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Kagero Units #3 - St.G 2 "Immelmann"


nmayhew
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St.G 2 "Immelmann"


Marek J Murawski
Kagero Units #3
Available from Kagero for €16.71

 

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This is the third in Kagero's Units series, and the second one that I have had the chance to look at. The series is still very much a fledgling compared to say the Monographs, and so far they have covered the fighter squadrons JG51, JG52, JG54. The premise is simple: rather than focus on a particular aircraft or campaign, we now see things at unit level, and in this case, the subject is St.G 2 or, to give them their full name, Sturzkampfgeschwader "Immelmann" 2.

 

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The book is 32 pages long, in soft back landscape format, so as a unit history it is nothing if not brief. Some of the most well known battles of the Second World War are distilled into a few paragraphs, even if the perspective is always a very narrow unit level one. This is not a criticism - if you want serious historical research or day by day accounts of the say, the Fall of France, there is plenty of material a available. The narrative that is here provides useful colour and background.

 

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The book starts with the embryonic Stukagruppe 162 way back in 1934, when equipped with the Heinkel He50. Named after Max Immelmann in 1935, what was then I./Stukagruppe 162 did not receive its first Junkers Ju87s (of A-0 variety) until 1937. The first 'action' the unit saw, if it can be called that, was the annexation of parts of western Czechoslovakia or Sudetenland as the Germans called it. The unit, and indeed the Stuka, really cut its teeth in Poland: the Luftwaffe's first aerial victory was by a Ju87 of I./St.G 2. The next few pages cover further glory in France, and then ignominy in the Battle of Britain. The Ju87s faired better in the Balkans, North Africa and in Russia (Operation Barbarossa), at least for the next year or so, before the tide began to turn against Germany. As the war in the East progressed, so too did St.G 2's operations: Stalingrad - where Stukas continued to operate within the encirclement until as late as January 1943; the key city of Kharkov; the mammoth Kursk offensive of Operation Zitadelle and so on. In October 1943, the unit was renamed Schlachtgeschwader 2 "Immelmann", or SG2, and there, rather abruptly, the book ends. The final pages list commanding officers of the various St.G 2 Gruppen, and also an inventory of serviceable aircraft from March 1942 until September 1943. Throughout the book there are numerous black and white photographs of St.G 2 aircraft in action or being serviced on the ground; none are in colour, and many are of not so great quality, but that is the nature of the beast I guess.

 

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What sets Kagero apart from their competitors is the addition of decals with pretty many of their books in this field. There are decals for four aircraft - all Ju87 Bs- in the three main scales of 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72; each of the aircraft have either two sided or four way colour profiles, plus accompanying notes. The subjects covered are:

 

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Ju87 B-2 Trop T6+DP

 

6./St.G 2 "Immelmann" Tmimi airfield, Libya, Summer 1941 Splinter scheme with extensive tan overspray, creating a blotchy effect. This must be one of the most famous and iconic airframes of the whole Second World War, and yet there are still no pictures of the starboard side, and we still can't decide it seems on what colour 'the snake' was - red spots, or tan? The latter is provided here, in keeping with recent thinking. No photo of this aircraft in the book.

 

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Ju87 B-2 WNr 313 T6+IH

 

I./St.G 2 "Immelmann" Krainici airfield, Bulgaria, March 1941 Standard splinter scheme. Actually rather dull, save for the large 'Scotty' dog emblem on either side. No photo of this aircraft in the book.

 

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Ju87 B-2 T6+HL

 

3./St.G 2 "Immelmann" Tyrkovo airfield, Russia, Autumn 1941 Splinter scheme with yellow theatre markings - fuselage band and underside wing tips. Scotty dog on yellow background this time. Once again, no photo of this aircraft in the book.

 

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Ju87 B-2 +G

 

Probably 3./St.G 2 "Immelmann" Gortskovo airfield, Russia, December 1941 Heavy winter whitewash obscures nearly all the splinter underneath. Brushed whitewash produces an apparent 'shark mouth' on the radiator fairing - whether intended or not, I am not decided. This aircraft is pictured on p21, so see what you think?

 

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Some observations on the decals and their subjects. First, they are printed by Cartograf, and therefore will be of excellent quality. However, the whitewashed aircraft aside, the other subjects for which decals are provided are not shown in any photos. I would much prefer to have photographic confirmation of what I am modelling - so why not show these pictures, or chose different but similar subjects? And whilst our snake-adorned friend is an obvious choice, the two middle subjects are a trifle drab in my opinion.

 

Conclusion

Overall I think these books are a good combination of elements of a regular decal set, together with an abbreviated unit history. As I said in my previous review, this series is like a blend of an Osprey Aircraft of the Aces book and an EagleCals decal sheet - not the worst combination in the world. Price also needs to be mentioned here: I think it's a fairly good value proposition.

 

Recommended

 

With thanks to Kagero for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

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