Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich

A War Diary, 1942–45

Donald Caldwell

Date Published :
March 2012
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
160 photographs, 8 diagrams, 36 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848325258
Pages : 480
Dimensions : 10 X 8 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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This book is a detailed, comprehensive daily reference to the air operations flown by the Luftwaffe against the daylight strategic missions by the United States Army Air Force against the German Reich and the western zone occupied by Germany. It is a unique look at the German air defenses 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: Defense of the Reich is an award-winning narrative history of these defenses. 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 Defense Force. The data allow validity of USAAF and Luftwaffe victory claims to be estimated.
• Quarterly orders of battle and casualties for the Reich Defense 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• 189 photographs of Luftwaffe personalities and aircraft, many previously unpublished.
• 72 combat accounts by Luftwaffe pilots, most previously unpublished and all readily available in English for the first time.

About The Author

Donald Caldwell is a retired research chemist. For the past 25 years he has researched archival sources and interviewed veterans, primarily from the Luftwaffe. His first book, JG 26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe, has been followed by four others on the Luftw


“…the first serious effort to compile such a mass of statistical evidence about fighter operations… authoritative quantitative accounting…. Anyone with any serious interest in the subject will need to have this book on hand to accompany and complement all those more general histories that have been accumulating over the years. Put it on the shelf right next to the meticulous, scholarly work done by Freeman, Middlebrook, Boiten, and other aviation historians. Highly recommended and quite likely to be remembered as one of the most important new books of the year”

- Stone & Stone Second World War Books

“Such a staggering quantity of information would be overwhelming in less capable hands. But Caldwell spices up his tight narrative with excellent photos and informative captions. Combat reports, obviously written immediately after encounters and often relayed in an engaging, informal style, reveal the true nature of fighter versus bomber combat. ..Caldwell gives a generous tribute to Roger Freeman’s work on the Eighth Air Force. In the future, Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich is likely to be honored by other historians in a similar way.

- Aviation History

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