Adversaries: WW1 & WW2

 German, Italian & Vichy.

Most of these aircraft, but not all, have tangled in some way (mostly unsuccessfully) with the Fleet Air Arm:

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Junkers Ju-88A-4

1/KG30 "Adler Geschwader" , Norway 1941.

 Airfix 1/72.

The Ju-88 was one of the most successful German aircraft of WW2, serving on all fronts in a variety of roles and remaining in production until the end of the war, with over 16,000 built. The A4 dive-bomber version was used extensively in anti-shipping roles and took a heavy toll on Allied merchant shipping and Naval vessels .

KG30 conducted the first bombing raids on the UK, attacking the Firth of Forth in October 1939' followed by the sinking of the troopship RMS Lancastria off St Nazaire in 1940, with the loss of 5000 lives. This aircraft wears the markings of the 1/KG30 Commander, Werner Baumbach, one of the most decorated bomber pilots of the war. The tail markings indicate his personal tally, which totalled over 300,000 tons of allied shipping.

Baumbach saw action during the Battle of Britain, Arctic Convoys and on the Eastern Front, before taking command of KG200, the Nazi special operations unit that developed such aircraft as the Mistel and Amerika Bombers. Baumbach died in Argentina in 1953, still espousing many aspects of Nazi idealogy.I

 Macchi MC202 Folgore

351 Squadron 155 Grippo. 51 Stormo, August 1942

Frog / HEMA, 1/72.

The elegant and rakish looking Folgore ("Thunderbolt") was developed from the earlier MC200 Saetta by fitting the superb German Daimler Benz DB601 engines (later built under licence by Alfa Romeo). Entering service with the Regia Aeronautica in July 1941, it quickly proved to be an excellent fighter, at least the equal of the Hurricane and as good in the air as the Bf109, but poorly armed with only 2 0.5 inch Breda machine guns.


It played a significant role in North Africa and over the skies of Malta, as well as fighting on the Eastern Front against Russia. No less than 139 Folgori took part in Rommel's June 1942 attack on Tobruk and subsequent drive toward el Alamein.

In August 1942, Squadrons of Folgori flying out of Sicily fought against the Pedestal ships, damaging several and clashing with the fleet fighters of the Fleet Air Arm and RAF Malta defenders. After the war, several refurbished aircraft remained in service with the Egyptian Air Force right up until until their replacement by MiG jets in 1951.

Savoia Marchetti SM79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk),

281 Squadriglia, 132 Gruppo Autonomo A.S, Rhodes 1941.

Italeri. The old Airfix Sparviero was one of the first kits I built, back in the 1960s. I have had a soft spot for it ever since , and the recent Italeri tooling is superb.

The distinctive SM79 Torpedo-Bomber wrought havoc with Royal Navy & Allied shipping across the Mediterranean, not least during the many epic convoys to relieve the siege of Malta, culminating in Operation Pedestal

Junkers Ju-87 R-4 Picciatello, Squadron

239a Squadriglia, 97 Gruppo, Regia Aeronautica, Gela, Sicily, 1941.

Airfix, 1/72

The Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber attained lasting infamy during the Spanish Civil war and the early European campaigns. Fitted with a wind-driven "Jericho Trumpet" siren designed to strike fear into its (often civilian) victims, it quickly became a potent and ruthless symbol of Nazi air power. It was never a particularly brilliant aircraft, and fared badly during the Battle of Britain when faced with an organised and effective fighter force, but remained in production until 1944 in a variety of guises, including a canon-armed anti-tank version used widely on the Eastern Front.

The Italian Regia Aeronautica obtained 100 ex-Luftwaffe Stukas in 1940. Renamed "Picchiatello" the Ju-87s were used against Malta, Allied convoys (including attacks on HMS ILLUSTRIOUS) in the Mediterranean and in support of the Italian Army & Afrika Korps over North Africa.

The Ju-87 remained in service with the Regia Aeronautica until 1942 when it was withdrawn due to airframe fatigue issues.

Moraine-Saulner MS406 - Vichy French Forces, Madagascar 1941,

Heller. not a pleasant kit to build as nothing fits.

The MS406 arrived too late to counter modern Nazi aircraft during the Battle of France. Nevertheless, it was a reasonable aircraft and Vichy forces continued to deploy it at home and throughout their colonies in North Africa, the Middle East and Madagascar. Nevertheless, by 1941, technology had moved on and it was no match for the Martlets and Sea Hurricanes in wide FAA Service. This particular aircraft fought unsuccessfully against the RN during Operation Ironclad, the Allied Occupation of Vichy Madagascar

LFG Roland C.11, FA 2b,

Royal Bavarian Air Service / Imperial German Air Service 1916

Airfix, 1/72.

