement aircraft deliveries were actually increasing.

All of this meant that a high speed, high altitude fighter was required which was both capable of protecting the new jet aircraft during the initial phase and of defending against the ever increasing effect from aircraft of the Allied forces. The answer was the Fw 190D of which the first reached the Luftwaffe in the late summer of 1944. The book then deviates somewhat in following the careers of a couple of pilots who eventually found themselves in the cockpit of a Fw190D-9s.

Chapter four provides a very good description from the initial test flight of the first production of a Fw 190D-9 together with a technical explanation of the armament and equipment involved in this type of aircraft.

Chapters five and six explain the tactics used for both protection of take off and landing from improvised airfields as well as the use of the fighter for interception. In both of these there is considerable input from the pilots of both the German and Allied aircraft involved. The Selected Sources page provides a wealth of further information throughout World War II concerning both the aircraft and those who flew them.

This book is interesting providing an almost unique mix of photographs, technical descriptions and actual combat of those involved. There is obviously a market for this type of information which describes actual aircraft, their design and those who flew them.

Amazon product
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