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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 20 : German Night Fighter Aces of World War 2

When the Luftwaffe entered the war, its nightfighter force was virtually non-existent thanks to its leader, Reichmarschall Hermann Göring, boasting that bombs would never fall on Germany. By mid-1940 his folly was evident; the first nightfighter wing was hastily formed with Bf 110s. Initially capable of detecting targets by visual acquisition only, the force greatly improved its effectiveness with the creation of the 'Giant Würzburg' radar chain, which stretched from Denmark to the Swiss border, then airborne radar, and by the end of 1942 the nightfighter force controlled some 389 fighters, and had destroyed 1291 RAF bombers in that year alone. But ever larger raids by Allied bombers were swamping German defences, so single-seat day fighters [Fw 190s and Bf 109Gs] were drafted in. New fighter types like the He 219 were still holding their own in the deadly night skies into 1945, but overwhelming numbers of Allies bombers eventually carried the day. As arguably the most consistently effective arm of the wartime Luftwaffe, the Nachtjagd took a steady toll of Allied aircraft - the vast majority of them RAF bombers - throughout most of World War 2. Fighting a tough enemy, as well as a lower priority in aircraft and personnel procurement than it merited, the force never shrank from its task. Text by Jerry Scutts with illustrations by John Weal.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • With Lights and Guns
  • Intruders
  • Electronic Eyes
  • Hamburg Watershed
  • 'Wild Boar' and Jazz Musik
  • Last Kills
  • Fighter's Night
  • Appendices

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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