By Alfred Price
The final 12 months of the Luftwaffe is a vintage tale of a as soon as all-conquering strength suffering to stave of an inevitable defeat. This fantastically written booklet offers a whole account of Luftwaffe offensive-such as Operation Bodenplatte, over the Ardennes, in December 1944-and protecting operation among might 1944 and the tip of global struggle II. The final yr of the Luftwaffe is a entire exam of Hitler's airforce, a frank and illuminating examine a vital 12 months of aerial strive against and a clean research of the percentages stacked opposed to Germany's bold pilots.
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Additional info for The Last Year of the Luftwaffe: May 1944 to May 1945
During the nights following the invasion, the Luftwaffe anti-shipping units smashed themselves vainly against the powerful defences that protected the Allied landing areas. In the ten days following the invasion, III. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 100, which had started June with thirteen missile-carrying Dornier Do 217s serviceable, had lost ten aircraft and eight crews. In return for such heavy losses the anti-shipping units had few successes: during that period only two destroyers and three smaller vessels were lost to direct air attack.
The specialized German bomberdestroyer planes, the twin-engined Messerschmitt 110s and Me 410s which carried the firepower necessary to knock down the bombers, suffered particularly heavy losses whenever they came into contact with the American escorts; in contrast, the singleengined Bf 109s and Fw 190s had the performance to dog-fight with the American escorts but lacked the firepower to engage the heavy bombers effectively. Of course, the Messerschmitt 262 had both the firepower to destroy the heavy bombers and the performance to avoid the escorts, and when it entered service in large numbers the 38 THE LAST YEAR OF THE LUFTWAFFE Alfred Price problem would be rapidly solved.
Fliegerkorps IX flew about 130 sorties with conventional bombers, but it too failed to achieve any tangible results. During their approach flights the attackers suffered casualties not only from the Allied night fighters but also from German flak units long accustomed to regarding any aircraft that came within range as hostile. Those bombers that reached the beach-head area encountered such a violent reception from guns ashore and afloat that in many cases attacks had to be broken off prematurely.