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The Bombing of Germany

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Steve Petersen, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Ulrich,

    You are now experiencing what Australians go through every time they commit to an ebay purchase or Amazon book purchase: very high shipping costs. I saw the book once on Amazon for some ridiculous price like USD99. The book has sold very well in Australia and I know copies have turned up in the UK but we never found out how they got there.

    I will contact the publisher and see if they can move some across to Amazon themselves and let you know.

    I have posted over a dozen previously unpublished photographs on facebook which you may be able to access but apart from cluttering up this site, that is all there is. If you can access the facebook site I can keep on adding more.

    Michael
     
  2. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hi Michael,

    sad that you have such problems at "Down Under"! I have seen the book for $79 plus $21.90 for shipping. A bit too much. Many thanks to you for your efforts! No i have no Facebook account and so i can´t see those pics! But eventually one of my friend has an account. Do you have more books made?

    Regards and thanks

    Ulrich
     
  3. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Ulrich.

    Do not pay that price. Even I wouldn't spend that much on it!

    As far as I can tell, if you order from the Australian publisher's website I gave you a few posts back, it can be airmailed to Germany for a total price of about AUD 58, which at euro rates of exchange should come out pretty cheap.

    Let me know if it works,

    Michael
     
    Gebirgsjaeger likes this.
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    congrats on the book project Michael, may I ask : anything in relationship of the
    Aussie crews fending off LW night fighter attacks within the text ?
     
  5. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Erich,

    Thanks for the kind words. The book was a retirement project. Definitely a labour of love. Unless you are a celebrity, which I most definitely am not, it is not a money-making venture. You could earn more working part-time at the local supermarket!

    Yes, there are a considerable number of accounts of encounters with Luftwaffe night fighters. What is striking is the random nature of these encounters. Some of the contributors went through a whole tour without ever seeing a fighter. Others seem to have received excessive attention.

    There is a section that discusses the reported sighting of an Me 163. by a Lancaster crew. I discounted this at first but subsequent research, the way in which RAF intelligence took his report and sketches of the aircraft so seriously and then a second account from another contributor has convinced me that the 163s were in the air, at night. Whether they actually shot down any bombers is unclear. It may have been an experiment. However, the reports are too accurate to be false, I think. This rather turns the conventional wisdom on its head but there it is.

    The other lot of people shooting at them were their own bombers in the stream. I suspect that much more of this went on than has been recognized in other works.

    Michael
     
  6. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    If the RAFBC had switched to ground support (attacking German ground formations) how would it effect USAAF daylight bombing, could they both form up over England at the same time for example. Would it conflict 9th Air Force tactical support missions?
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I will tell you for a fact Michael there were no Me 163 Komets flown at night, all sorts of sightings were put together and as I finish up the ETO squadron P-61 thread it will also give account of Me 163's clearly mis-Identified and then in November Me 262 sightings but the 262 did not fly at night till December 1944's end in the special Kurt Welter Kommando which I am writing a book about for one that was basis for protecting Berlin against eh LSNF Mosquito's. I have heard and read BC command interviews of crews for the past 35 years claiming they saw 163's and 262's flying around them but it just did not happen.

    the only unit flying the Me 163 was the test kommando turned into JG 400 all flying during the day and not very successful with 12 US bombers to their credit.........maybe
     
  8. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Erich,

    Thanks for your thoughts. They align with my own some years ago when these recollections were put to me. They must be wrong.

    There is also a considerable weight of published material supporting your view, which was certainly the view I held prior to the first interviews with Australian aircrew back in 1992. The interviews and contributions continued until August 2009 and more have come in since the book was published in September 2009. Of course they are not all about 262s (none, as it turns out) or 163s (two accounts).

    Every account in the book has been verified by other primary or secondary sources, preferably from other people there at the time. This certainly did result in a lot of material never reaching the manuscript stage.

    I was well aware last year when the book was published that one day someone would challenge the 163 account. It seems just too outlandish, especially with all those published sources out there.

    I put it in the book because I think it may be worth keeping the question open.

    I have formed the view that nothing in official histories, technical reports, or post-war volumes on this theatre - about the aircrew and their experiences, the aircraft, their appearance in the skies, and the events surrounding them has yet been accorded a final answer, an ultimate conclusion, or incontrovertible truth.

    There are just too many variables and to give them all a causal linkage to each other, produce a neat, linear sequence of events and then present it as fact is beyond my remit.

    I certainly appreciate and value your views, nevertheless.

    Michael
     
  9. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Belasar,

    I have never really thought about this scenario. Hopefully others will come in on the discussion as it does rather raise the issue of what as 'tactical' and what was 'strategic', in my mind at least.

