Hungarian Bf 109s

The first Hungarian produced Me109 – still Ga-4 – was finished on November 21, 1942. Its first flight was on December 30, 1942.

In October 1942, Germany gave Hungary 50 Bf109F-4s, which were used to re-equip Re.2000 units. 40 Ju87D-1s, 30 Ju87D-5s, 6 Bf110G-4s, and 160 Me210s (which the Germans were happy to get rid of) were added to the Hungarian Air Group to be used on the Russian Front.

By May 1943, 50 Bf109G-2s re-equipped 2 squadrons armed with F-4s. By May 1944, 4 squadrons on the Russian Front and 6 for home defense (against British and American bombers based in Italy) were armed with G-6s. By December 1944, The Russians were at the door step of Budapest; all 9 remaining squadrons were armed with G-6s. a few surviving squadrons retreated with the Germans and continued to fly G-6s until May, 1945.

Hungarian produced Bf 109s.

If I understand correctly many of the components were manufactured in Germany and major parts like the fuselage where built in Hungary. Of course late war (dispersed) manufacturing techniques might give reason to believe that perhaps aircraft produced in the latter part of the war of Hungarian origin had a higher quality finish, giving them some advantage. On the other hand German aircraft were designed with mass production in mind, and the component concept was highly developed – the penalty could not have been excessive.

Different circumstances

According to an Franz A. Vajda article Mr. Fritz Wendel visited the MWG (and Dunai Repülõgépgyár Rt.) factories in January 1944 and after some test flights he wrote in his report that the Hungarian produced Messerschmitts (both the Bf 109G and Me-210Ca) had better quality than the German produced ones.

There are two possible reason for this:

First, main components for Hungarian produced Bf 109Gs were made in Hungary except canopy frame and armament (and partially the radio equipment and instruments) delivered from Germany. Although the German industry was very well organized, the Hungarians had some advantage, because the Allied bombing raids started “only” on April 3, 1944 against Hungarian Industry. Between 12-1942 and 03-04-1944 approx. 140 Bf 109G-4/G-6s were produced in MWG Gyõr and until 31-03-1944 some 820 DB605A/B engines were produced in Weiss Manfred factories at Budapest / Csepel in peace conditions. After this date Hungarian factories were damaged by MASAF which caused problems in production / assembly and I’m sure in quality too.

Second, in Hungarian aircraft factories most of the employees had some years of experience in aircraft industry and there were no POW’s, only Hungarian workers by profession. (For contrast just think about German V-2 production in Nordhausen / Mittelwerk underground tunnels with slave workers.)

However I think there were no any major differences in quality and performances between the German and Hungarian / Romanian produced Messerschmitts.

Hungarian Bf 109G-14s and G-10s

Most of the Hungarian G-14 and G-10 appear to have been G-14/U4 and G-10/U4, at least their WkNr appear on WNF/Gyor production lists as such.

The Me-109G was the most numerous of the Messerschmitts, with production reaching 725 a month by July 1943, and that year’s total reaching 6,418 aircraft. In spite of Allied bombing raids against German industry, Me-109 production for 1944 reached 14,212. In addition to the Messerschmitts produced in Germany, Hungary built about 700 Me-109Gs under license at Budapest and Györ until September 1944. Romania also began licensed production in the IAR plant at Brasov, but completed only 16 Me-109G-6s and assembled 30 others from German-delivered components before its facilities were destroyed by bombers of the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force on May 6, 1944.

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In March, 1939, Hungary joined in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, supplying air support to its ground units. The air contingent carried out bombing, recon, and patrol missions, but met no aerial opponents.

Fighters 1/I Group (sqdn 1,2,3) 27 CR.32
Bombers 3/II Group (sqdn 3,4,5) 27 Ju-86K-2
LR Recon 1 LR group 9 He170A

By December, 1939, Hungary had grown the Royal Hungarian Air Force into the following:

Fighters 1/I Group (sqdn 1,2) 18+6 CR.32
1/II Group (sqdn 3,4) 18+6 CR.32
2/I Group (sqdn 1,2) 18+6 CR.42
2/II Group (sqdn 3,4) 18+6 CR.42
Bombers 3/I Group (sqdn 1,2,3) 12+3 Ju-86K-2
3/II Group (sqdn 3,4,5) 12+3 Ju-86K-2
4/I Group (sqdn 1,2,3) 12+3 Ju-86K-2
4/II Group (sqdn 3,4,5) 12+3 Ju-86K-2
SR Recon 10 sqdns 34 He46 biplanes
51 WM21 biplanes
LR Recon 1 LR group (sqnd 1,2) 16 He170A
Transport 1 sqdn 5 SM.75 (nationalized from airline)

