Hobby Master HA7403 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R8 Fighter - Hauptmann Wilhelm Moritz, IV/Jagdgeschwader 3, August 1944 (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
Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft. Controlled by the skilled hands of aces like Oberleutnant Otto Kittel, the FW-190 gained the reputation of being one of the greatest fighters of all time. This fighter-bomber and anti-tank aircraft was almost impossible to defeat until the introduction of the long-range P-51 Mustang.
Nearly a dozen Rustsatze kits were made available for the A-8, including the famous A-8/R2 and A-8/R8 Sturmbockmodels. The A-8/R2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon, the A-8/R8 was similar but fitted with heavy armour including 30 mm (1.18 in) canopy and windscreen armour and 5 mm ( in) cockpit armour. The A-8 was the most numerous of the Fw 190 A's, with over 6,550 A-8 airframes produced from March 1944 to May 1945. A-8's were produced by at least eight factories during its lifetime.
This particular 1:48 scale replica of a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R8 fighter was piloted by Hauptmann Wilhelm Moritz, who was attached to IV/Jagdgeschwader 3, during August 1944.
Wingspan: 8.5 inches
Length: 7.25 inches
Release Date: December 2009
Historical Account: "Ace of the Reich"- Wilhelm Moritz was born on June 29th, 1913, at Hamburg-Altona. He joined the army in 1933 but transferred to the Luftwaffe and underwent pilot training. At the beginning of World War II, Moritz was serving with II./ZG 1 flying the Bf 110 Zerstorer twin-engined fighter. He participated in the Polish campaign. In the summer of 1940, Moritz was transferred to II./JG 77. He was assigned to 6./JG 77. He served in Norway and western France with this unit. On September 9th, he was appointed Staffelkapitan of 6./JG 77. Around the beginning of 1941, Moritz became Staffelkapitan of EinsatzStaffel/JFS 4. He commanded the unit until March 1942, although he probably saw no combat during this time. The unit was later integrated into 11./JG 51. From April 4th until September 10th, 1942, Moritz served as Staffelkapitan of 11./JG 1 based at Munchen-Gladbach. During this period he was promoted to Hauptmann. He claimed no victories while serving with this unit operating in the German Bight area and over Holland. Moritz was transferred to II./JG 51 on 10 September 1942. From November 1942, he was Staffelkapitan of 12./JG 51. With this unit he claimed around 25 victories on the Eastern Front. On October 19th, 1943, Moritz was appointed Staffelkapitan of 6./JG 3 based in Germany. The unit was tasked with Reichsverteidigung duties.
Moritz was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 3 on April 18th, 1944. The Gruppe specialized in anti-bomber operations flying heavily armored and armed single-engined fighters and was referred to as IV.(Sturm)/JG 3. On May 8th, he claimed two USAAF B-24 four-engined bombers Herausschasse to record his 36th and 37th victories and, on May 13th, two USAAF B-17 four-engined bombers (38-39). Moritz was awarded the Ritterkreuz for 41 victories on July 18th, 1944. On October st, he was promoted to the rank of Major. On November 2nd, he claimed a B-17, his 44th and, probably, last victory. On December 5th, Moritz was relieved from command due to a complete nervous breakdown. Following his recuperation he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./EJG 1 on December 14th, 1944. On April 18th, 1945, Moritz was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 4, a position he held until the end of the war.
In over 500 combat missions Wilhelm Moritz was credited with 44 confirmed victories. He recorded 25 victories over the Western front, including 12 four-engined bombers. However, some sources quote his total to be as high as 54, including 25 four-engined bombers (including Herausschasse).