Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8, Werk # 739137

1./J.G. 54

Color Profile by Claes Sundin

  • Uffz. Ludwig Nitsch, Fluzeugführer


Escape from death

- Text by Nicklas Östergren -

At 9.50 pm on the 8th of May 1945, Uffz Ludwig Nitsch made a belly landing with his Fw 190 on a farmer's field in Lockarp, just outside Malmö, Sweden. The plane he flew wasn't his ordinary aircraft because he crashed his personal Fw 190 a couple of days earlier, miraculously without getting wounded.

Nitsch was captured by Swedish military personnel after his belly landing and the interrogation made by Fänrik N. Ekström from the Swedish Air force F 10 wing, gave the following information:

Nitsch was a fighter pilot assigned to JaktGeschwader 54 whom had spent the last three years at the eastern front. He now was stationed at an airbase outside Windau in Kurland.

He had 38 confirmed kills, 35 of them at the eastern front and three downed B 17s over Germany.

At dawn May 8th, 1945, the Kommodore Jagd-Geschwader 54, Oberst Hrabak announced that Germany had surrended. Their final mission was to avoid that their aircraft fell into Russian hands, and the planes was ordered to start immediately and fly to Flensburg. As many mechanics as possible were stowed in each aircraft. (Nitsch told that some FW 190 had up to five mechanics stowed in the aircraft)  Nitsch himself was the last pilot that started from the airbase due to starting problems. His starting battery was discharged so he had to ask the men from an AA battery close by, to help him start his aircraft manually. After takeoff, he dropped his auxiliary fuel tank, and switched to main fuel tanks, and headed for Sweden. He wasn't sure that he would reach Denmark. After an uneventful flight he performed a successful belly-landing south of Malmö.

Nitsch was interned in Sweden until October 16, 1945 when he escaped from Backamolägret. He managed to evade capture until July 12, 1946, when he supported by a pro-German lifeline organization was transported across Öresund to Denmark.

Ludwig Nitsch passed away in februari 2006. Photo via Nicklas Östergren

The plan was to transport Nitsch by car through Denmark to Germany, but something went wrong and Nitsch was arrested by the Danish police.
He was brought back to Helsingborg, Sweden July 15, 1946 and handed over to the Swedish criminal police after his imprisonment in Denmark.

On July 30, 1946 Nitsch was granted an alien's passport and a permit to stay in Sweden. A couple of years later he applied for Swedish citizenship got married and stayed in Sweden until his death in February 2006.

Photo via Bo Ekberger/Leif Hellström

At Bulltofta boneyard. Next to the Bf 110 that landed in Hammerlöv 1945-05-01. Photo via Bo Widfeldt

Aircraft clock saved as a memento by Ludwig Nitsch. In 1996 Nicklas Östergren received it as a gift, and today it is part of the FLC. Photo Nicklas Östergren

The spinner from Nitsch machine was recovered by Göran Winge at a scrap yard in the early 80's. It is now part of FLC. Photo Nicklas Östergren

In addition - the manufacturing plate has "25" engraved. Possibly an earlier code of the aircraft, or perhaps the spinner is taken from another aircraft as a spare. Very common at the end of the war. Photo Nicklas Östergren

Tailwheel preserved in the FLC collections. Photo Nicklas Östergren

Id-plate on the tailwheel. Photo Nicklas Östergren

  • Interview with Ludwig and Eva Nitsch March 10, 1990.
  • F 10 hearing report May 11, 1945 by Ensign N. Ekström.
  • Helsingborgs Polis/Kriminalavd. Memorandum July 19, 1946.
  • Bo Widfeldt.