Hitler's Strategic Bombing Offensive on the Eastern Front

Blitz Over the Volga, 1943

Dmitry Degtev, Dmitry Zubov

Date Published :
August 2021
Publisher :
Air World
Illustration :
80 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526789891
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Germany was never able to match the power of the Allied air forces with their great four-engine bombers, the Lancasters, Liberators and Flying Fortresses. Indeed, many have ascribed the defeat of Germany in the Second World to its lack of a strategic bombing force. There were, though, two occasions when the Luftwaffe’s twin-engine bombers undertook strategic objectives on a large scale. The first of these was the ‘Blitz’ of 1940-1941, in which the Luftwaffe attempted to wreck Britain’s industrial and military capacity. The second was on the eve of Operation Zitadelle, a major offensive against Soviet forces in the Kursk salient.

Hitler’s objective was to replicate the successful Allied mass-bombing of German cities, the Luftwaffe being tasked with destroying the main tank and aircraft production facilities and fuel depots. Hitler saw this as the necessary prelude to weaken the Russians before the ‘decisive’ onslaught of Zitadelle.

The aerial operation, Carmen II, lasted for a month and covered a huge target area from the Rybinsk reservoir to the Caspian Sea. For these complex and risky night missions, all the Ju-88 and Не-111 bombers available to Hitler in the East were employed.

The authors have collected a huge amount of factual material, reconstructing all the details of this little-known campaign, which was the largest operation Luftwaffe on the Eastern front. This book opens a completely new page in the history of the German air war and provides a comprehensive investigation into the nature of the targets attacked, the degree of damage suffered by the Soviet military machine, and how this affected Operation Zitadelle.

The descriptions of the dangerous missions carried out by Luftwaffe as part of this operation are presented in great detail and all these exclusive facts are complemented by a large number of unique photos and documents.

About The Author

The author of twenty-nine books, DMITRY DEGTEV is one of the leading Russian researchers of the history of the Second World War, having studied the air battles of the Second World War and the history of the Luftwaffe for more than twenty years. He currently lectures at Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University.


"...gives a valuable description of a campaign most readers in the West know little about. It provides wartime insights into the workings of the Soviet military and government bureaucracy, which were far less effective than Soviet propaganda could admit."

- Air Power History

"...offers vast new detail and a fascinating, important reappraisal of what a handful of Luftwaffe twin-engine 'Nazgul' bombers accomplished with a few nighttime raids on Soviet industrial facilities. Highly recommended."

- Stone & Stone Second World War Books

"An impressively and meticulously detailed history drawn from original sources and documents..."

- Midwest Book Review

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