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Unleash the Fighters (September 1940 - May 1945)

Unleash the Fighters (September 1940 - May 1945)

Air warfare of World War II was a major component of World War II in all theatres, and consumed a large fraction of the industrial output of the major powers.

Germany and Japan depended on air forces that were closely integrated with land and naval forces; they downplayed the advantage of a large strategic bombers, and were late in appreciating the need for a defensive error system against Allied strategic bombing. By contrast Britain and the United States had a more complex approach that gave enormous weight to strategic bombing, as well as tactical control of the battlefield and adequate air defenses. They both built a strategic force of a large long-range bombers that could carry the air war to the enemy's homeland. Simultaneously they built tactical air forces that could win air superiority over the battlefields, thereby giving vital assistance to ground troops. They both built a powerful naval-air component based on aircraft carriers, as did Japan; these played the central role in the war at sea

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French Dewoitine D.520 Fighter Corps Franc Pommies French Dewoitine D.520 Fighter - Corps Franc Pommies (1:72 Scale)

The Dewoitine D.520 was perhaps the best fighter available to the Armee de l'Air during the German invasion of France in May 1940. It was yet another example of a combat aircraft which flew on both sides during World War II.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Uffz Willi Maximowitz, IV/Jagdgeschwader 3, June 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Uffz. Willi Maximowitz, IV/Jagdgeschwader 3, June 1944 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Kurt Buhligen, Commander Jagdgeschwader 2, Summer 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Kurt Buhligen, Commander Jagdgeschwader 2, Summer 1944 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Stab/Jagdgeschwader 5 Eismeer, 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Stab/Jagdgeschwader 5 'Eismeer', 1944 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-6 Fighter - Hauptmann Walter Nowotny, I./Jagdgeschwader 54, Grunherz, 1943 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-6 Fighter - Hauptmann Walter Nowotny, I./Jagdgeschwader 54 "Grunherz", 1943 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Fighter - 11./Jagdgeschwader 7 "Nowotny", Austria, April 1945 German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Fighter - 11./Jagdgeschwader 7 "Nowotny", Austria, April 1945 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A Fighter - Oberleutnant Otto "Stotto" Stammberger, 4./Jagdgeschwader 26, 1943 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A Fighter - Oberleutnant Otto "Stotto" Stammberger, 4./Jagdgeschwader 26, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Messerschmitt Me 262 "Sturmvogel" Jet Fighter - Generalleutnant Adolf Galland, White 3, Jagdverband 44, 1945 German Messerschmitt Me 262 "Sturmvogel" Jet Fighter - Generalleutnant Adolf Galland, "White 3", Jagdverband 44, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

The jet-powered Me 262 Sturmvogel ("Stormbird") has long since gained its place in the annals of international aeronautical history. With its sleek aerodynamic design and high performance jet engines, the Me 262 radically changed the way in which air combat was waged.

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RAF Hawker Tempest Mk. V Fighter - Flight Lieutenant L. C. Luckhoff, No. 33 Squadron, 1945 RAF Hawker Tempest Mk. V Fighter - Flight Lieutenant L. C. Luckhoff, No. 33 Squadron, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Tempest was a British fighter aircraft primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War. The Tempest was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, and one of the most powerful fighter aircraft used in the war.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Maj. Louis Red Dog Norley, Red Dog XII, 4th Fighter Group, RAF Debden, England, 1945 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Maj. Louis "Red Dog" Norley, "Red Dog XII," 4th Fighter Group, RAF Debden, England, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 109F Fighter - Hauptmann Hans von Hahn, III./Jagdgeschwader 2, 1941 German Messerschmitt Bf 109F Fighter - Hauptmann Hans von Hahn, III./Jagdgeschwader 2, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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RAF De Havilland Mosquito FB VI Fighter-Bomber - Flt. Lt. Stanley Nunn and Flg. Off. J. Carlin, 248th Strike Wing RAF De Havilland Mosquito FB VI Fighter-Bomber - Flt. Lt. Stanley Nunn and Flg. Off. J. Carlin, 248th Strike Wing (1:72 Scale)

The "Mossie," as it was known affectionately by its British crews, was both simple in construction and design. It was a twin engine, single boom aircraft that placed the pilot and navigator in a side-by-side sitting configuration. The Mosquito was one of the most cost effective aircraft ever built because it was constructed out of wood.

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French Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 Fighter - Escadron de Entertainment, 1941 French Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 Fighter - Escadron de Entertainment, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The M.S.406 was a French Armee de l'Air fighter aircraft built by Morane-Saulnier starting in 1938. Numerically it was France's most important fighter during the opening stages of World War II. The type was generally free of problems but was largely under-powered, under-armed, as compared to the next generations of fighters appearing then.

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German Messerschmitt Me  21 A-1 Fighter German Messerschmitt Me 210A-1 Fighter (1:72 Scale)

The Messerschmitt Me 210 was a German heavy fighter and ground-attack aircraft of World War II. The Me 210 was designed to replace the Bf 110 in heavy fighter role; design started before the opening of World War II.

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German Messerschmitt Bf 110E-1 Fighter German Messerschmitt Bf 110E-1 Fighter (1:72 Scale)

The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored. Despite not living up to the Luftwaffe's expectations it did manage to serve Germany throughout the Second World War in the long-range escort fighter, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance, ground attack and night fighter roles.

