Robert Forsyth details how the Luftwaffe attempted to defend the Third Reich against the mass daylight formations of US heavy bombers
From mid-1943, the Luftwaffe daylight fighter force in western Europe fielded two tried and tested, single-seat, piston-engined aircraft against the US Eighth Air Force.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109, undoubtedly one of the finest fighters in aviation history, was first blooded in the skies over Spain. In the hands of a small number of German pilots during the Spanish Civil War between 1936-1939, it gained a formidable combat reputation. Subsequently, the Bf 109 saw service as the Luftwaffe’s pre-eminent fighter in Poland, Scandinavia, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Russia and during the air campaign against Britain in 1940.