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JG 51 - Jagdgeschwader Mölders - Units 4


Mikester
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JG 51 - Jagdgeschwader Mölders


Kagero - Units 4
by Marek J. Murawski
Available from Kagero Publishing for €16.71

 

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Werner "Vati" Mölders was one of the Luftwaffe's early luminaries and the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the first pilot in to claim 100 aerial victories and was highly decorated for his achievements. He was instrumental in the development of new fighter tactics which led to the finger four formation. Mölders joined the Luftwaffe in 1934 at the age of 21. In 1938, he volunteered for service in the Legion Kondor, which supported General Franco's Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War, and shot down 15 aircraft. During the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain he claimed another 53 enemy aircraft.

 

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With his tally standing at 68 victories, Mölders and his unit, Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51), were transferred to the East in June 1941 for the opening of Operation Barbarossa.. By the end of 22 June 1941, the first day of Barbarossa, he had added another four victories to his tally and a week later, Mölders surpassed Manfred Von Richtofen's 1918 record of 80 victories. By mid-July, he had 100. Prevented from flying further combat missions for propaganda reasons, at the age of 28 Mölders was promoted to Oberst, and appointed Inspector General of Fighters.. He was inspecting the Luftwaffe units in the Crimea when he was ordered to Berlin to attend the state funeral of Ernst Udet, the World War I flying ace.

 

On the flight to Berlin, the Heinkel He 111 in which he was traveling as a passenger encountered a heavy thunderstorm during which one of the aircraft's engines failed. While attempting to land, the Heinkel crashed at Breslau, killing Mölders and two others. Following his death, JG 51 would bear the honorific "Mölders".

 

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Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51) Mölders is the subject of the latest installment in the "Units" series by Kagero. JG 51's pilots won more Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes than any other Jagdgeschwader, and flew combat from 1939 in all major theatres of war. Flying Bf 109s and then Fw 190s, the wing claimed over 8,000 air victories. Experten included 'Toni' Hafner, Heinrich Hoffmann, Heinz Bär, Richard Leppla, Karl-Gottfried Nordmann, Günther Schack and of course the legendary Mölders. The book follows the familiar format of it's predecessors, 32 pages presented in a soft cover landscape format with English text containing a chronological overview of the unit's history supplemented with 40 photos; tables of unit commanders and planes used as well as color profiles of 4 aircraft painted by Janusz Światłoń and Arkadiusz Wróbel.

 

A decal sheet printed by Cartograf contains 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 individual markings for four different aircraft. The narrative begins with the unit's pre-war history, starting off in 1937and contains some interesting photos of early Emils and even an He 51 biplane. It moves on to the campaigns in Poland (minimal participation) the "Phony War" and the Battle of France. After covering the Battle of Britain the focus shifts to and primarily remains on operations in the Soviet Union and the East, although some space is devoted to the Mediterranean theater and the defense of the Reich as well. The text provides a broad historical overview with some achievements by individual pilots and it's squarely aimed at giving you the big picture of the unit rather than a day by day detailed diary. The photos are a nice mix of 109s and 190s and even a couple late war D-9's thrown is as well. The combination of the text and photos should be enough to satisfy most casual historians and modelers. So let's take a look inside.

 

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Four color profiles and accompanying decals are provided:

  1. Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4; W.Nr. 1641, 'Black 6', flown by Hptm. Ernst Wiggers, Kapitän of 2./JG 51, St. Inglevert airfield, France, early September 1940
  2. Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2; W.Nr. 6797; flown by Hptm. Hartmann Grasser, Kommandeur of II./JG 51, probably Orel-Nord airfield, Russia, mid-July 1942
  3. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6; W.Nr. 550182, 'Black 7', flown by Ofw. Josef Jennewein of 2./JG 51, Orel-West airfield, Russia, July 1943
  4. Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6; W.Nr. 442013, 'Black 1', flown by Oblt. Anton Hafner,Kapitän of 10./JG 51, Hüttenfelde airfield, East Prussia, October 1944

 

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I think Hauptmann Grasser's F-2 will be the clear favorite here with it's full array of unit markings and Luftsieg on the rudder.

Decals are beautifully printed by Cartograf, perfect register and minimal carrier film. Not that we expect anything different!

 

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So what do we think?

Another interesting installment in the "Units" series, providing a little bit everything to the historian and/or modeler at an attractive price.

 

Highly Recommended!

 

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

 

Mike O.

 

 

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I do not believe you did this review as I fail to see a glass of beer in any of the pictures.

 

That's because I do all my reviews before 0800, after that all bets are off!

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