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Brochure for Richard Taylor's Ramraiders arrived in the post
habu972
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March 19, 2007 - 6:09 pm
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In the post today from Aces High came their latest release by Richard. Luftwaffe subject this time. The only web gallery I can find with info for you is Aviation Art Gallery…re-vamped very nice site I notice too.

http://www.aviationartgallery……aiders.htm

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Blacksheep
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March 19, 2007 - 8:40 pm
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Not bad!

My only beef at first glance is that the FW-190s still have their external fuel tanks attached during an attack run.

His dad made the same mistake in “Savage Skies”.

embarassed

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kzollitsch
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March 19, 2007 - 10:03 pm
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My only beef at first glance is that the FW-190s still have their external fuel tanks attached during an attack run.

I thought the same thing when I first saw. I rather like it, and maybe it’s just me, but he really seems to bring out fresh ideas and perspectives for the genre. Nice to see some change.

The MG sure seems to be working him hard though, unfortunately there is no way my wallet can keep up!

Col
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March 19, 2007 - 10:06 pm
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Hmm, well Blacksheep I read a discussion about the retention of external tanks during combat due to late-war material shortages and this is an era I know little of so won’t comment on that aspect.
What does, however, intrigue me is the fact the 190s are in a fairly tight formation during their attack. Most of the footage I’ve seen shows a single aircraft tearing through the bomber formation as fast as possible to avoid being hit by defensive fire. Holding formation with fellow attacking aircraft is wrong on many levels, surely this could not have been Luftwaffe tactics at the time?

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Wade Meyers
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March 19, 2007 - 10:32 pm
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I asked this very question a while back of Jerry Crandall, noted Luftwaffe expert, and turns out RT and RT the Younger are right:

Hi Wade;

Look forward to seeing your painting. Yes, it is perfectly okay to have the drop tanks still in place when returning from a mission. Here’s why: The Luftwaffe was always short of fuel especially toward the end of the war. They weren’t really drop tanks as we perceived them, in other words they were an auxillary tank. G?¶ring put out an order not to drop the tanks under any circumstances to save precious fuel. There is Luftwaffe gun camera film of Fw 190s attacking bomber streams and you can clearly see that the a/c even during the attack, are still carrying their drop tanks.

Some unit commanders disregarded this order saying it was stupid if you were carrying an empty drop tank and did not drop it as it was an obvious disadvantage during an air battle to be carrying this bulky tank. Another justification for having the tanks still attached is if the bombers were intercepted with the Fw 190 drop tanks still carrying a lot of fuel, they would not have dropped them. Good luck with your painting.

HTH, cheers,
Jerry

More info to add to Jerry’s — the “directive” in question is referenced:

Williamson Murray’s seminal STRATEGY FOR DEFEAT – THE LUFTWAFFE – 1939-1945, is PDF’d and online …

Here’s a relevant passage (the year is 1943):

The no. 74 footnote – the ULTRA intercept of what the Jagdwaffe were told, is clipped here:

It isn’t entirely clear from the above clips whether or not fighter pilots were instructed to carry the tanks even during combat. Kind of stupid, and as Jerry says in the quote above it’s known that the “directive” was ignored in some quarters … so this is where we stand. Jerry’s evidence of German gun camera film is all I need.

I’m about to start a thread here for Most Dangerous Game, which will show checkerboard-nosed 1./JG 1 Fw 190s attacking a B-17 formation over the German Bight. I really wanted to have that tank attached, but my scene is taking place in September 1943, before the “directive”, whatever it was exactly, took place, so I’ll have the ETC rack empty.

