Nachtjagd, Defenders of the Reich, 1940-1943

The author has established a solid reputation for accurate aviation histories of WWII that add valuable knowledge and insights to the subject. If you think everything that can be said about the WWII air war has been said, here is a book to challenge your belief. – Most Highly Recommended.


 

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NAME: Nachtjagd, Defenders of the Reich, 1940-1943
FILE: R2522
AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  182
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, air 
war, bombing campaigns, Allied air fleets, German night fighters, 
command and control, strategic bombing, homeland defence, air 
superiority

ISBN: 1-47384-983-7

IMAGE: B2522jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kfqp5u6l64epn2
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author has established a solid reputation for 
accurate aviation histories of WWII that add valuable knowledge and 
insights to the subject. If you think everything that can be said 
about the WWII air war has been said, here is a book to challenge 
your belief. – Most Highly Recommended.

There are many myths circulating about WWII. One of the most durable 
is that Britain invented radar and the Germans knew nothing about it. 
The reality is that radio location was discovered in several 
countries at around the same time. Not everyone understood the 
enormous military and navigation benefits that were made possible by 
the discoverers. There may be debate about whether Germany or 
Britain was first or which had the best technology. The reality is 
that Britain developed technology that could be manufactured in 
volume and deployed to a chain of locations along the British coasts. 
Most importantly, it was integrated closely in a communications 
network that also integrated information from Royal Observer Corps 
watch posts to form a unique and highly advanced command and control 
network, the first of its kind in the world. That network then made 
very efficient use of the collected information to control the 
fighter defences against incoming bombers. As a force extender it 
more than made up for the great numerical disadvantage RAF Fighter 
Command faced during the Battle of Britain. It was impressively 
successful at controlling day fighter defences, but was less 
effective in controlling night fighters initially. That was more a 
case of night fighters requiring their own radar and more effective 
aircraft, weapons and equipment. It also required some changes in 
how the night fighters were deployed, controlling individual 
machines rather than squadrons, wings and Bader's Big Wings or 
Circuses.

The Germans had little need of similar systems in 1939 because they 
did not expect any enemy aircraft to overfly the Reich. Goering, 
head of the Luftwaffe, is reported to have famously said, “If a 
single bomb falls on Germany you may call me Meyer”. It was 
anticipated that the Luftwaffe would move forward supporting the 
Panzer Armies in Blitz Krieg, and destroying enemy air forces on the 
ground before the enemy capitulated, achieving total air superiority.

The miracle of Dunkirk destroyed that happy belief because it 
allowed enough British and French soldiers to evacuate to the British 
Isles and for industry to work miracles in providing equipment to 
replace that left behind. The Germans would now have to develop sea 
and air superiority to ensure the survival of enough soldiers and 
equipment to stand a prospect of defeating British troops on their 
own soil. That failed miserably, Hitler abandoned plans to invade 
Britain and turned his attention to the Soviet Union. It was an error 
of epic proportions. It left Britain as a concrete aircraft carrier 
from which to launch a growing strategic bombing campaign that was to 
denude German Armies of men and guns to provide for home defence 
against the aerial bombardment. It required aircraft and fuel to 
transfer home to provide fighter defence and it demanded a major new 
equipment program to produce the aircraft, radar, command and control 
and weapons to fight the greatest air battle of history.

With his through research and clear writing, the author has provided 
an accurate and graphic account of how the Germans responded and built 
a credible radar-based air defence system that could function against 
the round the clock bombing by British and American air fleets. There 
was much innovation, and technical breakthroughs that were staggering, 
but in the end it failed to make the difference. By late 1943, the 
Luftwaffe had already lost the aerial Battle of Germany. The RAF had 
replaced most of their inadequate medium bombers with excellent heavy 
bombers, with the superlative Lancaster able to carry ten tons of 
bombs, including the devastating 10 ton Grand Slam 'earthquake' bomb. 
Bomb aiming sights had improved and radar aiming was being introduced. 
RAF losses were still horrendous but they were reaching their targets 
and replacing losses. The Germans faired even worse in daylight 
because the USAAF was now equipped with P51 Mustangs that could escort 
their bombers to all main targets in Germany. The RAF was also 
beginning to use the amazing Mosquito as an offensive night fighter to 
hunt down German night fighters.

The German night fighter war might be summarized as, “Nice try but no 
toffee apple”.