Luftwaffe's legendary surprise raid on Asch

Thomas McKelvey Cleaver describes the remarkable 45-minute skirmish over Asch – perhaps the wildest fight for any Eighth Air Force fighter unit

During a November 20, 1944, meeting concerning the Luftwaffe’s disastrous performance on November 2 when 80 US bombers were shot down at the cost of 90 German fighters, Hitler overruled Jagdwaffe’s (fighter force) commander Adolf Galland’s plan for a ‘Gross schlag’ – or Big Hit – stating the enemy was now too strong in the air.  Instead, he directed that every available fighter was to be deployed across western Germany to support a coming operation…

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