Wade

Wade Meyers Studios

http://wademeyersstudios.com

habu972
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March 19, 2007 - 10:36 pm
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Col and Blacksheep, I’m absolutely no expert on Luftwaffe tactics, in fact I can go further than that…I know nothing of their tactics!!
I also don’t know who is the military advisor at Aces High, but this copied and pasted from the brochure (it’s also on the above Avaition art gallery link I added above)

the Luftwaffe quickly changed tactics to counter the potentially devastating threat with a new specialist tactic- the Sturmgruppe. Flying their redesigned and heavily armoured Sturmb?¶cke Focke Wulf Fw190 A-8 heavy fighters, pilots of the newly formed IV Sturm/JG3 Gruppe were urgently assigned the task of attacking the vast bomber streams in an effort to protect the refineries. Escorted into battle by Messerschmitt Mel09s to hold off any escorting American fighters, The Focke Wulf Fw190s tactic was to make en-masse lightning attacks on carefully selected targets. With the American bomber formations spread over miles of sky. The Sturmgruppe aimed for the less well defended centre of the stream, attacking from the rear with concentrated cannon fire, with the pilots of IV Sturm /JG3 sworn on oath to press home their attacks at the closest possible range, even ramming their targets if necessary to ensure a kill

en-masse attacks?, and under the circumstances would they bother jettisoning ferry tanks?

As a painting, when you get a copy of the brochure, you’ll see a lot of fine detail in Richards painting, no wonder Aces high are getting so excited about their new talented artist

Stormchaser
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March 19, 2007 - 11:23 pm
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What does, however, intrigue me is the fact the 190s are in a fairly tight formation during their attack. Most of the footage I’ve seen shows a single aircraft tearing through the bomber formation as fast as possible to avoid being hit by defensive fire. Holding formation with fellow attacking aircraft is wrong on many levels, surely this could not have been Luftwaffe tactics at the time?

This quote from Oscar Boesch should throw some light on the situation. :wink2

“Our Fw 190s always went in line abreast… first of all you tried to knock out the tail gunner. Then you went for the intersection between the wing and fuselage and just kept at it, watching your hits flare and flare again. It all happened so quickly. You gave it all you had. Sometimes, after the first attack, all your energy seemed to go. Your nerves were burned out. We had this kind of theory that when you were in the middle of the bomber stream – flying through it – you were in a way protected… the bombers wouldn’t open fire because they didn’t want to shoot down their own aircraft.

We would break off the attack just before we were about to collide with our target. The devastating effect of our 30mm cannons was such that we would often be flying through a hail of fragments, some being complete sections of aircraft.”

Uffz. Oscar Boesch of 14.(Sturm)/JG 3.

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March 20, 2007 - 12:06 am
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Holding formation with fellow attacking aircraft is wrong on many levels, surely this could not have been Luftwaffe tactics at the time?

I’m no expert on late-war Luftwaffe anti-bomber tactics, but American tactics straight out of training films and first hand accounts say very clearly that wingmen and sections must absolutely stay together to coordinate firing runs.

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March 20, 2007 - 12:56 am
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Keith Ferris’ print “Real Trouble” shows a REALLY tight formation of Fw-190’s about to attack a B-17 formation ahead of them. Mr. Ferris is well known for his research and accuracy, so here is another data point confirming the tight formations for attacking bombers.

What do you know – they’ve got their drop tanks on too!!! Now that you mention it, I have seen gun camera footage where the victim still has his drop tank on. I’ve seen the tank exploding too. I just assumed that the victim was caught unaware, because I couldn’t imagine them retaining it in combat. Now we know the real story.

Here’s a link to “Real Trouble”:

http://www.keithferrisart.com/…..ealTrouble

By the way, I picked up one of these prints from Mr. Ferris recently. It is sold out from Greenwich Workshop, but he still has them at the $195 issue price. It’s a wonderful print. You Luftwaffe fans can’t go wrong with this one!

Wade – thanks for sharing that tidbit from Jerry Crandall. This is an interesting thread – I’ve learned some new things!

By the way, I think Robert Taylor is owed an apology. It wasn’t long ago that the eHangar crowd was reaming him for his “Savage Skies” Fw-190D carrying a drop tank during an attack. Here’s a link to “Savage Skies”

http://www.brooksart.com/Savag…..kies2.html

fuzzy

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March 20, 2007 - 1:06 am
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Also – appreciate the choice of subject matter!

Richard Taylor has been hitting some of the lesser depicted aircraft. Of course, he’s covered the Spitfire and Mustang. However, he’s also covered the Typhoon, Thunderbolt, B-25 (non-Doolittle!), Mosquito, and Fw-190.

