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Bomber Command’s night offensive against Nazi Germany, which lasted for nearly six years, was one of Britain’s major contributions to the Allied effort during the Second World War. But the decision to conduct its main operations at night only came about following heavy losses by day, when its pre-war medium bombers had been found lacking in modern air warfare. The Luftwaffe, too, had its early problems. Initially without a dedicated night fighter, it was ill-equipped to defend the Reich, and so the stage was set for what would become one of the most critical strategic encounters of the war.
Things had to change on both sides. Soon there came new and more capable aircraft, in ever-increasing numbers, coupled with new tactics and technology, as each side strove to gain the upper hand. It became a fascinating encounter between the crews of Bomber Command and the Luftwaffe’s night fighter force, the Nachtjagd, with no shortage of courage and heavy losses on both sides. Amongst the epic encounters were Bomber Command’s Thousand Bomber raids, the attack on the German V-weapons research establishment at Peenemünde, the campaigns against the industrial Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin, and the disastrous raid on Nuremberg.
This new publication consolidates accounts from both sides and from all ranks of service in an effort to provide a comprehensive account of some of the most ferocious nocturnal engagements of the Second World War.
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