The 190 abroad

For­eign users dur­ing the war

Aviation Classics - - CONTENTS -

The first and only true for­eign cus­tomer for the Fw 190 was neu­tral Turkey. By mid-1942, pro­duc­tion lev­els had reached a point where it was felt that sales to an­other coun­try could be sus­tained. There­fore, the Fw 190A-3 was of­fered to Turkey in an ex­port ver­sion known as the Fw 190Aa-3, the lit­tle ‘a’ stand­ing for ‘aus­lan­disch’ (for­eign). It had four MG 17 ma­chine guns, two on the nose and two in the wing roots, and an op­tion of the out­dated MG FF in the outer wing po­si­tions. The FUG VIIA ra­dio was fit­ted but not the ad­vanced FUG 25. Ini­tially, the Fw 190Aa-3 was man­u­fac­tured ex­clu­sively by Arado, with five be­ing turned out in Au­gust 1942, 10 in Septem­ber and then just one in Oc­to­ber. Af­ter that Arado’s pro­duc­tion ceased for three months and the slack was picked up by Fock­eWulf it­self and Ago. The first de­liv­ery to the Turk­ish Air Force took place in Oc­to­ber and af­ter 24 had ar­rived the Turks re­jected them as be­ing “not up to spec­i­fi­ca­tion”. This is not en­tirely sur­pris­ing since Luft­waffe units also found Fw 190s built by Arado and Ago to be sig­nif­i­cantly less well made than those man­u­fac­tured by Focke-wulf. The com­pany sent an en­gi­neer­ing team to Turkey and even­tu­ally the prob­lems were

Fw 190s were of­fi­cially sold to and op­er­ated by only two other na­tions dur­ing the Sec­ond World War – Hun­gary and Turkey. The Ja­panese air force also re­ceived a sin­gle ex­am­ple of the type for eval­u­a­tion, which caused the Al­lies some con­fu­sion. The Ro­ma­ni­ans and Yu­gosla­vians op­er­ated cap­tured ex­am­ples in com­bat against the Luft­waffe.

solved. The Turks re­ceived be­tween 72 Fw 190Aa-3s, the air­craft re­tain­ing their fac­to­ryap­plied cam­ou­flage schemes. Turk­ish mark­ings – a red and white square on the top and bot­tom of each wing, red rud­der with white cres­cent and square, and black num­bers on the fuse­lage side – were added on top. The air­craft served with the 3rd and 5th Squadrons of the 5th Air Reg­i­ment based at Bursa, and two other units. They re­mained in ser­vice un­til 1949, mak­ing them the last Fw 190s to be re­tired. While op­er­at­ing with the Turk­ish Air Force, the Fw 190 of­ten flew along­side Spit­fires bought from Bri­tain and other types fre­quently op­er­ated by the Al­lies, lead­ing to some un­usual for­ma­tions ap­pear­ing in the skies over Turkey.

Hungarian Fw 190s

Af­ter the Aa-3 pro­duc­tion run, ev­ery Fw 190 built went to the Luft­waffe. Then, fol­low­ing the Al­lies’ in­ten­sive bomb­ing of known Ger­man air­craft fac­to­ries, man­u­fac­tur­ing was dis­persed more widely across the coun­try and the 190A-8 and its de­riv­a­tives en­tered pro­duc­tion on a vast scale. There­fore, with air­craft to spare and with­out the pi­lots to fly them, Ger­many de­liv­ered a batch of 16 Fw 190F-8s to one of its few re­main­ing al­lies – Hun­gary – in late 1944. Th­ese were ac­cepted by the Hungarian Royal Air Force and were based at Börgönd, near Lake Bala­ton. A num­ber of pi­lots from an es­tab­lished Hungarian dive bomber unit, the Önálló Zuhanóbom­bazó Osztály (In­de­pen­dent Dive Bomber Wing), were sent to

Flugzeugführerschule B2 in Neu­rup­pin, near Ber­lin, for ground attack and air com­bat train­ing in the Fw 190. Hun­gary also set up its own train­ing pro­gramme for the type. The Ger­mans hoped that Hungarian squadrons equipped with the Fw 190 would join the of­fen­sive on the Eastern Front but by the time they were ready for com­bat, the Hun­gar­i­ans found them­selves us­ing the air­craft to fight de­fen­sive bat­tles over Hun­gary it­self. The units op­er­at­ing the Fw 190 were 101 Csa­tarepülo osztály, 102/1 Vadászbom­bazó század and 102/2 Vadászbom­bázó század (later 102 Csa­tarepülo osztály). In ad­di­tion to the F-8s, which con­tin­ued to be de­liv­ered in small batches af­ter the first 16, the Hun­gar­i­ans also re­ceived a limited num­ber of Fw 190Gs, which were flown in their fighter-bomber role by 102/1 Vadászbom­bazó. The unit’s first mission was flown on Novem­ber 16, 1944, and it con­tin­ued to fly the Fw 190 un­til the end of the war. On March 7, 1945, Fliegerko­rps IV is­sued an or­der that all Hungarian Fw 190s should be painted with a yel­low rud­der and a 50cm wide yel­low band on the nose and fuse­lage to help Ger­man units iden­tify them.

