Messerschmitt Bf 109D-1
Messerschmitt Bf 109D-1 6•79 ‘Luchs’, Hauptmann Werner Molders,
3.J/88, ‘Legion Condor’, The Spanish Civil War, November 1938
A war between Nationalists and Republicans the Spanish Civil War is highly complex but in 1936 Hitler decided to support the Nationalist forces which were led by General Franco, this German involvement was to be called ‘Operation Magic Fire’.
Many of the German pilots who fought in the Spanish Civil War with ‘Legion Condor’ would go on to acheive greater fame as aces in the Battle of Britain only a few years later. German pilots involved in the Spanish Civil War would include Adolf Galland, Heinrich Ehrler, Wolfgang Schellmann, Eduard Neumann, and Werner Molders.
The Spanish Civil War was also the debut for a new German fighter which was later to become a legend in the hands of the Luftwaffe in World War II, this fighter was the Messerschmitt Bf 109. This new monoplane fitted with leading edge slats, a powerful Daimler Benz engine and four machine guns outclassed all Republican aircraft in combat and in the hands of the German pilots it was deadly.
Werner Molders was one such pilot, affectionately known as ‘Vati’ (father) he was the highest scoring German pilot of the Spanish Civil War with fourteen victories against the Republicans, although his aircraft bares fifteen ‘kills’. The aircraft also carries the title ‘Luchs’ (Lynx) thought to be a reference to Molders having eyes like a Lynx.
Molders developed the tactic of assembling his fighters in a loose formation of four (the Schwarm), tactics which were to stand the fighters of the Luftwaffe in good stead during the Battle of Britain.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 5.41″ (137.5 mm)
Base size 6.37″ (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 5.5 ozs (153 grams) Limited edition of 100 only