What? No B-17, Lancaster, or Me-109 yet? I appreciate him mixing it up. I heard a rumor we may see a Japanese fighter from him – and not a Zero! That would really be something. If the image is at all decent, that’s one I’d buy.

fuzzy

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March 20, 2007 - 1:27 am
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Keith Ferris’ print “Real Trouble” shows a REALLY tight formation of Fw-190’s about to attack a B-17 formation ahead of them. Mr. Ferris is well known for his research and accuracy, so here is another data point confirming the tight formations for attacking bombers.

What do you know – they’ve got their drop tanks on too!!! Now that you mention it, I have seen gun camera footage where the victim still has his drop tank on. I’ve seen the tank exploding too. I just assumed that the victim was caught unaware, because I couldn’t imagine them retaining it in combat. Now we know the real story.

Yes, beautiful print, this, fuzzy, although a little two dimensional for me, looks almost like an aircraft profile.

However, in KF’s A Test of Courage (below) which shows the same aircraft ‘Rauhbautz VII’ flown by Klaus Bretschneider, the drop tank is gone. Perhaps he dropped it prior to diving into his attack on the B-17 formation?

BTW, I too have seen that footage of the external tank exploding under the aircraft; can’t remember if it was a Bf109 or FW190 though. I remember viewing it frame by frame to see where the explosion started, and it was in the external tank beneath the a/c.

Charles McHugh
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March 20, 2007 - 6:21 am
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Habu said:

As a painting, when you get a copy of the brochure, you’ll see a lot of fine detail in Richards painting, no wonder Aces high are getting so excited about their new talented artist

I know of many that would take this comment as an invitation for the well worn argument of artistry versus illustration. I too am a fan of technical accuracy, but many people are not.

At the GAvA AGM this last weekend, a frequently stated comment was “Its not what you put into the painting that makes an artist, it is what you do not put in that counts”

FWIW I think that it is a nice, though not remarkable painting. The background is a little plain for my taste, although in fairness, mother nature is often plain. Tactically, would not the bomber formation have closed up? For a dispersed formation must be easy pickings for talented fighter pilots. Again I dare say that this could be an exact reproduction of a specific moment in time, and a formation being bounced unaware must have been a daily occurance.

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March 20, 2007 - 6:38 am
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The whole drop tank debate could go on forever. But one must consider the combat situation depicted when viewing any print image.

In Keith Ferris’ “Real Trouble”…

…the FW-190s are in the process of setting up an attack and are still out of range of the B-17s defensive firepower. As fuzzy has observed, the drop tanks are still attached. No reason to drop the tanks at this stage of the interception.

And as Sunny has pointed out in the Keith Ferris print “A Test Of Courage”…

…the drop tanks are not in place. The attack is in full force at this point, with gunfire being exchanged between the combatants. Why go to the trouble of equiping an aircraft with an armored cowl ring, forward windshield and side plating to protect the pilot and then carry a tank full of fuel under the fuselage?

As far as gun camera video is concerned, again consider the combat situation. The footage is being shot by allied fighters, not by bomber gunners. In most cases where you see the Luftwaffe pilot with the tank still attached, he is not even aware he his being stalked. And when the bullets start to fly and pieces start departing his aircraft, I’m sure he is more concerned about evading the source of his destruction, not dropping the tank. If he knows he about to come under attack, I’ll bet that punching off that tank is going to be his first order of business.

I agree with Jerry on some points, but not on others. I think it is entirely possible for Luftwaffe fighter pilots to return from a mission with their tanks still attached, as long as they had made no contact with the enemy. But I disagree with his statement about keeping the drop tanks on, in combat, if they still had fuel in them. I think it would be the other way around. If they had exhausted the fuel out of the tanks, and were about to attack bombers, where manoeverability was not a prime concern, then sure, keep them on. A few rounds through the empty tank are not going to result in your sudden demise. But entering combat with a full tank, be it with bombers or fighters would probably have resulted with your comrades placing a wreath on your grave.

So I guess what I’m saying, is I still believe that the FWs in Richard’s painting would have dropped the tanks before entering battle. The only exception that I can possibly fathom is that they might keep them on if they were empty.

Here is another print that Keith did showing a FW-190 attack on a bomber formation titled “Rauhbautz, Marie, Special Delivery Bonnie B”.

