Looking for German nightfighter operations stuff.....

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Ascent, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Ascent

    Ascent Member

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    I wonder if anyone out there can help me? I'm wondering if anyone has good links or can recommend good books where I can find out about the German nightfighter system?

    I'm interested in the whole thing, ground control, how the aircraft operated, capabilities of the radars and aircraft, what happened if they were spotted by an aircraft they were stalking, how easy was it to locate and destroy a bomber?

    I know some basics, I know the British used countermeasures and nightfighter intruders operating in the bomber streams, I know about the upward firing guns (not going to embarrass myself by mis-spelling the name) but find I don't really know how things were orgsanised or operated.

    This is just for a personal project. I'm not after being told, just guided to where I can find the answers.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Westerman's doctoral thesis contains, among the Flak as a main theme, a good part about the night fighters operations since both were a part of Reich defense. The full title is "Flak: German Anti-Aircraft Defenses 1914–1945", free download: www.theblackvault.com/documents/ADA380153.pdf
    The another book is the 'Nachtjaeger - Luftwaffe night fighter units' of 'Luftwaffe colours' series, where, especially in the part one, is discussed about the organization of the LW NF system.

    Of course, there is quite a number of other books around, other people will surely chime in.
     
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  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Theo Boiten's Nachtjagd War Diaries, two volumes, if you can find them without mortgaging your house or selling a kidney.

    More modestly Nachtjagd-The Night Fighter Versus Bomber War Over the Third Reich, 1939-45 by the same author.

    Foreman and Parry, Luftwaffe Nightfighter Combat Claims. Most useful in conjunction with data from Bomber Command's side of the campaigns.

    Boiten and Bowman's Battles with the Nachtjagd.

    There are many more. I haven't mentioned some older publications.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. Balljoint

    Balljoint Member

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  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #5 parsifal, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
    Our own Erich is encyclopaedic on German Nightfighter unit histories. not sure how his book is travelling, but if can catch up to him, worth a chat

    Ive got an old book simply called "Night Fighter" I forget the author (will edit tonite) writes up a really good comparison between LW and RAF night fighter operations, to highlight the differences, and goes into systems and procedures in a lot of detail

    Edit

    The book is "Night Fighters - A development and Combat History" by Bill Gunston, with a Foreword by Gp Capt John Cunningham
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Hey Tomo,

    Not sure where you find this tuff, but you came up with a very nice link yet again.

    Thanks yet again!
     
  7. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    There's also Gebhard Aders' "History of the German Night Fighter Force". Would stay away from the Foreman / Parry book - it passes into the reals of fantasy, probably better just to chase down the latest link to Tony Woods' lists of Luftwaffe claims.
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Boiten's "Battles with the Nachjagd" is more of a operations diary with recollections of many of the participants. It doesn't really get into the other information being sought. Unfortunately, I can't recommend a good book covering the wide range of topics requested.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Aders is very dated but does include some useful stuff on the development and organisation of German night fighters. It was first published back in the '70s and is one I didn't include for that reason.

    Foreman and Parry do not pass into the realms of fantasy and it is unfair to suggest they do. I repeat that their information is best taken in the context of known British losses.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    You may want to thank parsifal, he mentioned the author in the thread about Flak years ago.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tomo. Ive got nthe comercial version of that book, Its alled "Flak - German AA Defences , 1914-45 University Press Kansas 2001.

    Haywards Book "Stopped At Stalingrad" might be worth a glance as well, for operations on the Eastern Front.

    Ive never seen much about NF ops in the MTO. Maybe not much happened......
     
  12. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    #12 mhuxt, Sep 15, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
    Sorry Steve, but we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. The Mossie claims they report for '45 are little short of hysterical, including one from a pilot who'd perished more than a week earlier, the 219 victories were so inaccurate that the fellow who did the "He 219 - A Research Paper" had to go back and re-do the thing, and Theo Boiten had to discard them as a source / cross-check for his Nachtjagd War Diaries. There was some suggestion, IIRC over on the old Luftwaffe Experten board, that the source data may have been a "salted" Nonnenmacher list, but I'm going from memory on that one.
     
  13. Ascent

    Ascent Member

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    Thanks for the pointers guys.

    fortunatly I'm not interested in claims so I can skip that area.

    I suppose the era i'm looking at is probably winter '43-'44, maybe into later '44, when the technology was getting interesting but the Allies hadn't overwhelmed the defences.

    Does anyone know when they started flying nightfighter intruders in with the bomber stream?
     
