Focke-Wulf FW-190 "Würger"

          German successes during the beginning of World War II were brought about by "Blitzkriegs" and showed the effectiveness of combined ground and air-to-ground support tactics. The Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber  (sometimes called "Stupids"by defending allied fighter pilots) remained active and relatively successful during this period; HOWEVER, by 1942 the Nazis realized the Stuka was obsolete and unsuitable, especially in speed and maneuverability, making it an easy target.

          While the allied forces steadily moved forward, the air-to-ground attack for German forces took on more importance. A replacement for the Luftwaffe's Ju-87 was required, and the Focke-Wulf FW-190, which established itself as a mainstay fighter for the Luftwaffe, was found to be adaptable to this role due to its robust construction and versatility. The FW-190 went into service as a ground attack fighter in 1943, with the designation of F 190F. It was based on the FW-190A airframe, but had additional armor protection around the cockpit and power-plant. The 20mm auto-cannons were deleted and under-wing weapons racks were installed.

          As with the A-4 and later version Focke-Wulf's the "F" series had the small radio mast on the tip of the fin, and to provide better visibility a blown canopy was introduced during this period. This canopy was in short supply so not all aircraft used it. The F-8 appeared in April 1944 and was the most widely produced FW-190 of the "F" series. European air superiority was already held by the allies, and the FW-190 F-8 was in action during this final stage of the conflict.

 

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Focke-Wulf 190s on ground assault patrol