Corgi AA36709 German Junkers Ju 88A-4 Medium-Bomber - I/Kampfgeschwader 77, Italy, 1942 (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
The Luftwaffe's Junkers Ju 88 was a twin-engine, multi-role aircraft. Among the most versatile planes of the war, it was used as a bomber, close-support aircraft, nightfighter, torpedo bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. A solid aircraft with great performance, it went on to be one of the Luftwaffe's most versatile aircraft. It carried out almost every kind of mission ever imagined, even as a giant flying bomb. It was used in every theater, with many nations, including nations allied against Germany.
The aircraft's first flight was made by Prototype Ju 88V-1, which bore the civil registration D-AQEN, on December 21st, 1936. When it first flew, it managed about 580 km/h (360 mph) and Hermann Goring was ecstatic. Finally it was something that could positively fulfill the promise of the Schnellbomber, a bomber so fast fighters could not catch it.
Unfortunately, by the time everyone had had their wish list added (including dive-bombing), the speed had dropped to around 450 km/h (280 mph). The draggy fuselage was modeled after its predecessor, the Dornier Do 17, but with fewer defensive guns because the belief still held that it could out-run fighters. It was also very, very late. Planned for 1938, it finally entered service the day the Germans invaded Poland, and then with only 12 aircraft. Production was painfully slow, and problems with such an advanced machine kept cropping up. The Ju 88C series of heavy fighter was also created very early in 1940, but kept secret from Goring because he only wanted bombers.
The Ju 88A-1 series first flew anti-shipping sorties close to Norway. Ju 88 bombers based at Westerland on the island of Sylt in northern Germany carried out the first Luftwaffe raids against Britain. An attack on Rosyth on 16 October 1939, succeeding in damaging three ships, but was then engaged in dogfights by Spitfires of 602 and 603 Squadrons of the RAF and two Ju 88s were shot down in the Firth of Forth. A raid on Scapa Flow the next day saw the loss of one Ju 88 to anti-aircraft fire. All combat-ready Ju 88s (some 133), were pressed into the Blitzkrieg, but very high combat losses and accidents forced a quick withdrawal from action to re-train crews to fly this very high performance beast. By this time it was seen that the A-1 had major performance problems, and an all-out effort was put into a major rework. The outcome was a longer wingspan that was deemed needed for all A-1s, thus the A-5 was born. Surviving A-1s were rewinged to A-5 specifications as quickly as possible.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Junkers Ju 88A-4 Medium-Bomber that was attached to I/Kampfgeschwader 77, then deployed to Italy during 1942.
Release Date: January 2015
Historical Account: "Wellenmuster" - While photographs of late war Luftwaffe night fighters would certainly suggest that more than two schemes of 75/76 and 74/75/76 existed before 74 was withdrawn, they show in fact variations which resulted from modifications, either at the factory or at unit level, to the two basic schemes. The most widely observed modification seems to have resulted in almost all the 75 areas being partially oversprayed but in such a way that the areas remaining appear to have been applied over the 76. That the reverse was in fact the case is supported by photographs which show aircraft obviously assembled from components produced at different factories. In some such cases, the fuselage had a reverse mottle but the wing upper surfaces were 75 overall. In other instances, although the wings and fuselage were each oversprayed, the style of reverse mottle on the fuselage was completely different from that on the wings. Yet again, the required camouflage effect was sometimes obtained by softly spraying an uneven cross-hatch of irregularly spaced straight lines in 76, this resulting in lozenge-shaped mottles of 75.
This process, however, was wasteful in terms of the paint consumed for it resulted, in effect, in the upper surfaces sometimes being painted twice. To e1iminate such wastage, a second basic scheme was later introduced in which night fighter aircraft were completely finished in 76 only. Thus there was, in effect, a return to the overall light scheme first pioneered by Dornier and tested by Major Radusch. However, by this stage of the war, Luftwaffe airfields had become a prime target for roaming Allied fighters and, while the light 76 was ideal for aircraft operating in the hours of darkness, there was an obvious, if conflicting, requirement to camouflage aircraft while parked on the ground in daylight. The result was a compromise in which the 76 upper surfaces were partly oversprayed with a variety of mottles or meandering lines, the latter applied in the so-called 'Wellenmuster' or 'wave pattern'. Since, from the end of 1944, the colors available to modify the upper surface camouflage included 75,81,82 and 83, the colors used over the 76 varied as widely as the patterns, depending on the availability of paint stocks and the different painters involved. The basic 76 scheme, with upper surfaces toned down with various mottled or 'Wellenmuster' oversprays, remained in use until the end of the war.