ISBN : 0-7643-1876-4.
I am a bit disappointed with this book, maybe I had too high expectations. It is a good book with many good qualities. It is solidly based on documents and IMHO generally gives very objective appraisal on the qualities of the Fw 190Ds. It also has many facsimiles of original type drawings, performance charts etc.
But there are some weak points, firstly the layout is too “airy”, i.e. there are too much white on many of the pages. While there are many interesting drawings on different Fw 190C and D prototypes and paper studies there are also some identical or almost identical drawings and graphs, e,g., those on pages 28, 31 and 35. And photos like that of the Fw 190 V53 on pages 82 and 89. There are also some annoying typos, MK 103 being printed when the weapon in question is the more compact MK 108 etc.
While interpreting the Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau G.m.b.H.’s performance chart on page 104 Hermann seems to have took the curve of Fw 190A-8 Notleistung (WEP) with increased boost pressure as that of Fw 190D-9. The curves of A-8 Notleistung and that of D-9 are mostly overlapping but IMHO the Hermann’s error is clear. I checked my interpretation against the 25 Oct 1944 performance chart of A-8 Normaljäger and 24 March 1945 climb graph of D-9 and IMHO my interpretation seems to be true.
The specification table of Fw 190 the D-9/R14 Torpedo-carrier on the page 109 there are two lines for To/from target at height of 3000 m, one with combat power and other with cruising power but strangely that with 2 x 220 l Doppelreiter gives same from target speed in both cases, the other three speeds given give circa 50 km/h difference between combat and cruising power as logic demands. Probably there is/are error(s) in one or both of the from target speed(s) shown.
In the table comparing Fw 190 D-9, P-51 D and Spitfire Mk XIV on the page 122, the wing loading given for Spitfire Mk XIV is much too high, the true one is only 55 per cent of that given. Because correct figures for the gross weight and the wing area are given the error was easy to spot. When for the lightest plane with the biggest wing area is given the highest wing loading, one instantly notice that something is wrong. The low level climb rate given is a little bit too low for Spitfire Mk XIV using 100/130 grade fuel and +18 lbs boost but on the other hand the times to altitudes are clearly more optimistic than the figures in the Aircraft Data Sheet for Spitfire Mk XIV and in Morgan’s and Shacklady’s book but are identical to those achieved during the tests of the Mk XIV prototype JF319. Also if one uses the weight and the wing area given in the table to calculate the wing loading for Fw 190D-9 one gets somewhat poorer figure than the one given in the book.
Fw 190 D-13 vs Tempest Mk V, the wing loading given to Tempest Mk V is a bit under 4 per cent too good. Late Mk Vs had the Sabre IIB engines with max. power of 2,420 hp, max. speed at FTH was almost identical but S.L. speed was better, being something around 620 km/h with 11 lbs boost. And in an RAE test even better and the RAE estimated that with better paintwork on the wing leading edges 650 km/h would have been achievable. Interestingly the Aircraft Data Sheet for Hawker Tempest Mk V Series II powered by a Sabre IIB engine gives time to 6,096 m as 7 min 30 sec. So strangely higher power didn’t produce better time to altitude, also the max. rate of climb was only circa 20,5 m/sec so less than given in Hermann’s table. While the comparison between Fw 190 D-13 and Tempest Mk V is understandably because of the mock dogfight flown between the two types just after the war, maybe better comparison against Fw 190 D-13 would has been Tempest Mk II, of which 50 production aircrafts had been produced by the VE-Day. They were ear-marked for Far East, so didn’t see combat service. Tempest Mk II was somewhat faster and climbing better than Mk V (708 km/h at 4,572 m, 4.5 min to 4,572 m). Or comparison with Spitfire Mk 21, which was the last Spitfire version to reach squadron service before the VE-Day (711 km/h at 6,645 m, 22,6 m/s, 2.6 min to 3,292 m, 4.05 min to 4,877 m, 5.15 min to 6,096 m, 9.9 min to 9,754 m, 11.15 min to 10,363 m).
And the “what if” part. Hermann claims that DB 603 E powered Fw 190 would have been possible year earlier than historically happened. That is based on the claim made on pages 30 and 174, that DB 603 G was in full production by 1944 and that it entered service in April 1944 in the Messerschmitt Me 410 B-1 heavy fighter and the Heinkel He 219 A-5 night fighter. There is some disagreement about production of DB 603 G, but it seems that the series production of it began at the end of 1944 at the earliest. Mankau and Petrick state in their Messerschmitt Bf 110/Me 210/Me 410 book that while Me 410 B series was planned to be fitted with DB 603 G in reality when the Me 410 B production began in May 1944 they were powered by DB 603 As and that Me 410 Bs never got the planned DB 603 Gs. The history of DB 603 G powered He 219s is more ambiguous but it seems that series production He 219s got DB 603 Gs near the end of 1944 at the earliest. Griehl and Dressel in their Flugzeug Profile write that He 219A-0s and most of A-2s, A-5s and five first A-7s were powered by DB 603 A. And in their Luftwaffe Album while writing that the first He 219 A-7 was given service trials in July 1944 and that the forerunner of the He 219 A-5/R-3 He 219 V 28 arrived at Venlo in June 1944, for the prototype trials it was fitted with DB 603 Gs. On the other hand in the table of the He 219 versions and subtypes they claim that He 219 A-5/R-3 subtype was powered by DB 603 Es. But again in the table they give a different information, according to it most A-7 subtypes were powered by DB 603 G plus one subtype with Jumo 213 E and one with Jumo 222A. According to Green’s and Swanborough’s article all He 219s flown to the UK and transported to the USA were powered by DB 603 As. Aders writes that series production of DB 603 G powered He 219s began only in January 1945.
