These memoirs are by a young man serving his country in a desperate war where his combat was directly with the young British, Commonwealth and American air crews bombing Germany. The insights provided cover the air war and specifically the operation of night fighters from the first Allied raids, through the development of radar, command and control and tactics as the author rose to command a night fighter squadron – Very Highly Recommended.
NAME: Duel Under The Stars, The Memoir Of A Luftwaffe Night Pilot In World War II FILE: R3207 AUTHOR: Wilhelm Johnen PUBLISHER: Greenhill Books BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War II, World War 2, World War Two, WWII, Second, European Theatre, USAAF bombing, RAF bombing, air war over Germany, home defence, night fighters, Luftwaffe, fighter control, radar, tactics, attrition, Battle of the Ruhr, air battle for Berlin. ISBN: 1-78438-258-2 PAGES: 320 IMAGE: B3208.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5nnpsjl LINKS: DESCRIPTION: These memoirs are by a young man serving his country in a desperate war where his combat was directly with the young British, Commonwealth and American air crews bombing Germany. The insights provided cover the air war and specifically the operation of night fighters from the first Allied raids, through the development of radar, command and control and tactics as the author rose to command a night fighter squadron – Very Highly Recommended.
Beginning at the bottom of the ladder as a newly qualified pilot, the author rose steadily to command a night fighter squadron. His experiences include the Battle of the Ruhr and the air battle over Berlin with the changing fortunes for the Luftwaffe. After Berlin he was posted to Hungary and then returned for the final agonies of Germany itself. In the process, his score rose steadily to 33 Allied aircraft.
This absorbing account deals with the tactics, equipment, and the environment in which the fighter pilots endured. For the Luftwaffe, the air war over Occupied and home territory was never easy and became increasingly more desperate as fuel, spares and replacement aircraft became increasingly scarce. At the same time the enemy grew rapidly in strength and capability. The Allied heavy bombers not only carried heavier and more devastating bomb loads to the targets, and dropped with increasing accuracy, but they were equipped with effective defensive armament. In day time, the USAAF soon acquired fighter escorts that presented very real danger to the Luftwaffe and the escorts were able to follow the bomber streams deep into Germany. The arrival of the P-51 Mustang meant that a fast manoeuvrable and well-armed fighter could follow the bombers to the farthest targets and back. The increasing numbers of Allied fighters meant that they could also search for targets of opportunity such as German night fighter airfields, ahead of and after the USAAF daylight raids.
The night fighter pilots had a slightly easier task than those flying day interceptors. The RAF flew at night often without escorts. That made them easier targets but they were still a serious challenge. As Allied resources increased, the RAF also enjoyed the company of escorts to their targets and back. The Mosquito fighter bomber and night fighter variants posed a significant threat to the German defences, being fast and heavily armed. They were free to run with the bomber streams, or operate alone as free ranging attack aircraft.
The author has provided a fascinating story because he experienced the range of conditions as Germany headed to defeat.