Armour Collection B11E334 Swiss Messerschmitt Bf 109G Fighter - Schweizer Flugwaffe, 1945 (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
Numerically the most abundant fighter produced by either side during WWII, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 formed the backbone of the Jagdwaffe on both the eastern and western fronts, as well as in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Of the eight distinct sub-types within the huge Bf 109 family, the most populous was the G-model, of which over 30,000 were built between 1941-45. Despite its production run, only a handful of genuine German Bf 109s have survived into the 1990s, and with the serious damaging of the RAFs G-2 at Duxford in October 1997, only the German-based MBB G-6 and Hans Ditte's G-10 (both composites) are currently airworthy.
This particular limited edition 1:48 scale replica of a Messerschmitt Bf 109G was flown by the Swiss Air Force in 1945.
Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 7.5 inches
Release Date: December 2006
Historical Account: "Import, Export" - Switzerland took delivery of its first Bf 109s in 1938 when 10 Bf 109Ds were delivered. After this, 80 E-3 were purchased, which arrived in April 1939. During the war a further four 109s (two Fs and two Gs) were acquired by the Swiss Air Force through internment. In April 1944, a further 12 G-6 aircraft were acquired in exchange for the destruction of a highly secret Messerschmitt Me 110G nightfighter which had made an emergency landing in Switzerland. The Swiss Air Force used their Bf 109Gs until 1946.
During the war the Swiss aircraft were painted in more colorful markings to avoid confusion with German 109s. On May 10th, 1940, air combat between Switzerland and Germany was initiated. Several Swiss Bf 109s engaged a German Dornier Do 17 near the border at Batschwil; in the ensuing exchange of fire, the Dornier was hit and eventually forced to land near Altenrhein. The scene was repeated on May 16th, when a German He 111 returned from France by way of Swiss airspace. Two Swiss fighters jumped the light bomber when it dropped below cloud cover to de-ice its wings. The German aircraft was hit by machine gun fire and was further damaged by anti-aircraft fire near Zurich. Two injured flyers parachuted; the other two crew members went down with the plane and were captured.
On June 1st, the Germans sent 36 He 111s through Swiss airspace, which resulted in the first Swiss casualty. Sub Lieutenant Rudolf Rickenbacher was killed when his Bf 109 caught fire after being hit in the fuel tank by enemy fire.
On June 8th, a C-35 observation plane, essentially an obsolete biplane, was attacked over the Jura Mountains by two German Bf 110s. The pilot and observer were killed. Later on the same day, Swiss Captain Lindecker led about fifteen Swiss fighters against twenty-eight German planes. The Swiss pilots again displayed their ability in air-to-air combat, knocking three of the German planes from the sky and severely wounding the crew in a fourth. A Swiss Bf 109 was hit and damaged in the dogfight.