Focke-Wulf FW190As of I./JG1, and the newly formed Sturmstaffel 1, scramble from a snow-covered Dortmund airfield to intercept a large-scale daylight raid on 10 February 1944. Despite weather conditions, the Luftwaffe fighters will inflict heavy losses on the American bombers and fighter escorts.
Even the most faithful of Messerschmitt Me109 pilots that also flew the Focke-Wulf Fw190 grudgingly admitted the well-proportioned and aesthetically pleasing Fw190 was the finest single-seat fighter in the Luftwaffe's armoury during World War II. Soon after its arrival on the Channel Front in 1941, when initial bugs were ironed out, this superb fighter came close to fighter design perfection by the standards of the day. Just as the Mk IX Spitfire held the mantle as Britain's most outstanding combat fighter of the war, so was the Fw190 regarded by experienced Luftwaffe pilots. Within months of its operation debut the Fw190 was causing widespread consternation among RAF pilots, the new fighter equal to the Mk IX Spitfire in all but its ability in the tightest of turning circles.
By 1944 the technically superb Fw190 came into its own in the great air battles against the USAAF's massed daylight raids. The defence of the Reich's western airspace rested on the shoulders of a few Jagdgschwarden who, against steadily increasing odds, were tasked with interception and destruction of the attacking American heavy bombers. Flying alongside the two established Channel fighter wings JG2 'Richthofen' and JG26 'Schlageter', equipped with Fw190s and led by the great fighter ace Oberst Walter Oesau, JG1 joined the battle in defence of northern Germany.
The print features one of Nicolas Trudgian's highly prized pencil remarques of a Fw190, and the signatures of SEVEN total Luftwaffe pilots who flew Fw190's in the war:
- Unteroffizier Gunther Kolb
- Leutnant Hugo Broch KC
- Oberleutnant Ernst Scheufele
- Unteroffizier Gustav Drees
- Feldwebel Ernst Giefing IC
- Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke KC
- Leutnant Alfred Ambs
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