By Peter Jacobs
The air battles of the second one global battle have been fought ferociously and with impressive 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 many of the optimum scoring fighter pilots of all time. greater than 100 recorded a century of aerial successes with occurring to surpass a fairly amazing three hundred victories. In the tip, the mammoth attempt required by means of 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 survive within the annals of air struggle with their impressive achievements by no means to be exceeded. In 'Luftwaffe Fighter Aces', Peter Jacobs examines the numerous campaigns fought via the Luftwaffe from its fledgling days in the course of the Spanish Civil struggle to its final days protecting the Reich, and contains the...
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Extra resources for Aces of the Luftwaffe. The Jagdflieger in the Second World War
If using the generally accepted definition of an ace as being a pilot who achieved five aerial victories, then the Luftwaffe produced aces in the thousands but rather than use the term ‘ace’, the Luftwaffe used the term ‘Experte’ as recognition of proficiency in the air as well as acknowledging the number of victories achieved. How the Luftwaffe managed to produce so many high-scoring fighter pilots compared to the Allies is often the subject of great debate. Those sceptical about the figures will believe the claims to be highly exaggerated but a fighter pilot may genuinely have believed that he had achieved success, even though it may not have always been possible to confirm the success with evidence.
Furthermore, many Polish airmen would manage to escape their homeland and make their way across Europe to continue their fight against the Nazis. 11 pilots did enjoy some successes in the air, accounting for more than half of the losses suffered by the Luftwaffe, they were no match against the overwhelming superiority faced. The brief campaign in Poland had seen the two latest variants of the Bf 109 perform very well. The Bf 109D, with a maximum speed of more than 320 mph and a greater rate of climb and higher ceiling than previous models, retained the armament of four MG 17 machine guns (two mounted in the nose and one in each wing) as an attempt to fit a 20 mm cannon that was capable of firing through the propeller hub had, at that time, proved unsuccessful.
The highest accolade was the award of the Knight’s Cross, or Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross) to give it the full and correct name, and 500 Experten received such recognition. Its award was generally based on the number of victories achieved, although the qualifying number varied enormously as the war progressed and often differed between operational theatres. In the early months of the war, twenty victories would usually merit the award whereas towards the end of the war, for example on the Eastern Front, a hundred victories may have been required to receive the same recognition.
Aces of the Luftwaffe. The Jagdflieger in the Second World War by Peter Jacobs