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Outer Port Engine Exhaust Stub salvaged from a destroyed BF 110 bomber on a raid over Murmansk's Polyarny Harbour

In the aftermath of WWI, the US public were determined to never again commit troops or resources to foreign wars and in the early 1930s passed a series of laws which became known as the Neutrality Act. The Act prohibited the export or transportation of arms, ammunition, and implements of war to belligerent countries by vessels of the United States.

It was a confusing time for the US as Germany continued to extend its influence across mainland Europe. 

Canada however had no such restraints and its ships were already crossing the North Atlantic with troops and supplies to aid their British allies whilst the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme was providing fighter and bomber crews from a number of Flight Schools across the Commonwealth.

With the German invasion of Poland in 1939, US neutrality was no longer an option and the US Lend Lease program, which allowed for the supply of military equipment on credit to assist allies defend themselves was soon implemented. The US did not officially declare war with Germany until after the Japanese attack on its naval base at Pearl Harbour in December 1941 but until then, US destroyers were already accompanying the many troop and supply ships crossing the North Atlantic under the dubious argument that they were simply protecting their investments.

For the Germans looking at consolidating their gains in Poland whilst preparing for further military action into Northern Europe, the possibility of the Allies establishing a resupply route into Russia across the Arctic and Barent Seas from British bases at Scarpa Flow was a significant threat and became a key factor in launching its 9 April 1940 invasion of Denmark and Norway. With the aim of securing ice-free harbours from which its naval and airforces could gain control of the all northern approaches, Operation Weserübung was begun.

Norway was largely unprepared for the German military invasion when it came on the night of 8–9 April 1940. The surprise attack, and the lack of preparedness of Norway for a large-scale invasion of this kind resulted in the country being completely overrun although Norwegian naval and airforces were able to hold off the attackers long enough to allow the Royal Family to escape to England.

British troops sent to help defend the strategic Norwegian port of Narvik encountered strong opposition from the already entrenched German forces whilst the RAF who had been flying reconnaissance patrols were attacked by German fighters which had been hastily sent north.

With the German invasion of France a few months later, Britain quickly realised they could not sustain their attacks in the North whilst their troops were being routed in the South and evacuated their forces from the Northern Fjords surrendering the region to German forces.

For the next 8 months, the German’s consolidated their control over the region and apart from some minor skirmishes with local partisans and the occasional British reconnaissance overflights and attacks on some southern bases, the Luftwaffe maintained few aircraft in the area but moves were afoot to change this.

With secret plans for the invasion of Russia already in play, the Luftwaffe moved one of their most successful Finland based Zerstörerstaffel heavy fighter squadrons JG77 north to the recently captured Hoybukten airfield in Kirkenes to provide air support for the Russian campaign. 

Only 120km to the North West lay the Russian naval port of Murmansk which has become key link between Russia and the Western Powers with tonnes of munitions, aircraft and tank parts, food and raw materials offloaded daily from the Allies Arctic Convoys.

These Allied Convoys posed a direct threat to the success of the German push into Russia so the German High Command also moved 36 JU 87s, 9 JU 88s and a contingent of a dozen or so Bf109’s to Kirkenes. 

Their principal aim was to destroy any shipping that had managed to evade the German U Boat hunter packs operating off the US and Canadian coastlines before they could offload their supplies in the Russian harbours of Murmansk  and Archangel, further to the north.    

The Luftwaffe had already been mounting bombing attacks on the port from their bases in Finland but now having a fully operational Bomber/Fighter Group only 120kms to the South, Kirkenes soon became the staging point for the Germans campaign to close down this essential Russian supply ports.

Their first raid was conducted on June 29 when, escorted by JG 77's Bf110’s, a flight of JU 88 dive bombers attacked the Russian aerodrome in Gryaznaya Bay and shipping in Murmansk's Polyarny harbour. Despite heavy anti-aircraft fire from shore and ship batteries, the bombers managed to destroy the central power station as well as mount an attack on the Krasny Gorn shipyard but the later attacks were successfully beaten off by the coastal defences.

Two days later the twin-engined BF 110’s were escorting the Ju 88s on a raid on the Niva Airfield when they were confronted by a squadron of Soviet Polikarpov I-153 and Polikarpov I-16 biplane and monoplane fighters. Whilst the Soviet aircraft were no match for the Bf110’s, together with the increasing ferocity of the Russian air defences in and around Murmansk, future raids were going to be increasingly challenging. 

A day later on another raid on the Murmansk bases, five German aircraft were downed by enemy ground fire and Soviet Polikarpov I-16s with the Bomber Group’s commander, Hauptmann E. Röger amongst those lost.

JG77 had avoided any losses or severe damage in all the raids since their detachment north but this was to tragically change on July 5 when the BF110s were escorting the JU 88s and 87’s on the heavily defended port of Polyarnoye. At the time, the harbour was full of recently arrived Arctic convoy ships and Allied submarines and the Soviets had substantially increased the fire power of their shore-based anti-aircraft batteries.

Coming in low on their strafing runs, the Soviet shore batteries opened up directing a withering barrage of fire against the oncoming Bf110s which immediately scattered but as Bf 110 LN+ER (Werk.Nr. 3235) piloted by Dietrich Weyergang and his wireless-operator/gunner Kurt Tiggis pulled up to escape the onslaught, their aircraft took a direct hit from one of the shore batteries, crash-landing at the Northern tip of Litsa Bay in a massive explosion.

Both Dietrich and Kurt died in the crash and their bodies were recovered by a Finnish ski patrol some nine days later.

Before being forced to retreat from the region on the back of the German 6th Army’s defeat at Stalingrad on 2nd February 1943, JG 77 and its accompanying bomber group had lost almost half their operational strength from Russian fighters and the heavily reinforced shore anti-aircraft batteries around Murmesk and Archangel.

This BF 110, Outer Port Engine Exhaust Stub is just a small component retrieved from the extensive aircraft wreckage fields in around these vital Soviet resupply ports and represents rare and significant artefact of the dramatic air war raged over the region.

Mounted on its 100yr old Mango wood display stand with engraved plaque and super detailed, hand crafted and airbrushed 1/72 or highly detailed 1/48scale model of a JU 77 Bf 110 perched above on its magnetic display arm with accompanying detailed printed and laminated Fact Sheet, this Recovery Curios Original Aircraft Collectable display would make an amazing gift for any aviation enthusiast.

This Messerschmitt BF 110 Collectable comes complete with detailed 1/72 or 1/48 Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.

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Your original, Bf 110 Port Exhaust Stub, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft* 
  • Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
  • Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
  • Removable Magnetic Display Arm

*The 1/72 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic model is available with 'wheels & flaps up or down' and 'canopy open or closed' in Dietrich Weyergang's Bf 110 original markings and camouflage or choose the amazingly extra detailed larger 1/48 scale at just an extra $65 (click on Product Option at top of page)

Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.

Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 6 - 8 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Bf110 or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.