  14. PSO

    PSO New Member

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    Hi. Try gyges.dk - Huge site mostly regarding the Naghtjagd organization ie. lots of concrete related topics, but also a lot of other info. Go for the research submenue. Rgds
     
  15. Thomas Van de Velde

    Thomas Van de Velde New Member

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    #15 Thomas Van de Velde, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    www.cdvandt.org

    For those interested in Manuals of German Nighfighters their Radars ("Lichtenstein" FuG-202, FuG-220, FuG-217 "Neptun" + numerous Ground Radars) and Research to "Reverse Engineering" the German Radar Program during World War II (inevitably all this was directed at Allied Bombers and Nightfighting)

    Edit: Again apology for "kicking", but I tought this site SHOULD be mentioned. It contains the most tourough analysis/research into the German Radar Program during WW II. Performance of such Systems, tricks used by Wurzburg-Gunlaying Radars, all imaginable kind of Electronic Warfare Weaponry. Wich was the Basis of Nightfighting: The "Radar War", and it's quite surprising often how sophisticated the Germans were VS the Allies. The horrendous casualties suffered by Bomber Command during their nightraids, testifies of this. A lot of Research remains to be done (I've participated myself a little bit), and likely many features/mysteries will never be solved... Especially as the War turned against Germany, and was fought INSIDE German Airspace from 1945 onwards, Strategic Doctrine changed from Linear Defense to Point-Defense of Jet-airfields etc. And above all: The synthetic Fuel plants, and ofc this included immense amounts of Flak. And the Radars needed to get a decent overview of the (ever rapidly shrinking) Reich Airspace.
     
  16. Thomas Van de Velde

    Thomas Van de Velde New Member

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    Any questions regarding German EW-capability, and the impact on nightfighting, I can relay or help clear out.
    So fire away in that departement: Ofc others are better in others areas.
    Just happens my Father was a Flak-Gunner in 44-45 :)
    Thus "debunked" the Myths about Germany's "incapability" on Radar-area.
     
  17. Thomas Van de Velde

    Thomas Van de Velde New Member

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    #17 Thomas Van de Velde, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    Yes from the Start: December 1939, first interception of a British Bomber Raid on Wilhemshaven got detected by a Freya at Helgoland Island. Personal initiative of the local Commander, and phoning in the Raid to the Nearest Luftwaffe Airfield, brought succes:
    The fighters intercepted the Bombers by instructions from the Freya Station, and decimated it.

    The Germans, in an ironic paradox, were the first to slaughter a Bomberfleet by Radar...

    The "Bomber Stream", well as soon from the Start: By 1942 I recall Lichtenstein FuG-202 was ready.
    An UHF Radar-set, despite limited Transmitter power, and thus low range of 2.500-3000m vs a 4-engined bomber:
    150m minimum range, and small aerials for the day, garantueed it was an Absolute Danger from Day I.
    But the Limited range, caused the need for Wurzburg-Radars and other to guide in the Nightfighter:
    Each seperate, by means of 2 Wurzburg Rieses, and Freyas: One keeping an eye on a Bomber, the other the Fighter.

    I don't recall when EXACT they started mass-deployment of AI-radar, should look this up since the 1st Lichtenstein was ready LONG before it was deployed. But the RLM demanded that the Antennas be placed INSIDE the Plane, an impossible task, causing much much delay. Will update on the 1st deployment of FuG-202 B/C.

    EDIT:
    Also the original Luftwaffe Defense Strategy was to attack the Bombers BEFORE they assembled into a Bomber Stream, attacking as far out as the English Coastline with their Nightfighters. A remember an idiotic Order from either Hitler or Göring stopped this "intercept + destroy" Strategy since they wanted the German Public to SEE the Defense of Reich Airspace = A catastrophic decision, since this ment the Nightfighters had to sit on their Fields, while they could strike all the way to English Airbases and Back (at the risk of being shot down by AA and AI-equipped British Planes ofc). Land-based Radar like the upgraded versions of Freya (Wassermann, later Mammuth too) had a range of up to 300km, a beamwidth of 0.5° and less, meaning a Height-finding Precision of 150-200m at 200km. "Mammuth" did the same, but in Azimuth. Both measurements overlapped = Precise 3D view of the Bomber Stream, or buildup thereoff. All of this was enough for Radar-equipped fighters to find them + hunt the Bombers down. Also, Monica and other "Tail-Warning" Radars of the British/Allies, or Jammers used for Wurzburg/Freya-family were used to Home in on. By use of a simple form of passive Radar, this could easily be put on a Single engined fighter too. Since for Nightfighters with AI-Radar = This was duo-work, the Radar-Operator and Pilot had "see" and Act as One. The best top-ace pilot in a Bf-109, could become the worst Nightfighter Pilot of all time, in a Bf-110/Ju-88...
     
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