Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Verlinden Modeling Magazine Vol.7 No.2

By August 1944 the Chief of Development of the Ministry of Aviation - Oberst Knemayer -was asked to come up with a solution to counter Allied bombing raids, which were at that time virtually bombing the Reich out of existence. What was needed was something cheap, fast, well-armed, and deadly for ending the Allied air supremacy over Germany. A difficult demand, but Knemayer went to work. The result was the Bachem 8-349 Al "Natter". The small, easy-to-build aircraft was launched vertically from its pad straight into the incoming Allied bombers. The pilot then fired the 24 73mm rockets into the Allied formation, glided away with a speed of almost 300 km/h, and landed safely with a parachute. At least, that was the general idea. The single manned flight resulted in the death of the pilot. Due to the increasing and overwhelming bombing and strafing by Allied airplanes (who shot at everything visible), by the war's end most manufacturing, repair, and maintenance on military equipment was carried out in caves or under the cover of trees. This small 1:48 diorama shows a Natter workshop hurriedly abandoned during the Allied advance on Germany in 1945. A group of USAAF pilots and mechanics are investigating with gr^at interest their bizarre war prize.