Tamiya 1/48 FW-190 A3, Werk Number 223, Hans “Assi” Hahn, Gruppenkommandeur III / JG 2
This article is part of a series:
- Kasserine Pass GB: 1/48 scale Tamiya FW-190A , Oblt. E. Rudorffer, CO 6 / JG2 Tunisia
- 1/48 Tamiya FW-190 A8, “Otto Kittel” 2. JG 54, Black 1, Werk Number 690 282
- 1/48 Tamiya FW-190 A4, as Flown by Leutnant Eberhard Von Burath, Adjutant 1 Gruppe / JG 1
- Tamiya 1/48 FW-190 A3, Werk Number 223, Hans “Assi” Hahn, Gruppenkommandeur III / JG 2
This is something that I have been meaning to do for a while... I'm finally posting the last FW 190 from the series of four planes that I built for the Kasserine Pass Group Build. Thanks again Dave Thomas, @davidathomas
for coming up with the idea, and helping to encourage all of us along the way when we felt as if we were "hitting the wall...
This model was strictly a straight from the box build. It was a typical Tamiya experience and posed no problems at all. I didn't have to use any filler at all since the fit was spot on.
This one was finished using Model Master enamels. I chose to use the early War Luftwaffe colors of RLM 02 / 71 over 65. From what I have read, the early FW-190's were delivered in this color combination. It's use was supposedly stopped somewhere during the late A3 and early A4 variants, when the Focke Wulf factories swapped over to the more commonly seen "Mid War" camouflage colors of RLM 74 / 75 /76.
The FW-190 was the result of Dipl-Ing Kurt Tank. It was designed to be very "user friendly" with ease of maintenance, rapid production, and high performance all wrapped up in one package. The wide track landing gear made it much easier to land (and taxi), that it's stable mate, the Bf-109. The Fw-190 also used the BMW-801 radial engine which didn't have a cooling system since it was air cooled. This would be an advantage over the 109 in Russia, and was less susceptible to being brought down since it lacked a radiator and coolant lines.
However the very first Fw 190's had problems with the original engine (the BMW 139) overheating. On it's first test flight, the pilot reported that it was like he was flying with his feet in a fire place! These problems were eventually worked out, and the plane was put into wide spread use as a fighter by the Luftwaffe. It served on all Fronts (Western, Eastern and Mediterranean / North Africa) at one time or another.
Gunther Rall, who was the worlds third highest ranking fighter ace of all time, (with 275 confirmed victories), and who flew the BF-109, is supposed to have stated something like this about the stable mate 109... and it's narrow track landing gear.
"There are 109 pilots that have ground looped a 109, and those that are about too!"
When the type was first encountered by the RAF, it came as a nasty surprise. It outclassed the Spitfire in every area of performance, and was heavier armed to boot. Not many people know this, but the two aircraft from WW2 that had the fastest roll rate, was the F4U Corsair... and the FW-190, both of which are among my favorite types.
It was the dominant fighter on the Western Front until the Spitfire Mk V entered service with the RAF. Nothing could match it in any area of performance. It was the machine you didn't want to encounter in aerial combat. Unless you had it in your view from this direction...
and then it probably wouldn't remain there too long if there was an experienced pilot at the controls... Like Hans Hahn, seen in this autographed photo below.
Who flew the original plane that my model was built after. I found these pictures of his plane online.
and tried to replicate the effects to see how close my model came to the original by using a black and white photo filter. I think I am pretty close... Here's the model. Photographed in a similar pose in Black and White.
Followed by a color picture of the model.
I found an original photo online showing 64 victories displayed on the rudder of the original.
Where the Tamiya kit supplied decals show 61. (and now I see where the decal has folded over during application... something I missed earlier. Ooops!)
Hans Hahn regularly had his personal emblem, which was a rooster, routinely painted on the nose of planes he flew. Here you can see it on the cowling of the 190. In German, the word Hahn literally translates into "Rooster'...
Hans Hahn was born in Gotha (present day Thuringia) on April 14th, 1914. He had an older sister name Kate. On April 1st, 1934, just 13 days before his 20th birthday, Hans enlisted into the German Army (then called the Reichswehr) as an Officer Candidate. He served in the Infantry and was promoted to the rank of Corporal only eight months later in December of 1934.
The following month in January 1935, Hans went to the "War College" in Munich, where he was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant on October 1st.
He attended classes at the War College until November, 1935, when he transferred into the Luftwaffe and began flight training.
The following year on April 1st, while still in flight school, Hans was promoted again, this time to the rank of Second Lieutenant. 14 days later he was posted to 4/ JG 134 "Horst Wessel" at Werl near Dortmund. While assigned to JG 134, he regularly flew Arado Ar 65 and Ar 68's, until the new Messerschmitt Bf-109 arrived. The unit first received the "B" model, then shortly afterwards the switched over to the "D-1" variant.
