The 190 abroad
Foreign users during the war
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 It had four MG 17 machine guns, two on the nose and two in the wing roots, and an option of the outdated MG FF in the outer wing positions.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.
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.
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.