BLUF

This article argues that the WW2 German Fw190 aircraft was, in purely platform terms, better than the Spitfire V. However, inadequate logistics, poor leadership and ineffective doctrine meant that the Germans could never exploit the qualitative edge in capability terms that the Fw190 should have provided.

Summary

This article by Andrew Critchell in History Hit makes the following points about the Focke Wulf Fw190:
  • Radial engine with square wings.
  • Called the 'Butcher Bird'.
  • 4 x 20mm cannon and 2 x 7.9mm heavy machine guns.
  • Its impressive performance contributed to the German fighter cover enabling the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau to transit the English Channel,.
  • Better dive, climb, rate of roll and speed (40-56kph), than the Spitfire.
  • In the ill-fated raid on Dieppe, the allies lost 90 Spitfire Vs compared to Germany, which lost 23 Fw190As.
  • The Spitfire V's were designed to improve high altitude performance against the Bf109F, not the Fw190.

Worth noting that due to the allied bombing campaign and the Soviet advance, Germany could not produce sufficient aircraft to replace its losses. Note the following regarding D-Day:

"This overwhelming Allied airpower and the earlier air attacks on German airfields in France limited the German air force (Luftwaffe) in France to only 60 aircraft in commission out of 160, which flew a mere 200 sorties on D-Day itself."

Key to success: Allied airpower at Normandy > Air Education and Training Command > Article Display (af.mil)

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    Source Information: History Hit