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Luka

FW190 Strikethrough swastika

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Hi all,

I'm looking for some info on JG.54 FW190A-8's that had a big white stripe through the tail swastika.
I did find several colour profiles and 3d renderings, but only two photos of one plane with this feature.

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Also, did this actually have a political reason? It sure looks very prominent.

Gr,
L

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Most likely the white stripe was photoshopped in modern times to make it less prominent and avoid prosecution on countries than have the Swastka banned.

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15 minutes ago, Sturmovik said:

Most likely the white stripe was photoshopped in modern times to make it less prominent and avoid prosecution on countries than have the Swastka banned.

Doesn't look like it, the stripe extends onto the rudder. Besides there're more convincing ways to Photoshop out a swastika.

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Could it be a wreck postwar, and the powers that be were just blotting out the image of the swastika with a bucket of white paint ? 

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Hi

     Looks like a photo that had been modified for an e bay sale

 

   maybe a german seller? 

 

    quite a few of e bay photos have lines like this 

   cheers

     jerry 

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Here's the second photo;

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If this was censored, then I suspect it may have been done on the negative itself; the stripe has the same 'grit' as the rest of the pic, and if this would be a modern (Photoshop) censoring, I guess it would have been done differently (as Oldynewby pointed out).

The profile and 3d images I found are from 'black 7', which is depicted with a similar stripe.
I don't know if they are based on these same photos, or that other photo material exists of that plane. I usually don't trust artwork if it's not backed by wartime photos.



 

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When Rudel and his unit flew to surrender to the Americans, they had 2 thin white strips painted onto the rudder as an indication of there intentions. Could this be the same thing. Also, they deliberatly made heavy landings to break the undercarrage and reck the aircraft. Could it be the same here.

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The line looks... wrong... like it's not painted on and is at a different angle, liek a drawing where the perspecitive is not quite right. I agree that this is most likely a post-war edit of the photos that has been transferred onto modern scans of the censored images.

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Posted (edited)

I strongly disagree that this is faked in any way.

 

The classic French Docavia book Le Focke-Wulf 190, in addition to the two shots of “Black 15” seen here, has the shot attached below, an A-8 “Black 17” with a near-identical long stripe. (And I’m 90%+ certain I’ve seen photos of another machine with a shorter version of the stripe - maybe “Black 7” from the Cutting Edge decal sheet linked above - but alas can’t put eyes on it at the moment.)

 

Sometimes it pays to look in a good old-fashioned book! The Docavia was published in 1981, thus well pre-dating Ebay. The idea that they were doctored for online sale doesn't seem to hold water, and this is a pretty poor way to obliterate the swastika too.

 

The “Black 15” shots also appear in volume 5, section 3 of Classic Publication’s Jagdwaffe series. They note that the marking was used in the “new” III./JG 54 (formed in early 1945 from ZG 76, soon after JG 54’s original III gruppe became IV./JG 26). Their speculations about the stripe include: a simple unit insignia; theater marking for the Oder river area; a formation-keeping device for poor visibility conditions.

 

I’ve often wondered if there might have subtle political undertones to this, though. Not all pilots were ardent Nazis; earlier in the war, for example some JG 53 pilots completely painted over the hakenkreuz on their Bf 109E’s, after Goering censured their CO for marrying a woman of Jewish heritage...

 

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Edited by MDriskill

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I have to agree that the white marking on the tail is not some kind of censoring on the photos or negatives.  It is just too precise, and at the rudder edge ends neatly and does not continue into the background of the photos.  The stripe also follows the linear perspective of the image - all details that the person doing the censoring would not bother to  consider.

 

In my googling,  an Osprey publication did touch briefly on this peculiar marking, and they too were unsure whether it was a tactical or possibly political statement.  As MDriskill points out above, it is possible it served both purposes.

 

regards,

Jack

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, MDriskill said:

They speculate that the stripe might have been a simple unit insignia, a theater marking for the Oder river area, or a formation-keeping device for poor visibility conditions.

I can't see a theatre or unit marking being allowed to obscure the swastika, it being the force identifier. Also I don't think that the Luftwaffe flew such regimented formations as to warrant a formation marker, why not just use the swastika?

 

14 hours ago, MDriskill said:

I’ve often wondered if there might have subtle political undertones to this, though.

Could be. Although the Nazi Party weren't really known for their compassion in the face of dissent!

 

Could it (they) have been captured aircraft used for evaluation, or as Bish states, defectors?

Edited by Oldynewby

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I've looked at the leading photo closely and can say that IMO the white stripe was applied to the original aircraft and not added to the negative or a photographic print as a way of censoring out the swastika. In this enlargement you can see that the stripe is not continuous, as it conforms to the different angles of the fin and rudder. This doesn't provide any info on why it was done, but at least we can say that it was on the actual aircraft.

Bob

fin.jpg

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The pic posted by MDriskill seems to show German personel around the aircraft and what looks like an SS 100 tractor. That might rule out my surrendering theory.

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That pic MDriskill posted blows away the censored photo theory IMO. The stripe really looks to be painted on the actual plane.

 

As I started the post, the JG53 story did come to mind (where Hermann Meyer ordered the Pik As emblem to be overpainted with a 'red band of shame', to which some pilots reacted by overpainting the tail swatikas to 'make more room for their kill marks'). But since I was still somewhat unsure about the background history of the first two pics, I didn't want to pose a theory yet.

The surrender- sabotage crash landing theory may be another thing, as the war was all but finished for the Luftwaffe at that point. The photos of crashed planes might seem to confirm this.
Then again; why would Luftwaffe personnel inspect a surrendering aircraft? Also, there wasn't really a lack of abandoned German aircraft for the Allies to inspect..