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RAF De Havilland Mosquito FB VI Fighter-Bomber - No. 105 Squadron, RAF Horsham St. Faith, England, 1942 RAF De Havilland Mosquito FB VI Fighter-Bomber - No. 105 Squadron, RAF Horsham St. Faith, England, 1942 (1:144 Scale)

The "Mossie," as it was known affectionately by its British crews, was both simple in construction and design. It was a twin engine, single boom aircraft that placed the pilot and navigator in a side-by-side sitting configuration. The Mosquito was one of the most cost effective aircraft ever built because it was constructed out of wood.

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RAAF North American Mustang Mk. IV Fighter - Warrant Officer Lewis Robert "Lew" Ranger, 3 Squadron, Europe, 1945 RAAF North American Mustang Mk. IV Fighter - Warrant Officer Lewis Robert "Lew" Ranger, 3 Squadron, Europe, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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German Messerschmitt Me 262 "Sturmvogel" Jet Fighter - Operation Bodenplatte, 1945 German Messerschmitt Me 262 "Sturmvogel" Jet Fighter - Operation Bodenplatte, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

The jet-powered Me 262 Sturmvogel ("Stormbird") has long since gained its place in the annals of international aeronautical history. With its sleek aerodynamic design and high performance jet engines, the Me 262 radically changed the way in which air combat was waged.

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RAF Hawker Tempest Mk. V Fighter - No. 3 Squadron, No. 150 Wing, RAF Newchurch, England, 1944 RAF Hawker Tempest Mk. V Fighter - No. 3 Squadron, No. 150 Wing, RAF Newchurch, England, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Tempest was a British fighter aircraft primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War. The Tempest was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, and one of the most powerful fighter aircraft used in the war.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Hans Dortenmann, 12./Jagdgeschwader 54, Oldenberg, Germany, 1944 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Hans Dortenmann, 12./Jagdgeschwader 54, Oldenberg, Germany, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - 22nd Fighter Squadron "Stingers", 36th Fighter Group, Belgium, 1944 USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - 22nd Fighter Squadron "Stingers", 36th Fighter Group, Belgium, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug", the P-47D was one of the most important, widely produced fighter of the American Air Force during the WWII. Although the P-47D was the largest and heaviest single-seat aircraft to see service in the Second World War, it became a high speed and high altitude capable fighter when powered by the huge 2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" engine and a unique supercharging system.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 Fighter - Hauptmann Hans Hahn, III./JG 2, Summer 1942 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 Fighter - Hauptmann Hans Hahn, III./Jagdgeschwader 2, Summer 1942 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Capt. Leonard Kit Carson, Nooky Booky III, 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Europe, 1944 USAAF North American P-51D Mustang Fighter - Capt. Leonard 'Kit' Carson, "Nooky Booky III", 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, Europe, 1944 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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RAF Hawker Hurricane Fighter - No. 87 Squadron, England, 1941 RAF Hawker Hurricane Fighter - No. 87 Squadron, England, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Hurricane was the first monoplane to join the Royal Air Force as a fighter aircraft, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 300-mph in level flight. Often compared with the sleek-looking Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane, in actuality, shouldered the brunt of the fighting during the "Battle of Britain", equipping more than three-fifths of the RAF's Fighter Command squadrons.

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USAAF North American F-6D Mustang Fighter - Lil Margaret, 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, South Korea, 1951 USAAF North American F-6D Mustang Fighter - "Lil Margaret", 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, South Korea, 1951 (1:72 Scale)

No other aircraft of WWII could fly as high, go as far, or fight as hard as the famed Mustang. Piloted by a record 281 Aces, this agile and ferocious dogfighter tallied more kills than any other Allied airplane. As the bombers of the Eighth Air Force fought their way deep into Hitler's Germany, it was the Mustang that cleared the skies of Luftwaffe fighters.

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USAAF P-47D-30 Thunderbolt Fighter - Col. Joseph L. Laughlin, Five by Five, 379th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group, Germany, 1945 USAAF P-47D-30 Thunderbolt Fighter - Col. Joseph L. Laughlin, "Five by Five", 379th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group, Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug", the P-47D was one of the most important, widely produced fighter of the American Air Force during the WWII. Although the P-47D was the largest and heaviest single-seat aircraft to see service in the Second World War, it became a high speed and high altitude capable fighter when powered by the huge 2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" engine and a unique supercharging system.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Major Gerhard Barkhorn, Geschwaderkommodore Jagdgeschwader 6, Lower Silesia, January 1945 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Major Gerhard Barkhorn, Geschwaderkommodore Jagdgeschwader 6, Lower Silesia, January 1945 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Gerhard Michalski, Geschwaderkommodore Jagdgeschwader 4, Oder Front, January 1945 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Gerhard Michalski, Geschwaderkommodore Jagdgeschwader 4, Oder Front, January 1945 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Waldemar Wubke, Jagdverband 44, Papegai Staffel, Munchen-Reim, 1945 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Fighter - Waldemar Wubke, Jagdverband 44, 'Papegai Staffel', Munchen-Reim, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

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.

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USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group USAAF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Fighter - 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group (1:72 Scale)

Nicknamed the "Jug", the P-47D was one of the most important, widely produced fighter of the American Air Force during the WWII. Although the P-47D was the largest and heaviest single-seat aircraft to see service in the Second World War, it became a high speed and high altitude capable fighter when powered by the huge 2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" engine and a unique supercharging system.

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