Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3

White 2, Flown by Unteroffizier Herbert Rollwage, 4./JG 53, Weisbaden-Erbenheim/Gremany late October 1939

After the attack on Polen ended on 27 September 1939 Hitler instructed the Armed Forces of Germany to plan an attack on France, the date of the attack was set on 25 November 1939. The commander of the army was chocked by the Führer´s decision, so was the commander of the Luftwaffe, Göring. As a consequence the Jagdwaffe was transferred to the West to bolster the defense. Jagdgeschwader 53 together with JG 2 was to be deployed at the southwestern Germany and deployed into four sectors, 1. Schnee-Eifel to Trier, 2. Trier to Merzig, 3. Sierek to Saarlautern, 4. Merzig to Saarbrücken. As no attack, despite Hitlers intentions the stalemate in the border area commenced, the so called "Sitzkrieg". The II Gruppen that by this time was commanded by Oblt. Kurt Brändle had few encounters with the enemy, the 4 Staffeln had a brief skirmish near Vöklingen with a number of British Blenheims on 13 October. However as the weather detoriate the number of missions in October saw a significant reductions. Instead many pilots in the Gruppe was to be engage in training new pilots in the newly established III./JG 53 at Weisbaden-Erbenheim. One of those pilots was Uffz. Herbert Rollwage. Rollwage had joined the Luftwaffe in 1936 at an aged of 20. Although consider a veteran by the standard of the new pilots in the third Gruppe he would not find "his shooting eye" until he was assigned to 5./JG 53. Here he would claim his first abschuss on 22 June 1941, the opening day of Operation Barbarossa, downing a SB-2 twin engine VVS bomber. When the war ended he was officially credited with 71 victories, however some sources credit Lt. Herbert Rollwage with as much as 102 victories, including 44 four-engined bombers.

Note the very innovative and for JG 53 typical new high-altitude offensive camouflage, consisting of an RLM 65/RLM 04 oversspray on the part of the wings and most of the fuselage sides, hiding most of the original RLM 70/71 dark Green camou.

This profie, one of four made this week would be included in the upcoming Book No 14

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