Ja­panese Fw 190

Along with var­i­ous other items of Ger­man tech­nol­ogy, a sin­gle Fw 190A-5 was shipped to Ja­pan in 1943. It flew on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions be­fore be­ing taken apart so that its en­gine mount­ings could be ex­am­ined as part of the pro­gramme to re-en­gine the Kawasaki Ki-61 ‘Hien’. The Ki-61 had an in­line en­gine, the Kawasaki Ha-40, which was based on the Daim­ler-benz DB 601. Although it per­formed well, it proved dif­fi­cult to repli­cate the DB 601 and this re­sulted in se­vere en­gine short­ages which ham­pered pro­duc­tion of the des­per­ately needed fighter. Kawasaki was there­fore or­dered to fit the Ki61 air­frame with a 1500hp Mit­subishi HA-112-II 14-cylin­der two-row ra­dial en­gine. Like the Fw 190’s orig­i­nal BMW 139, this was a devel­op­ment of an Amer­i­can Pratt & Whit­ney de­sign and was not dis­sim­i­lar to the A-5’s BMW 801 in size. This or­der be­came a ne­ces­sity af­ter Jan­uary 19, 1945, when a B-29 bomber raid de­stroyed the Kawasaki en­gine fac­tory and 275 al­most com­plete Ki-61s were left with­out en­gines. Af­ter ex­am­in­ing the dis­man­tled Fw 190A-5 in de­tail, the Ja­panese en­gi­neers were able to re-en­gine the Ki-61 in just 90 days. One key Focke-wulf fea­ture car­ried over into the newly rechris­tened Ki-100 was the side-mounted en­gine ex­hausts. The fi­nal fate of the Fw 190A-5’s com­po­nent parts is un­known.

Ro­ma­nian Fw 190s

By 1944, Ro­ma­nia had had enough of be­ing Ger­many’s wartime ally. Its Third Army had fought dur­ing the Siege of Stal­in­grad where it suf­fered ter­ri­ble losses and the coun­try’s other for­ma­tions had also been used and abused as part of the Ger­man war ma­chine, par­tic­u­larly on the Eastern Front. In Au­gust, a coup was staged which saw Ro­ma­nia forces turn­ing their weapons on their for­mer Ger­man al­lies. As part of this process, the Aero­nau­tica Re­gal Ro­mana cap­tured 22 Fw 190F-8s that had most prob­a­bly for­merly be­longed to III./SG 10, based at Foc­sani-süd. The air­craft re­ceived Ro­ma­nian colours – yel­low, blue and red – and nine were made ready for ac­tion. The day af­ter Ro­ma­nia de­clared war on Ger­many, Au­gust 26, a Ro­ma­nian Fw 190 was recorded shot down near Otopeni by Un­terof­fizier Schater­mann of 3./Trans­port­geschwader 5. This can prob­a­bly be re­garded as the only time a Fw 190 was shot down on pur­pose by the Luft­waffe. When the Sovi­ets en­tered Ro­ma­nia they con­fis­cated the re­main­ing Fw 190s. Switch­ing sides went badly for the Ro­ma­ni­ans in other ar­eas too – some 140,000 Pows were taken by the Rus­sians and marched off to labour camps where most per­ished.

Yu­gosla­vian Fw 190

A sin­gle Fw 190F-8 of I./SG 2 was cap­tured by Yu­gosla­vian par­ti­sans to­wards the end of 1944. The fol­low­ing year, the air­craft was put into ser­vice and con­tin­ued to be used by the Yu­gosla­vians un­til 1946. Parts of the air­craft, WNR. 930638, still ex­ist at the Air Force Mu­seum at Surcin, Bel­grade, Ser­bia.

Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion

Turkey’s Fw 190s were fit­ted with a quar­tet of MG 17 ma­chine guns with an op­tion to fit MG FF can­non in the outer wing po­si­tions – an op­tion that was ex­er­cised in this ma­chine, No. 66. Fw 190Aa-3 No. 41 in ser­vice with the Turk­ish Air Force.the 190 was ini­tially re­jected by the Turks and fail­ing to meet the re­quired spec­i­fi­ca­tion – a sit­u­a­tion only rec­ti­fied af­ter Focke-wulf sent in a team of en­gi­neers. Pho­to­graphs of Fw 190s in Hungarian ser­vice are few and far be­tween.this one can be iden­ti­fied by the tell-tale white cross on a black field be­neath the star­board wing.

Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion

The few ex­ist­ing pho­to­graphs of the Ja­panese Fw 190A-5 have been care­fully scru­ti­nised over the years, with many ob­servers not­ing the air­craft’s tatty ap­pear­ance. It was, how­ever, ap­par­ently a brand new ma­chine. The only Fw 190 ever to fly over Ja­pan. The Ja­panese were gen­er­ally not im­pressed with the type and made no ef­fort to ei­ther pro­duce it them­selves or to buy fur­ther ex­am­ples from Ger­many. LEFT: The sale of 72 Fw 190Aa-3s to neu­tral Turkey in 1942 meant the Ger­man type of­ten flew be­side its nat­u­ral en­emy – the Su­per­ma­rine Spit­fire, sev­eral ex­am­ples of which were also bought by the Turks. ‘Ul­tra’ in­tel­li­gence in­ter­cepts in­formed the Al­lies that Ja­pan had a Fw 190 and it was as­sumed that the Ja­panese would take it into ser­vice.there­fore recog­ni­tion charts such as this one were pro­duced, giv­ing the type’s re­port­ing name as ‘Fred’. A trio of Hungarian Fw 190s with white crosses on their fuse­lages and num­bers, barely vis­i­ble, painted on their noses. The Ja­panese painted their sole A-5 in their own colours but no pho­to­graph has ever been found de­pict­ing its tail. How this may have been painted has there­fore been the sub­ject of much con­jec­ture.

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