The Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich

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Greenhill, 2007 - History - 336 pages
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The Luftwaffe over Germany tells the story of one of the longest and most intense air battles in history. The daylight air struggles over Germany during World War II involved thousands of aircraft, dozens of units, and hundreds of aerial engagements. Until now, there has been no single book that covers the complete story, from the highest levels of air strategy to the individual tales of Fw 190s, Bf 109s and Me 262s in air combat against the American bomber streams.

This work explores the German air defense system until its collapse in 1945. It examines the detrimental effect of Luftwaffe theory and doctrine on the German air arms ability to defend the homeland once the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive began in earnest. The hard-pressed Luftwaffe leadership attempted to cobble together an air-defense network while at the same time tending to the combat fronts in Russia and the Mediterranean. Units developed specialized tactics and weapons for dealing with heavily defended bomber formations, while senior commanders sought to construct an elaborate command and control system integrating radar, observers, anti-aircraft guns, and fighters. By mid-1944, they had lost the battle - but had exacted a terrible price from the Americans in the process.

The product of a ten-year collaboration between two noted Luftwaffe historians, this work fills a major gap in the literature of World War II. The authors have examined original war diaries, logbooks, doctrine manuals, after-action reports, and interviews with many combat veterans to produce a richly detailed account.

Illustrated with nearly two hundred photographs, as well as new maps and diagrams, Luftwaffe Over Germany is certain to become the standard work on the subject.

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About the author (2007)

Donald L. Caldwell is a retired research chemist who lives in Lake Jackson, Texas. For the past 25 years he has researched archival sources and interviewed surviving veterans, primarily from the Luftwaffe. His first book, JG 26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe has been followed by four others on Luftwaffe topics; all have won wide critical and popular acclaim for their accuracy, objectivity, and readability. Richard R. Muller is Professor of Military History at the United States Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, where he teaches courses in airpower history, strategy, technology, and innovation. He is the author of The German Air War in Russia (1992) and (with James S. Corum) The Luftwaffe's Way of War: German Air Force Doctrine 1911-1945 (1998), as well as several articles and book chapters.

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