One of the deadliest air superiority fighters of WW2, the Fw 190A-8 ‘Anton’ also punched above its weight for the Luftwaffe as a bomber-killer, fighter-bomber and night fighter. Armed with four wing-mounted MG 151 20 mm cannons and two nose-mounted 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, the single-seat Anton bit really hard in a scrap.
Combined with the Fw 190 A-8’s speed, rates of climb and dive and all-round agility, this fearsome amount of firepower gave Allied pilots a real challenge. Even the P-51D Mustang and the Mk.IX Spitfire struggled to match it in a dogfight. When they did land rounds on it, the Anton’s side and rear cockpit armour and armoured engine cowling made it harder to down.
The A-8 could also be loaded with unguided rockets and bombs, including the giant, Werfer-Granate 21 cm spin-stabilised rocket. This delivered a 40.8 kg (90 lb) warhead with a lethal blast area of about 30 metres (100 ft). Launched into massed Allied bomber fleets by packs of Antons, where they didn’t actually bring down the bombers, these mighty munitions forced the tight formations to split, leaving individual aircraft open to attack.
A powerful BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder radial engine gave the Anton a top speed of 654 km/h (408 mph) and an initial climb rate of 720 m (2,363 ft) per minute.
Strong, wide-track undercarriage allowed the Fw 190A-8 to operate from rough front-line airfields. More than 6,650 Fw 190 variants were produced in the last two years of the war. Many of the Luftwaffe's aces racked up their impressive victory counts in the Anton, but you can match it in the Spitfire Mk IX. Try both and see who comes out on top.