IXO Models IXJP011 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 'Dora' Fighter - IV/Jagdgeschwader 3. Prenzlay Airfield, Germany, March 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
In 1943, the Luftwaffe was faced with a desperate need for fighters with better high-altitude performances to face the threat of Allied bombers. By that time, the Luftwaffe was aware of the existence of the B-29, and they were also aware that the existing Fw 190 would be incapable of effectively intercepting this American bomber at the altitudes at which it was supposedly capable of operating. Consequently, Dipl.-Ing. Kurt Tank undertook the development of a high altitude version of his Fw 190 fighter to meet the threat.
The Fw 190D "long-nose" version was an adaptation of the radial-engined Fw 190A to the Junkers Jumo 213 twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. In many respects, the "Dora" was the most successful version of the Focke-Wulf fighter to attain service in quantity.
Delivery of the Fw 190D-9 began in August 1944. The first Gruppe to convert to the "Dora-9" was III/JG 54. Their initial assignment was to fly "top cover" for Me 262 jet fighters during takeoff when the jet fighters were specially vulnerable because of their poor acceleration. At first, Luftwaffe pilots were somewhat suspicious of their new fighter, since the Jumo 213 was thought to be only a "bomber" engine. However, it soon became apparent that they had a winner on their hands. The "Dora" could out-climb and out-dive its BMW 801-powered predecessor with ease, and it possessed an excellent turning rate at speed. An experienced pilot could pull a tighter turn in a D-9 than he could with the BMW-powered FW-190A. The general opinion of the pilots who flew the FW 190D-9 was that it was the finest propeller-driven fighter available to the Luftwaffe during the entire war. In fact, many of its pilots considered it more than a match for the redoubtable P-51D Mustang.
The D-9 also participated in Operation Bodenplatte, a mass attack by several hundred Luftwaffe aircraft on Allied airfields in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands on the January 1st, 1945.
Wingspan: 5.25 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: August 2005
Historical Account: "A Final Gasp" - Launched on January 1st, 1945, Unternehmen Bodenplatte (Operation Ground Plate) was a Luftwaffe attempt to cripple Allied air forces in the Low Countries of Europe. It was a last ditch effort to keep up the Wehrmacht's momentum during the stagnant stage of the Battle of the Bulge. The operation has been mistakenly been referred to as Operation Hermann.
The Luftwaffe High Command made plans for a major blow against the Allied air-power in northwestern Europe. It was originally scheduled to support Operation Wacht am Rhein, the German offensive into the Ardennes region on December 16th, 1944. However, the same bad weather that prevented the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force from supporting the ground troops, also prevented the Luftwaffe from carrying out the attack. It was therefore not launched until January 1st, 1945 in an attempt to help regain the momentum of the struggling ground troops, supporting the second phase of the offensive, Operation Nordwind.
The plan called for a surprise attack against 17 Allied air bases in Belgium, Holland, and France. The object was to destroy or cripple as many Allied planes, hangars and airstrips as possible. Every fighter and fighter-bomber unit currently occupied with air defence along the Western Front was deployed, and additional units of Junkers Ju 88 and Junkers Ju 188 night-fighters acted as pathfinders. The strike planes themselves were mostly single-engined Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf 190 fighters. It was hoped the speed with which the attack could be carried out would offset the relatively small bomb load such aircraft could carry.