The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was a nasty surprise to the Allies when it started appearing over France in early 1941. The first combats between the Fw 190 and Spitfire Vs showed the German machine to be markedly superior. Not until the Spitfire IX came out, did the Fw 190 meet its match. The Fw 190 was developed to be the successor to the first generation of monoplane fighters and first flew on June 1, 1939. 20,051 Fw 190s of all variants were produced during the war years, including the inline engined Fw 190D. The Fw 190A-8 pictured here, however, was powered by a radial BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder engine and armed with two 7.9-mm machine guns and four 20-mm cannons. Maximum speed for the A-8 was 408 mph. The Fw 190, nicknamed the Würger (Butcher Bird), was used in a variety of roles, including as an interceptor, air superiority fighter, close support aircraft and it served on all fronts of the war. The Fw 190 pictured here was forced to belly land by American F6-D* pilots Lt. Ed Kenny and Lt. Bob Marple of the 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group on May 8, 1945 at Fürth, Germany. The chevron and triangle painted on the side (not visible in this photo) signifies that this was the plane of a Gruppe Commander. One of the Ju-87s that surrendered at Fürth on that day is visible in the background. (*F6-D was the photo recon version of the P-51D Mustang.)
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