This book will recount the actions and personalities of the Luftwaffe fighter force who excelled in this tough and grim form of aerial warfare. Planned as six chapters, in Chapter 1 the author will describe the initial onslaught of the USAAF air offensive and the German response in 1942 and 1943 during which time tactics of defence were developed and refined, from close-range, head-on attacks against massed formations of B-17s to attacks from the rear. Chapter 2 will detail the continuing air campaign, including the bitter battles of Schweinfurt and Berlin with biographies of many of the leading aces. Chapter 3 will focus on one Gruppe, II./JG I, during the desperate first four months of 1944 when the unit was operating at full stretch against the Allied bombing campaign directed at the German aircraft plants. Chapter 4 will deal with the deployment of the twin-engined Bf 110G, Me 210 and Me 410 Zerst÷rer (destroyers), hurriedly converted and thrown into the battle, heavily armed with 37 mm cannon, weapons packs of twin MG 151/20 20 mm cannon and 21 cm air-to-air mortars intended to break up the defensive cohesion of the bomber formations. Chapter 5 will cover the desperate missions of Sturmstaffel 1 and IV./JG 3, II./JG 4 and II./JG 300, the so-called 'Sturmgruppen' ('Close Assault Groups'). The final chapter will portray the new dimension in aerial warfare from the autumn of 1944 - the Me 262 jet-powered interceptor. Fighter aces and those who became 'jet aces' whilst flying with JG 7 included Georg-Peter Eder (53 victories), Heinrich Ehrler (201 victories), Adolf Glunz (71 victories), Klaus Neumann (32 victories), Viktor Petermann (64 victories), Rudi Rademacher (102 victories), and Hans Waldmann (132 victories).
Robert Forsyth has studied the history and operations of the Luftwaffe for many years. He has written three books for Osprey - AEUs Jagdverband 44 - Squadron of Experten and Jagdgeschwader 7 'Nowotny' and Duel 24 - Fw 190 vs B-17. He is also the author of JV 44 - The Galland Circus (1996), Battle over Bavaria: The B-26 versus the German Jets (1998), Mistel: German Composite Aircraft and Operations 1942-1945 (2001) and Messerschmitt Me 264 Amerikabomber (2006 - with Eddie J Creek). He works in publishing.
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