By Peter Jacobs
The air battles of the second one international warfare have been fought ferociously and with striking ability and braveness on either fronts. The fighter pilots of the Luftwaffe, the jagdflieger, in reality outscored their Allied opposite numbers through a few margin and have been a number of the maximum scoring fighter pilots of all time. greater than 100 recorded a century of aerial successes with happening to surpass a fairly amazing three hundred victories. In the tip, the monstrous attempt required via the Luftwaffe to keep up the air battle on such a lot of fronts proved an excessive amount of and few jagdflieger survived the final days of the Reich yet their braveness and talent used to be past query, and the names of a few will live to tell the tale within the annals of air conflict with their outstanding achievements by no means to be exceeded. In 'Luftwaffe Fighter Aces', Peter Jacobs examines the various campaigns fought through the Luftwaffe from its fledgling days through the Spanish Civil conflict to its final days protecting the Reich, and comprises the...
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Additional info for Aces of the Luftwaffe. The Jagdflieger in the Second World War
While this tactic offered some success, the fact remained that the Luftwaffe’s fighter force, the Jagdwaffe, was equipped with biplanes that were little better than the fighters of the First World War. The ongoing conflict in Spain provided the ideal opportunity to introduce the new fighter, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, into combat. The 109 had first flown in 1935 but design had begun in secrecy the year before to meet a future requirement for a single-seat daytime fighter armed with machine guns that was capable of reaching an operational ceiling of 33,000 feet, with an endurance of an hour, and was also capable of maintaining a speed of 250 mph for up to twenty minutes at 20,000 feet.
It was never going to be possible to keep the build-up of an air force secret and so the following week Hitler announced its existence to the world and a week later he renounced the military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. Selected to be its first Chief of the General Staff was Walter Wever, an infantry officer by background but a man of great vision and a great strategist. Aware of Hitler’s intentions, Wever was led to conclude that Germany’s main enemy in any future conflict would be the Soviet Union.
The closer he could get then the easier it would be to hit his opponent whereas firing at excessive range meant the bullets were subject to the effects of ballistics, such as gravity drop, and a heavily manoeuvring target would be harder to hit because of the amount of lead required in the aim. As far as a defending pilot was concerned, it was all a matter of whether he could see his attacker; if not, he could not react and often stood little chance. Once seen by his opponent, the attacking pilot could then have the problem of having too much speed, particularly if attacking from a higher position.
Aces of the Luftwaffe. The Jagdflieger in the Second World War by Peter Jacobs