    Some thoughts:

    - The strategic AAF were not as accurate as has been propounded, so the matter of precision is a bit moot, regardless of who led whom.

    - The Americans were the masters of formation. Many of the British and Australian aircrew who saw these formations still wonder at quite how they managed it. Apart from 2nd TAF, The RAF daylight efforts resulted generally in more of a gaggle than a formation. Even with the introduction of the Gee-H system late in the war, pilots were uncomfortable about getting so close.

    - within the Eighth AF, the B-17s and B-24s were generally routed to different targets or were subject to careful attempts to coincide their formations at an IP because of the inherently higher speed of the B-24s. A long formation fly-out from England to the continent was, I understand, never successfully maintained. So the idea of adding RAF BC 'formations' would have been probably unsuccessful.

    - the strategic / tactical arrangement of the air forces always seems to be thinly discussed in references. It all sounds great in theory but it appears that there may have been more blurr than sharp definition between the two roles, especially after the end of 1942.

    - to use the analogy of a bunch of subsidiary organisations overseen by a larger corporate group, I think we might detect a bit of survival imperative going on amongst the various representatives of the strategic and tactical arms. Once the tactical arms could operate from the continent after July 1944, the blurr appears to have really set in, as aircraft range issues became less significant.

    I have just read back through this and it looks a hell of a mess but I hope it helps.

    Michael
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    See almost any account of the Normandy campaign for Bomber Command in the tactical role ( and, for that matter, the USAAF ).

    It's perhaps best summed up by the GI's decription of the 8th Air Force as 'the American Luftwaffe' .

    Although a number of successes were scored, there were also disastrous errors. Heavy bombers were a blunt instrument and were also very vulnerable to attack, not just from air but mainly from flak.

    In WWII, heavy bombers were a very blunt instrument indeed and the work was better left to the Tactical Air Forces.
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    It seem easy to say that RAFBC should have discontinued nighttime area bombing after Jan 1945, but what other options did they really have considering the equipment/training available to RAFBC. Would it have been politicaly viable to have them stand down. If operating in the daylight could they be effectively coordinated with the other Allied airforces operating in the daylight?
     
  12. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    Strategies we can debate in looking at the bombing that was done, but left out of the strategies are the concerns that were debated in planning the end of the war when our president may have been weakened with his own illnesses, he still had to build a strategy and the discussion was surely made up of what country should continue to lose their man power to war. Between England, the United States, and Russia there were concerns about who would have the "manpower" to emerge with some capable economy in the post war season. Our leadership was surely a little bit concerned having known of how difficult the post Civil War years on our own home economies after the loss of so many. Was this going to happen again? Could enemies rebuild faster than we could recover? New enemies? Yes how badly did we have to beat the enemy to prevent the resurgence as WWI had provided a basis for? Our hindsight must include the day to day concerns to be complete. I don't think we can take for granted that anyone was sure of post war affluence that we can now take for granted and use it in our "hind sight".
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Michael well it is your choice of course to keep the 163 K question open if you would like

    I interviewed Rudi Opitz CO of II./JG 400 some years ago at length and even through letter about the pilots fuel system and operations of JG 400 in general and since at the time back in the 1970's I was working on a book about the LW night fighter operations - still am, he told me actually the JG 400 existed really in name only they never made a difference with the exception that the Komet was a scary new project unleashed. I asked him about the possible night ops and he said "what, you have to be kidding me". I furthered his response and again he responded "the Komet was so difficult - unstable to fly by day how would you think we could fly the rocket at night and even see anything ?"

    there are NO operation reports by any unit flying the Komet at night the same goes for the RAF reports seeing He 219's equipped with a He 162 type overhead jet engine system.
     
  14. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hi Michael,

    thank you for your advice i´ll try it and let you know if it has worked. Thank you too for the attached link and the great pics!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  15. Lost Watchdog

    Lost Watchdog Member

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    Michael - Verring slightly off topic again, if you dont want to pay heavy P&P for books sent to Australia try Free delivery worldwide on all books from The Book Depository they have free (and fast) shipping, a big range and are cheaper than most Aussie book shops and even Big W. I've got books like Beevor's D-Day for $40 less than I would have to pay in Oz and months before it was released here -
     
  16. menright

    menright Member

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    Hi Lost Watchdog,

    (ironic name that) Thanks, I have bought loads from the Book Depository via amazon as they do have the range and their packaging is generally excellent. I will take your advice when I next purchase and go direct.

    Michael
     
  17. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    My death is prepaid. Warsaw Ghetto, days before its annihilation:
    From: Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto: The Journal of Emmanuel Ringelblum
     

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