And a very well put together collage of some Luftwaffe fighter gun camera film showing a lot of bomber attacks.

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March 20, 2007 - 10:37 am
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The whole drop tank debate could go on forever.

The only exception that I can possibly fathom is that they might keep them on if they were empty.

Doh wink Oh no, I can hear the thoughts of many already..Is a tank which is full of fuel more explosive than one empty of liquid but full of fuel vapour?

“Its not what you put into the painting that makes an artist, it is what you do not put in that counts”

😕 😕 😕 So taking this argument to it’s conclusion…A perfect painting is a blank canvass? 😛

.

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Blacksheep
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March 20, 2007 - 11:28 am
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The whole drop tank debate could go on forever.

The only exception that I can possibly fathom is that they might keep them on if they were empty.

Doh wink Oh no, I can hear the thoughts of many already..Is a tank which is full of fuel more explosive than one empty of liquid but full of fuel vapour?

I knew somebody would go there. 🙄

The answer to your question is yes.

Fuel cells and tanks are vented to prevent them from being condusive to explosions when empty.

However, a full tank that has been pierced by an incendiary round has an ignition source, and a fuel/air charge whipping in the airstream that is going to make the pilots next few minutes very ticklish ones.

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March 20, 2007 - 2:46 pm
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My guess is that all the depictions and scenarios above happened many, many times. Desparate times produce desperate choices. That makes it a little easier for the artist portraying it. Less chance of being wrong.

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March 20, 2007 - 7:27 pm
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Well there you go, every day’s a school day as the saying goes 😀
I presume the defensive fighters were trying to meet the incoming bomber stream as far from the target as possible, thus the need for auxiliary fuel tanks? That in turn would explain the desire to retain the tanks for future missions, although by the sound of those excerpts things were getting pretty desperate at that point. Hardly worth concerning yourself about the merits of retaining or dropping the tank if you’re about to ram your fighter into the middle of a bomber, is it.
That’s the best thing about the ‘net, there’s such a depth of knowledge available in situations such as these.

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March 20, 2007 - 8:15 pm
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By the way, I think Robert Taylor is owed an apology. It wasn’t long ago that the eHangar crowd was reaming him for his “Savage Skies” Fw-190D carrying a drop tank during an attack. Here’s a link to “Savage Skies”

http://www.brooksart.com/Savag…..kies2.html

Savage Skies was painted from an actual documented incident that took place in the early afternoon on New Year’s Eve 1944. If you check this incident in Axel Urbanke’s superb unit history of III./JG54, you will find it clearly states that the drop tanks were jettisoned as soon as Hans Dortenmann spotted the B24s and even before they were refused permission to attack the bombers. As Dortenmann’s flight broke through the cloud cover to find themselves 1000 feet above the box of nine unescorted B24s, they were inexplicably denied permission to attack by their ground control.

Unbeknown to the astonished (and probably angry) Dortenmann, was the true reason for this seemingly outrageous decision. By that afternoon, all fighter aircraft were being preserved for the huge last gasp effort against the Allied airfields scheduled to begin at dawn the next morning… Operation Bodenplatte.

I can only surmise that RT’s research was not up to scratch on this occasion as I know he attaches a great deal of importance to making his paintings as historically accurate as possible.

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March 20, 2007 - 9:31 pm
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A bit late in the discussion, but Blacksheep is right about ‘Real Trouble’. I recall sitting next to Keith at the ASAA dinner in about ’94 talking about the composition. He said the 190s were cruising just out of 50cal range (supposedly about a mile), planning the attack. The painting went on to win Best in Show that year.

I suspect the close proximity is unlikely, but this aviation art afte all. I imaging 80% of the combat compositions use a fair bit of license! (not a bad idea for a thread)

Steve

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Blacksheep
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March 21, 2007 - 2:20 pm
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Another external fuel tank miscue was rendered by Robert Taylor in his print “Bogey??™s 11 O??™Clock High”. The P-38s used on the mission to intercept Yamamoto carried “one 310-gallon tank under one wing, with the regular 165-gallon tank under the other.”

Unless someone can plot it differently, the P-38s in his depiction seem to be carrying two tanks of the same size. embarassed

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