Fw 190A-8/R2 SturmjaegerNovember 22, 2010 0 Comments
With the increasing pressure applied by the daylight raids by USAAF heavy bombers, a new approach to tactics to be used by defending fighters was suggested in 1943 by Major Heinz-Gunter von Kornatski, who after serving with the Bf 109-equipped Jagdgeschwader 52 joined the staff of the General der Jagdflieger, Generalmajor Adolf Galland. His view was that the necessary heavy blows would be best landed by a close formation of armoured fighters flown by groups of determined pilots who would be prepared if necessary to ram the target.
This was not seen as a suicide mission; it was expected that a toughly-built fighter could cause sufficient damage to a relatively lightly-built tail surface to destroy the bomber, while the attacker would still survive. Recruiting for the first unit took place in October 1943, with the candidates being interviewed by Major von Kornatski, and about three dozen were selected for training; the unit to be known as Sturmstaffel 1 was formed at Achmer and was equipped with Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-6s.
To fit the aircraft better for the close-combat role extra armour was added to the cockpit area and armoured glass to the windscreen and quarter-lights. The next six months were spent refining the tactics and where necessary the equipment, with operations generally undertaken with the co-located IV/JG.3. By the end of April it had been decided to disband the Sturmstaffel, and to fold its pilots and aircraft in to IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 to set up the first Sturmgruppe, which would be fully equipped with the Fw 190.
Simply the heavily armored A-6, A-7..........very very few of these and the A-8/R2 and R8 were called Sturmjäger especially the A-8 variants. The other name was for a single aircraft called Sturmböck, more than one is Sturmböcke.
At first and for most of the career any A-6 and A-7 with the outboard 30mm's were called A-6/MK or A-6/R2 and the A-7/MK or R2 variants. For the A-8/R2 the first a/c had the upper 13mm machine guns in the cowling and then they were removed but there were some aerodynamic problems with open upper chutes so a new fairing was developed to counter the problem. The Variant was known as the R2 till in November-December 1944 the new standard sturm FW 190 coming off the lines were called A-8/R8's. They had the fairings on the cowlings as standard. In any case till the month of January 1945 you could heavy armed Focke-Wulf Sturm machines even with the upper 13mm's still installed, as well as the four 20mm and 13mms on the usually fitted A-8. Some of the Sturm pilots preferred no armor or extra 30mm canon so they could have better handling properties as well as take on the US P-51 escorts much easier.
Sturmjäger or Sturmböck was one and the same for the A-6 to A-8 variants. The A-7 was so rare I would not even call it that as it was distributed to other units. Sturmstaffel 1 was broken up into IV.Sturm/JG 3 on May 10, 1944. The rest of the units personnel went off to other Luftwaffe fighter wings and Korrnatski went off to develop II.Sturm/JG 4 in the footsteps of IV.Sturm/JG 3 and his JG 4 went into action the first time in the sturm role on 11 September 1944 in a huge air battle especially against the 100th bomb group but in return lost many pilots.