ACE-207 Focke-Wulf FW 190 A-6, HANS DORTENMANN, 2./JG 54, Grünherz, Eastern front, February 1944
The FOCKE-WULF FW 190 is a German single seat, single engine fighter aircraft which was designed by Kurt Tank at Focke-Wulf in the late 1930’s and widely used during the Second World War.
Along with its well known counterpart, the Messerschmitt BF 109, the FW190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (fighter Force) of the Luftwaffe.
The FW190 A started flying operationally over France in August 1941 and quickly proved superior in all but turn radius to the Spitfire Mk. V. the main frontline fighter of the Royal Air Force, particularly at low and medium altitude. The FW190 maintained superiority over allied fighters until the introduction of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX.
In November 1942.the FW190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front, finding much success in fighter wings and specialized ground attack units from October 1943.
The FW190 was well liked by its pilots. Some of the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter aces claimed many of their kills while flying this plane., including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer. The FW190 had greater firepower than the BF-109 and at low to medium altitude, superior manouverability according to the opinion of German fighter pilots who flew both. It was regarded as one of the best fighter planes of the Second World War.
This aircraft has a winter whitewash over the standard camouflage. It was with this aircraft that Dortenmann crash landed at Orsha Süd Air base on the 6th of February, 1944, after losing three feet off his port wing in a collision with a Soviet fighter.
In a rear hemisphere attack against his target, and at a height of some 200m, he misjudged his distance. His intended target was probably a fighter flown by Capt Ivan Mikhailovich Astakhov of 49 IAP.
Having been killed in this encounter, the collision with Black “7” was classified as a “taran” attack and considered Astakhov’s twelfth victory (another seven being shared). He was awarded a posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union. It was Dortenmann’s first confirmed victory. Prior to his transfer to the west, he shot down a further fourteen Soviet aircraft, including four Il-2 Sturmoviks. He totaled 38 kills, and was awarded the Iron Cross.