Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich


A War Diary, 1942–45

By: Don Caldwell
Format: Hardback
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781848325258
Published: 27th February 2012
RRP / Print Price: £35.00

Current purchase price:
£35.00

Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich

Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich is a detailed, comprehensive daily reference to the air operations flown by the Luftwaffe. These operations were designed to combat the daylight strategic missions by the United States Army Air Force targeting the German Reich and the western zone occupied by Germany.

This volume is a unique look at the German air defences as they struggled to cope with the threat posed by the American 8th and 15th Air Forces, which were charged with destroying Germany's critical war industries and wresting control of the air over the Reich from the Luftwaffe.

The previous volume in this series, The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defence of the Reich is an award-winning narrative history published by Greenhill Books. This book extends the story in an unprecedented fashion and includes:

• A brief narrative and a table of statistics detailing every mission of every Luftwaffe unit defending the Greater German Reich or the western occupied zone against strategic raids by the USAAF.

• A summary of every 8th and 15th US Army Air Force strategic mission over this area in which the Luftwaffe was encountered.

•Tables of monthly sorties, losses and victory claims by the USAAF and the Luftwaffe over the Reich and the western occupied zone. The growth of the American juggernaut can be followed in detail, as can the ever more futile struggle by the Reich Defence Force. The data allow validity of USAAF and Luftwaffe victory claims to be estimated.

• Quarterly orders of battle and casualties for the Reich Defence Force, broken down by aircraft type. The unsuccessful struggle of the Luftwaffe to keep its fighter units up to strength while introducing superior types and the relative vulnerability of its various fighters can be seen at a glance.

• Maps for 32 major missions showing the tracks of the bombers and every defending Luftwaffe unit, including their points of attack on the bombers.

• 189 photographs of Luftwaffe personalities and aircraft, many previously unpublished.

• 72 combat accounts by Luftwaffe pilots, most previously unpublished and all readily available in English for the first time.

This unique and authoritative book is based on documents in the German, American and British government archives and German pilot logbooks and interviews from the author's extensive collection. Caldwell is well known for his balanced presentations and the clarity of his writing. This book is a must-have for anyone with a serous interest in World War II aviation history.

This book completes the story begun by Caldwell and Dr. Richard Muller in The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defence of the Reich, which won the US Air Force Historical Foundation award for Best Air Power History Book of 2008. Critical praise for this book has been widespread.



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