The LFG Roland C.11 design was the first of a range of advanced German Aircraft introduced from 1916. Its streamlined wooden monocoque fuselage, assembled from moulded and cross planked plywood sheets, gave it a comparatively high speed and earned it the nickname "Walfisch" (whale). However, a poor understanding of aerodynamic principles meant that the closely mounted biplane wings were prone to sudden stalls.

This aircraft was the mount of Eduard Ritter von Schleich, a high scoring Bavarian flying ace of World War I. He was credited with 35 aerial victories and a recipient of the "Order Pour le Mérite" (sometimes known as the "Blue Max"), the Kingdom of Prussia's highest military award.

In the run-up to WW2, von Sleich was one of the founders of the rebuilt Luftwaffe, eventually becoming Commander of the Nazi Occupation Forces in Denmark from mid 1941 until 1944, then Luftwaffe Ground Forces Commander in Norway until the end of the war.

Messerschmitt Me-163B Komet, 1/JG400, Brandis Airfield Germany 1945

Academy (out the box)

The rocket powered Komet was based around a proven Lippisch glider design, equipped with a 3,748 lb thrust Walther rocket motor that allowed it to achieve nearly 600 Mph with a flight duration of around 10 minutes.  Used as an interceptor against massed formations of Allied bombers, its very speed proved to be ia serious limitation, allowing only a brief opportunity for the pilot to attack the bombers before having to turn around and begin another run. It was also extremely vulnerable during its landing phase, with many falling prey to Allied fighters that loitered around the known Me-163 bases.  

Flying operationally for the first time in August 1944, the last operational Komet flight by the Luftwaffe was in April 1945.  Komets posed a huge danger to their pilots, who sat between two ceramic fuel oxidiser tanks, the content of which would devour their flesh if the tanks shattered during, for example, a landing accident, despite the complex PVC protective suits that each pilot had to wear. Several were captured by the Allies at the end of WW2, but due the dangers inherent in its design, the only known flight was undertaken by the renowned Royal Navy pilot Eric Brown, who reported it to be a well behaved and agile airframe.  Many Komets remain on display in museums around the world, such as that at the East Fortune Scottish Museum of Flight and the Cosford RAF Museum.

Heinkel He-162 A-2 Salamander, 3/JG1, Leck Airfield, Germany 1945

FROG (out the box)

The He-162 arose from a September 1944 specification issued by the RLM for a simple jet-powered fighter to counter the devastating Allied bomber raids that were bringing Nazi Germany to its knees. Somewhat unrealistically and in growing desperation, the Nazi hierarchy imagined the “Volksjager” people’s fighter as something that Nazi Youth could fly with minimal training in defence of the Reich.  Armed with two 20mm cannons, in truth, the He-162 was a well behaved, practical and effective design, produced in a remarkably short time from contract to flight of only a few months, but still requiring a well trained pilot to fly it.  

It was the fastest of the early jet designs, with a top speed of over 550mph; produced mainly from wood, its production bypassed late war shortages of strategic materials such as aluminium,with vast undeground factories established in safe areas, capable of producing 2,000 aircraft each month, but fortunately, the war ended before this realistic target could be achieved.  By the time of the Nazi surrender on 8 May 1945, only 120 He-162s had been delivered. A further 200 were completed and awaiting flight-testing and roughly 600 more were in advanced production.

Operationally, the He-162 was limited in its success by chronic fuel shortages, as well as successful Allied efforts to attack the German airfields as aircraft were taking off or landing.  Nevertheless, it was a remarkable design, but fortunately it came too late to alter the result of WW2.

Link to UTube video of SM.79s in action

Operation Pedestal Malta Convoy.

TheSM79 Torpedo-Bomber in detail

Link to Richard J Caruana's article "Italian Stukas Over Malta"

The other side Axis Aircraft Japanese Aircraft Cold War and Modern

Arado Ar 196A-3  

Seenotrettungsgruppe 10, Seenotbereitschaftskommando IX,

Tromsoe, Norway February 1944

Revell (Heller) 1/72

The Arado 196 is widely acknowledged as one of the most successful floatplanes of WW2.  First flown in 1936, it equipped major surface units of the Kreigsmarine as a catapult launched spotter and anti-submarine aircraft, whilst shore-based units used it for coastal patrols and to intercept large Allied maritime aircraft such as the Whitley.   

Ar 196s operated in all WW2 theatres, from the Mediterranean and North Africa through to the Arctic.  The aircraft represented was part of the Tromso-based patrol force conducting reconnaissance for the Kreigsmarine surface raiders Scharnhorst and Tirpitz operating against Allied arctic convoys, as well as patrolling the occupied Norwegian coastline.

Link to build page

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#ar196 #Junkers #Macchi #Savoia #Picciatello_1 #Roland_1 #MS406_1 #Komet #Salamander

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