Sunday, December 14, 2014

Painting Victory Bars

Reputedly identified as Oberfeldwebel Franz Dietrich Fadenau is showing painting "kill marks" on the tail of his Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2. This photo was taken at the Eastern front in 1942. So far 12 abschußbalken visible: 8 on the Eastern Front (note the red star), while the rest were English or French aircraft. Later Fadenau got shot down as he was on the way home from a mission. His body was never found. Abschußbalken, or victory bars, usually painted on the rudders (of Bf 109s and Bf 110s alike). Also common was the custom of painting the propeller spinners in Staffel-specific colours. Bright-coloured rudders and engine cowlings, in turn, helped to quickly distinguish friend from foe in the heat of an air battle. The image presented here are from the book "Fliegende Front" by Hauptmann Walter Eberhard Freiherr von Medem and published in 1942 by Verlag "Die Wehrmacht" KG. in Berlin. The book must be regarded as typical propaganda material to show the German population how well the war was progressing. "Die Wehmacht" itself published a series of other propaganda books during the war. They also released sets of photo postcards from the war


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