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Mistel 4

Started by comrade harps, April 02, 2010, 02:33:34 PM

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comrade harps

Work has started on the Mistel 4 - BF109G-6/R7 with Fiat BR.21 (licensed built Mitsubishi G4M Betty). Intended for Operation Iron Hammer.

Hoping I can make the completion date.

comrade harps

When Fiat sold the B.R.20 bomber to Japan in 1937, Mitsubishi was contracted to support the type in Japanese Army service.  From this connection, Fiat acquired a licence to build Mitsubishi types in Italy, resulting in the G4M being adopted by the Regia Aeronautica as the Fiat B.R.21 (a deliberating misleading designation as it implied that it had been design by Fiats' Ing Rosatelli). Entering service in 1941 with Italians, the Luftwaffe soon acquired the type for service over the Atlantic and as a transport on the Eastern Front. By the time production was complete in October 1943, 194 B.R.21s had been produced in torpedo/bomber, dedicated maritime attack and transport versions, a handful of Luftwaffe machines even being fitted to carry the HS 239A-1 anti-ship missile.

By mid 1944, around 40 B.R.21s remained in the Luftwaffe inventory, spread wide across the Reich ,  including torpedo bombers in Norway, transports on the Eastern Front and others in multi-engine training units in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Two more were operated by the rump Italian Fascist air force.  It was at this time that the type was selected for a special mission.  Fieseler was contracted to convert all surviving B.R.21s into Mistels.

Operation Iron Hammer was planned as a knockout blow against the Red's electricity production capacity. Planned since 1943 and taking a variety of guises, by mid-1944 the plan involved a two-pronged, mass attack with Mistels and was scheduled for March 1945. The northern attack was to use 100 Ju-88 based Mistels against coal and hydro electric plants near and north of Moscow. A simultaneous attack using about 30 B.R.21 based Mistel 4s was planned against two coal fired power stations east of the Urals.

Using Mistel kits produced by Junkers, Fieseler had converted all but 3 surviving B.R.21s into Mistel 4 configuration by December 1944. The 3 missing aircraft were operated by KG 200 on special duties, which included transport support for the Nazi nuclear program in Norway (I/KG 200 – two aircraft) and the testing of tow pole carriage of the Me 328 (II/KG 200). When these aircraft were finally assigned for Mistel conversion in December1944, the program was desperately short of trainers and a most cursory conversion was undertaken. Unlike other Mistel 4s, these late production Mistel 4S trainers retained their typical B.R. 21 Series 1 side blister and dorsal glazing (only painted over for camouflage)  and the aircraft (depicted here) used for the tow pole trails retained its unique rear tow pole slot. Intended for combat after their training use, they also had the standard Mitsel 4 removable plywood nose cone, which was to be replaced by a hollow-charge warhead.

Atop the Mistel 4 sat a Bf 109G-6/R3. Based on previous work by Fieseler with the long-range Bf 109G-1/R2, this aircraft featured underwing drop tanks, long range navaids, the Mistel control kit and an oil tank in place of the fuselage mounted MG 131 machine guns.  However, after a Mistel 4S was shot down by an RAF Mosquito during a training mission near Merseburg in December, the machine guns were re-installed for all training flights.

Assigned to II/ KG 200, Mistel 4 operations moved from  Merseburg  in Germany to Pilsen near Prague in early February 1945. Closer to their targets, Pilsen had the benefit of hosting a Bf 109 G-6 equipped Jagfleigerschule where many ex-bomber pilots were training as fighter pilots. It is noted, though, that all Mistel 4 pilots were already qualified on the Mistel 1S, 2S or 3S trainers.

An ongoing issue with the Mistel 4 part of Iron Hammer was where the pilots in their Bf 109G-6/R3s were meant to land. Recovery to the Reich was beyond their range by early 1945 and a plan to deliver the aircraft as part payment for an unfulfilled Bf 109 order to Turkey was scuppered on 24 February 1945 when Turkey declared war on Germany.  A fanciful plan to recover to neutral Afghanistan was briefly discussed after the Turkish announcement, but by then the Operation was quickly losing its credibility as the Red Army was in the process of seizing the East Prussian airfields from which the north bound Mistels were to launch their attack.

On 27 February, Operation Iron Hammer was officially postponed. The northern air assault was beyond the range of the Ju-88 Mistels, which had by now been re-assigned to tactical targets and only around 20 Mistel 4s were still airworthy, with nowhere sensible left for their pilots to land. When the Red Army occupied Pilsen after the cessation of hostilities in May they found that most of the Mistel 4s had been either damaged by Allied air attacks or demolished by the Nazis.

One of the few survivors was the Mistel 4S depicted here. As evidenced by its side and dorsal glazed fairings, this was a 1940 or 1941 built B.R.21 Series 1 torpedo bomber for the Regia Aeronautica and would have been converted to the B.R.21 T transport configuration in mid-1942. It may have been one of 9 B.R.21 T s transferred to the Luftwaffe's KGrzbV 21 in November 1942 during the Battle of Volgograd, although another B.R.21 T was seized by the Luftwaffe in September 1943.  From February 1943 all Luftwaffe B.R.21 Ts were assigned to I/KG 200. This unit undertook a variety of high priority and clandestine long range transport missions. This aircraft definitely appears in photographs dating from mid-to-late 1944  at Rechlin in association with testing of the tow pole carriage of the Me 328 pulse jet powered lightweight fighter, at which time it was assigned to II/ KG 200.  The unique slotted tail cone used for these tests was retained when the plane was converted to Mistel 4S trainer standard. These modifications were undertaken by Fieseler at Merseburg from December 1944 and the aircraft was delivered back to II/KG 200 in January, moving to Pilsen in February, where the Red Army found it intact on 10 May.



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Sweet & Good Loking. did you Paint All the camo? Great Work :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :cheers:Dan

comrade harps

Quotedid you Paint All the camo?

All brush painted by me. I wanted the '109 to look grey and dirty and the Betty scheme was inspired by some colour profiles I've seen of He 177s.



Oh man That is excellent!  :wacko: Makes you do a double take  :cheers:
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Terrific, the G4M does make you look twice  :thumbsup:
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Absolutely stunning! Great work.
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I think I'll make one at 1/144eme. This restores the interest to the Mitsubishi and why not a mistel Italian with a MC202/205 on back... (Br21 +Mc202... :wub:)


looking good - keep up the good work


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