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Posted (edited)

For what it’s worth, this is the other photo I tried to find for my first post...! 😬  The image and profile are from FW-190 In Foreign Service, Captured Butcherbirds Vol. 2, by Kecay Publishing. Note that the machine is pictured being toyed with by its new American owners, with lower cowl panels off and engine running.

 

Not a very good photo (and the caption describes it as an F-8 when an A-8 seems more likely), but the white stripe and black III./JG 54 markings match up to “Black 15” and “Black 17” above well enough. The book has a second photo of this aircraft, which unfortunately has two soldiers completely blocking the view of the fin.

 

One of my favorite aviation historians likes to say, "Logical assumption is the opposite of research!” But since all three of these machines are from the same Staffel, the best assumption for now may be that the stripe was simply to help them find each other in the air.

 

 

0-D3-F279-E-C246-4-B19-8-BD4-F4-AD200-CD

Edited by MDriskill

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If it was scratched out on the *negative* it would be a black stripe.  To get a white stripe, someone would have to have used some kind of opaque substance to paint the negative - highly unlikely.  

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Not unlikely at all.

All good dark rooms kept a pot of Kodak Negative Opaque.

It was red in colour, like WW2 British roundel red. As the photo paper was not red light sensitive the blocked out area showed as white.

I often used it to block out details on a negative, especially security service vehicles and faces. As the opaque was water soluble it could be washed off at a later date.

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Seems we have a conspiracy theory, is it genuine or isn't it...…………..overwhealthing evidence its real, yet, still we have people trying there hardiest to prove its photoshopped or something other has been done to the pic or neg...…….its an interesting thread, one that's really getting some enthusiast's hot under the collar 

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a thought; if the line was to obliterate the swastika, why just a line? why not paint it out the way the Bulgarian, Hungarians, Italians painted it out in a block

I think I support this idea:

4 hours ago, MDriskill said:

 . . . But since all three of these machines are from the same Staffel, the simplest logical assumption for now may be that the stripe was simply to help them find each other in the air.

 

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Posted (edited)

These are real markings, not speculation, political statements, censorship or photoshopping. Rayprit above is right - we are in danger of ignoring the evidence in front of us.

 

Here is another example from the aircraft graveyard at Flensburg in May 1945. Source is 'Jet & Prop Foto-Archiv Band 6 (1996) Spezial Ausgabe Mai 1945: Die Luftwaffe Kapituliert' VDM Heinz Nickel Zweibrucken . Images posted for the purposes of research. Note the caption to the picture (which I have carelessly cut in half on the photo!) stating the tail stripe marking was indicative of service in III/JG54.

 

Look at the FW190 with its tail towards us in the lower of the 2 pictures posted below, with an enlargement below that. The Fw190 appears to be coded 'Yellow 11' with a III Gruppe bar. So, another Staffel within III/JG54 compared with the pictures and profiles above. Note that III/JG54 used their own version of the III Gruppe marking - 'a shallow wavy line' according to Urbanke. This marking would usually identify the IV Gruppe. The tail marking must have been short lived because photos taken in February 1945 of Fw190s of III/JG54 show the 'wavy line' but no tail stripe. Source: 'Luftwaffe im Focus Spezial No2' (2006) 1945 Die letzen Monate der Luftwaffe Luftfahrtverlag-Start Bad Zwischhenan

 

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SD

 

 

Edited by SafetyDad

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Postscript on reading this thread again from the start:

 

Note that other FW190s in this picture have their Hakenkreuz visible alongside this aircraft - so its definitely not post exposure picture censoring.

 

Regarding the political statement idea, all I would say is that these markings are late 1945, so post the assassination attempt on Hitler and at exactly the same time as roving SS Kangaroo Courts were roaming Germany summarily executing any member of the armed forces felt to be deserting or disloyal. Not the ideal time for a public display of anti-Nazi feeling...

 

SD  

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Although punishment for attacking the Nazi top may have been harsh, quite a few high ranking officers still openly criticised Göring on his mismanagement of dwindling Luftwaffe resources. The 'Luftwaffe fighter pilots revolt' caused a lot of commotion at a time when enemy pressure peaked. Officers were relieved of their command, but as we all know this didn't solve the problem. And the pilots themselves were possibly too much needed to even consider imprisonment when the full force of the Allies was now completely focused on Germany itself.
Salient detail, one of the prominent supporters of the revolt was Hannes Trautloft, former commander of III/JG54. This may give the 'anti-nsdap-theory' one more point, but we'll probably never know for sure.
So to daringly put a big stripe through the official party symbol when easily another, less authority-challenging marking could have been chosen? It would be a fitting final middle finger to the party top as the Luftwaffe was about to collapse.
Just my theory on this.

And maybe also aliens 😛

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A slightly tongue-in-cheek reply to you Luka:

 

The pilots revolt was earlier in January 1945 and you're right - there were serious consequences for the main participants including banishment to Italy for Lutzow and removal from post for others such as Steinhoff.  Arrest warrants were issued for Galland and Steinhoff. However, and this is important, the revolt was not against Nazism, but against Goering's strategic decision making, use of resources and behaviour. Shortly before this meeting in November 1944 Goering had accused Walter Dahl in front of his officers of cowardice during a visit to his Gruppe. Remember too that Trautloft left JG54 in July 1943 to become Jagdflieger Inspizient Ost.

 

But, more seriously, I would ask that we put this idea of political demonstration to one side. We have no evidence for this - it must remain as speculation. Perhaps we are viewing events of 75 years ago through today's eyes that are used to expressions of disagreement and protest. Germany in 1945 was different.

 

The evidence, such as we have, is that the markings were real and used across Staffeln within III/JG54. It is rather strange that the stripe runs across the Hakenkreuz but that's all we can say. Other authors (as outlined above) have wondered if the markings were formation or theatre based?

 

SD

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