By April, 1941, the RHAF had upgraded to:

Fighters 1/I Group (sqdn 1,2) 18+6 CR.32
1/II Group (sqdn 3,4) 18+6 CR.42
2/I Group (sqdn 1,2) 18+6 CR.32
2/II Group (sqdn 3,4) 18+6 CR.42
Bombers 3/I Group (sqdn 1,2,3) 27+9 Ju-86K-2
3/II Group (sqdn 4,5) 18+6 Ju-86K-2
4/I Group (sqdn 1,2,3) 27+9 Ca.135b
4/II Group (sqdn 4,5) 18+6 Ju-86K-2
SR Recon 11 sqdns 42+14 He46 biplanes
24+8 WM21 biplanes
LR Recon 1 LR group (sqnd 1,2) 18+6 He170A
Transport 1 sqdn 5 SM.75 (nationalized from airline)

In June, 1941, Hungary sent a field army to Operation Barbarossa. Hungary’s Air Force was composed as follows:

Fighters 1/I Group (sqdn 1,2) 18+6 CR.32 (+ field test unit of 9 Re.2000s)
2/II Group (sqdn 3,4) 18+6 CR.42 (in process of changing to Re.2000s)
Bombers 4/I Group (sqdn 1,2,3) 27+9 Ca.135b
4/II Group (sqdn 3,4) 18+6 Ju-86K-2
SR Recon 7 sqdns 24+8 He46 biplanes
18+6 WM21 biplanes
LR Recon 1 LR group (sqnd 1,2) 18+6 He170A

Predictably enough, Operation Barbarossa took a big bite out of these aircraft. They were replace by German aircraft, and Germany began to set up aircraft factories in Hungary to produce components and assemble aircraft.

In October, 1942, Germany gave Hungary 50 Bf109F-4s, which were used to re-equip Re.2000 units. 40 Ju87D-1s, 30 Ju87D-5s, 6 Bf110G-4s, and 160 Me210s (which the Germans were happy to get rid of) were added to the Hungarian Air Group to be used on the Russian Front.

By May, 1943, 50 Bf109G-2s re-equipped 2 squadrons armed with F-4s. By May, 1944, 4 squadrons on the Russian Front and 6 for home defense (against British and American bombers based in Italy) were armed with G-6s. By December, 1944, The Russians were at the door step of Budapest; all 9 remaining squadrons were armed with G-6s. a few surviving squadrons retreated with the Germans and continued to fly G-6s until May, 1945.

Aircraft used by the Hungarian Air Force

Arado Ar 79

Arado Ar 96

Avia B.534

Banhidi Gerle

Breda Ba 25

Breguet Bre XIX

Bristol Type 142M Blenheim

Bucker Bu 131 Jungmann

Bucker Bu 181 Bestmann

Caproni Ca. 101

Caproni-Begamaschi Ca. 135

Caproni-Begamaschi Ca. 310 Libeccio

Caudron C. 600 Aiglon

Caudron C. 630 Simoun

de Havilland D.H.60 Moth

DFS 230

DFS Kranich

Dornier Do 17

Dornier Do 23

Dornier Do 215

EMESE EM-29

Fabian Honved

Fabian Levente

Fiat CR.32

Fiat CR.42 Falco

Fiat G.12

Fieseler Fi 156 Storch

Focke Wulf Fw 56 Stosser

Focke Wulf Fw 58 Weihe

Focke Wulf Fw 189

Focke Wulf Fw 190

Fokker C.V

Fokker D.VII

Gotha Go 145

Gotha Go 242

Heinkel HD-22

Heinkel He 45

Heinkel He 46

Heinkel He 111

Heinkel He 112

Heinkel He 170

Hirtenberger HS-9

IAR 37

Ilyushin Il-2

Junkers Ju 52

Junkers Ju 86

Junkers Ju 87

Junkers Ju 88

Klemm L 25

Klemm Kl 35

Loczy Hungaria

Manfred Weiss WM 10/13

Manfred Weiss WM 16B Budapest

Manfred Weiss WM 21 Solyom

Meridonali Ro 37

Meridonali Ro 41

Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

Messerschmidt Bf 109

Messerschmidt Bf 110

Messerschmidt Me 210 C1

Messerschmidt Me 210 Ca1

Nardi FN.305

Nardi FN.315

North American NA-57

Polikarpov PO-2

Potez 25

Potez 63.11

Praga E-39

P.Z.L. P.11

Reggiane Re.2000 Ariete

RWD 8

Savoia-Marchetti S.M.75 Marsupiale

Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79 Sparviero

Siebel Si 204

Varga Kaplar

Yakovlev UT-2

Yakovlev Yak-4

Zlin XII

Zlin 212

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