Armour Collection B11F028 German Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 Fighter - Werner Molders, Jagdgeschwader 51, Russia, 1941 (1:48 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
Designed to replace the popular Bf 109E "Emil" fighter, the Bf 109F "Friedrich" was viewed at first with some skepticism by its wary pilots. Powered by a Daimler-Benz DB 600 piston engine and equipped with all sorts of forward firing machine guns and cannons, the Bf 109F nevertheless became a lethal killing machine in its own right, especially when it was handled by a skilled airman.
This particular 1:48 scale replica of a Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 fighter was flown by Werner Molders over the Eastern Front during 1941.
Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 7.5 inches
Release Date: April 2009
Historical Account: "100 Victories" - Werner Molders (March 18th, 1913 - November 22nd, 1941) was a German Luftwaffe pilot. He was the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War; in World War II, he became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft. The highly decorated Molders was instrumental in the development of new fighter tactics which led to the finger-four formation. He died in the crash of an airplane in which he was a passenger.
Molders joined the Luftwaffe in 1934 at age 21. In 1938, he volunteered for service in the Condor Legion, which supported General Francisco Franco's Nationalist Falange in the Spanish Civil War, and shot down 15 aircraft. In World War II, he lost two wingmen in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, but shot down 53 enemy aircraft. With his tally standing at 68 victories, Molders and his unit, the Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51), were transferred to the Eastern Front in June 1941 for the opening of Operation Barbarossa. By the end of June 22nd, 1941, the first day of Barbarossa, he had added another four victories to his tally; a week later, he surpassed Manfred von Richthofen's 1918 record of 80 victories.
Prevented from flying further combat missions for propaganda reasons, at the age of 28 Molders was promoted to Oberst, and appointed Inspector General of Fighters. He was inspecting the Luftwaffe units in the Crimea when he was ordered to Berlin to attend the state funeral of Ernst Udet, the World War I flying ace. On the flight to Berlin, the Heinkel He 111 in which he was travelling as a passenger encountered a heavy thunderstorm during which one of the aircraft's engines failed. While attempting to land, the Heinkel crashed at Breslau, killing Moders and two others. The German Wehrmacht of the Third Reich and the Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany both honoured him by naming two fighter wings, a destroyer and barracks after him. In the 1970s–1990s, he became part of a broader discussion in Germany over remembering the Holocaust and honouring decorated soldiers of the Third Reich.