Fw190A-8/R8 “Sturmbock” bomber killers skirt guns of one bomb group as they stalk the lead group.
During World War II, the youth of both sides met in the air over Germany, each experiencing the devastating effectiveness of their opponent’s weapons. Lt. Klaus Bretschneider, Staffelkapitan of the 5th Staffel of II Group of Jasgdeschwader 300, a specialized bomber destroying unit, leads his staffel past the American B-17s of the 384th Bomb Group based at Grafton Underwood, England. Flying his Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8, Red 1, “Rauhbautz VII” (Street Fighter), Bretschneider, with his 17 year old wingman Unteroffizier Mattaus Erhard to his right, positions his staffel to attack another targeted American unit up ahead. While the Americans faced the German 20mm and 30mm cannon of II./jg 300, these airmen faced the combined fire of 13 50 caliber machine guns and 9,000 rounds of ammunition in each B-17 in the large American formations. Each side recognized the other as “Real Trouble”!
Ever since we researched the B-17 mural “Fortresses Under Fire” which I created on the back wall of the WWII Gallery in the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, in 1976. I have been deeply interested in the defending German fighter units and pilots. This painting is one of several that I have completed on this subject.