Hahn was a very gifted athlete, and was asked to participate in the 1936 Olympics in the Pentathlon event. This event is a culmination of skills that would typically be used by a soldier. These Olympic "pentathlon" events include fencing, pistol shooting, a cross country run, horseback jumping, and freestyle swimming.
Unfortunately for Hans, shortly before the Olympics began, he became ill and had to withdraw from the event.
The assignment at 4 / JG 134 ended on October 31st, 1937. The next day he was assigned to the Fighter Flying School "Jagdfliegerschule" at Werneuchen near Berlin, as an instructor on November 1st, 1937. Here he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and served as a Flight Leader or "Staffelfuhrer".
Afterwards Hahn was again transferred, this time to II / JG 3 after February 1st, 1939. It is here that he introduces the "Rooster" emblem that we see on most of his planes. On December 15th, 1939, he was promoted to Staffelkapitain of 4 / JG 2.
With the start of the "Battle for France", II / JG 2 moved to Munster, and then to airfields in Belgium. On May 14th, 1940, he made his first victory claim, which was a RAF Hawker Hurricane. Hans eventually claimed 5 kills during the "Battle for France".
With the Battle of Britain starting shortly afterwards, the number of victories he claimed continued to rise. By September 1940, he had over 20 claims and was awarded the "Knights Cross of the Iron Cross".
With the medal came yet another promotion, this time to the rank of Hauptman and he also became the Gruppenkommandeur of III / JG 2. By August of 1941, Hans had achieved 41 victories, and was awarded the "Oak Leaves" to his Iron Cross. Hitler presented the award personally on August 27th.
Two other Luftwaffe "Experten" were present, also accepting Oak Leaves for their Iron Crosses at the Wolfs Lair. These other two pilots were Hans Phillip and Heinz Bar. Hahn became an "Ace in a Day" while flying this FW-190 I have modelled. He shot down five Spitfires on May 6th, 1942. These planes were victory numbers 61 - 65 and should closely correspond with the victory tally shown on the rudder of this build. Hahn scored 68 victories in the West, including 62 RAF Fighter Command Spitfires and Hurricanes and 4 heavy bombers.
Following his 66th claim, which was a Spitfire Mk V, he was posted to the "Ost Front" shortly thereafter, as the new Commander of II / JG 54, the famous "Green Hearts", serving near Leningrad. Within 3 months, he scored another 42 kills, this time they were Soviet machines. Hahn scored 8 Russian fighters in one day on January 6, 1943.
He claimed his 100th victim on January 26th, 1943. Hans was the 34th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the "Century" mark.
On the morning of February 21st, 1943, he had plans to fly to Riga for a meeting with Luftflotte I Command Staff. Because it was not going to be a regular combat flight, he didn't carry his sidearm, and was not wearing his usual combat flight suit. As he was walking to his plane, which was a BF-109 G2 / R6, his regular wingman (Max Stotz who would eventually score 189 victories and fly more than 700 missions during the War) ran out to him with an urgent request for fighter support over the Demyansk Pocket...
So Hans jumped into his 109 and took off. Near Staraya Russia, they encountered enemy fighters. He shot down a Lavochkin La-5 for number 108 - and was promptly shot at by another Soviet fighter. Some sources state it was flown by Soviet Ace Pavel Grazhdaninov (13 victories) of 169 IAP.
Some hits were scored in the left wing of his Bf-109. Hans promptly broke off the engagement and attempted to return to base. As he was flying back, the Diamler Benz in his 109 began overheating, and he force landed behind enemy lines...
Where he was captured and held as a Prisoner of War by the Russians until 1950... Hans flew a total of at least 560 sorties, Scored 108 victories, with 68 on the Western Front, 40 on the Eastern front, along with 36 more listed as "probable".
Upon his release he wrote a book about his experiences and eventually went to work as the director of a company named Wano Schwarzpulver Company, that manufactured gunpowder.
In 1971 he was married, and he retired in 1977. Several years later on December 18th, 1982, he died of cancer in Munich. Hans was buried in Tirol, Austria with his lifelong friend Julius Meimberg speaking at the memorial service. He was 68 years old.
In case you're interested in looking at what went into this build, here's a link to the construction article that was part of the "Kasserine Pass" Group Build.
This Tamiya kit has a few small "errors", but to me it looks just fine, and looks like a FW-190 in the end. I'm happy with how it turned out, (other than the rudder decal for the "kill" markings), and I hope you have enjoyed the article as well.
Thanks for looking!