The DB 603 had run into difficulties being able to get near the demanded 100 h between overhauls only in 1944. Initially, the engines often had to be replaced after 40 hours of operation. Because of the problems DB 603 production schedules and production types were constantly changing. The large-scale production of the DB 603 E began only during the later part of 1944, not at the beginning of 1944 as Hermann claims on the page 184. According to Mankau and Petrick it was planned to begin the large scale DB 603 E production at the beginning of 1944 but already in October 1943 Daimler Benz had informed Generalluftzeugmeister Milch that the beginning of the production was to be delayed to April and in January 1944 it was known that the beginning of the production was postponed into June 1944 and that the initial lot was only sufficient to cover Do 335 and He 177 aircraft and so the Me 410 and He 219 would have to continue using the DB 603 A. And then in May 1944 the expectations were that in June there would be 200 DB 603 AAs available (DB 603A with the 603 G supercharger) and the AA would be the production model during the summer and the first Me 410s powered by DB 603 E would begin roll off the assembly line in September. So IMHO the claim that DB 603 E powered Fw 190 would have been possible year earlier than historically happened isn’t realistic. And the performance of Jumo 213 A and DB 603 A were almost identical and one should also remember, that there were not enough DB 603 As around before very late of 1943, numerous Dornier Do 217 M and N airframes waited for months their power plants and one reason given to the low production rate of He 219 was the lack of DB 603s. With hindsight we know that the high production rate of Me 410 was a mistake but the leaders of the Luftwaffe saw it as a very important plane and so its high priority was a given fact to the production planners. Only after Me 410 production ceased there were DB 603s available to Fw 190 versions.
I have the recollection that contrary to the claim in the caption on the page 191 Soviets didn’t use Fw 190 D-9s against Germans, even though the naval aviation of the Red Baltic Fleet took into service some captured ones.
Colour profiles are not at the level one uses to see at this age of digitalization. They look more like water colour works. Some show their object as having light grey fuselage base colour, when Deboeck et al Focke-Wulf Fw 190D Camouflage and Markings Part I shows the same plane having RLM 76 light blue base colour. Some are given a different Werk Nummer when compared the ones given in Deboeck et al book. A few colour profiles are close to those in Deboeck et al book, e.g., the only known Fw 190D-13 “Yellow 10” of Stab/JG 26 but again, while Deboeck et al gives the base colour of the sides of the fuselage as RLM 76 light blue, in Hermann’s book it is given as light grey. Also photos could be sharper, even in fairly inexpensive softback Osprey the Aircraft of Aces identical photos are reproduced better.
While the book is not as good as I expected it is still a good book on Fw 190Ds. My worst complains are on “what if” subjects and even these got me dig deeper into history of the He 219, which has always interested me. The main focus of the book is handled well. It gives very good information on its subject. There isn’t much on the operational use but that wasn’t what I was looking for from this book. I was looking for information on the technical aspects of the plane and I got that.
A.I.2.(g) Report No. 2360 German Aero-Engine Development 22 June 1945
Air Publication 2458C – P.N. Pilot’s Notes for Tempest V Sabre IIA Engine July 1944 (St. Annes-on Sea: AIR
Aders, Gebhard, History of the German night fighter force 1917-1945 (Somerton: Crécy Books, 1992).
Bowyer, Michael J. F., Interceptor Fighters for the Royal Air Force (Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens, 1984).
Brown, Eric, Heinkel’s Nocturnal Predator, Air International Volume 9 Number 1 July 1975.
Deboeck, Marc, Larger, Eric, Poruba, Tomás̆, Focke-Wulf Fw 190D Camouflage & Markings Part I and II
(Hradec Králové: JaPo, 2005 and 2007).
Dressel, Joachim and Griehl, Manfred, The Luftwaffe Album: Fighters and bombers of the German air force
1933 – 1945 (London: Arms and Armour, 2000)
Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon, Heinkel’s Nocturnal Predator…the He 219, Air Enthusiast Forty
September - December 1989.
Griehl, Manfred, Do 217̶̅―317—417 An operational history (Shrewsbury: Airlife, 1991).
Griehl, Manfred, Dressel, Joachim, Flugzeug Profile Nr. 10 He 219 (Illertissen: Flugzeug Publikation).
Hentschel, Georg, Die geheimen Konferenzen des Generalluftzeugmeisters. Ausgewählte und kommentierte
Dokumente zur Geschichte der deutschen Luftrüstung und Luftkrieges 1942 – 1944 (Bernard &
Graefe Verlag 1989).
Jackson, Robert, Hawker Tempest and Sea Fury (London: Blandford Press, 1989).
Mankau, Heinz & Petrick, Peter, Messerschmitt Bf 110/Me 210/Me 410 An Illustrated History (Atglen, PA:
Schiffer Publishing, 2003).
Morgan, Eric B. and Shacklady, Edward, Spitfire: The History (Stamford: Key Publishing, Fifth impression
Price, Alfred, The Spitfire Story (London: Cassell & Co, Revised Second Edition, 2002).
http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=169401;article=3306;title=German%20Night%20Fighter%20War%201939-1945;pagemark=20 ejection seats / He219 A-7
Regrettably already for years defunct German Night Fighter War 1939 – 1945 site
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=51 HE-219 and DB 603G Engines
http://www.luftwaffe-experten.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11277 Details for He219A-2 WNr.290126?
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http://www.luftwaffe-experten.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=1689 Details on Heinkel He219A-7
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http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=1462 Fw 190 C and Me 410 DB 603s
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=51&page=2 He 219 and the DB 603G
http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/engines/db-605-db-603-a-7886.html DB 605 X DB 603