aviation in World War 2

bomber tactics
the Blitz
bombing of Coventry
bombing in the Bristol area
Combined Bomber (CBO)
Bomber Command
the Dambusters
bombing of Hamburg
1000 bomber raids
bombing of Dresden
bombing of Nuremberg
the Schweinfurt raids
German Night Fighters
the Pathfinders
Soviet bombing raids
Pearl Harbour
the Doolittle raid
the B-17 and B-29
fire bombing raids on Japan
Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

German Night Fighters

German Messerschmidt 110, was a failure as a bomber escort but was turned into a superb night fighter.

50 years ago they were young men with a mission - to defend the German homeland from the allied bomber crews they called "terrorflugen"...terror-flyers.

They shot down allied pilots by the score, many of them Canadian... When he was 25 years old, Martin Becker was one of the German aces. He has 58 kills to his credit, 58 allied bombers with 7 aircrew each.

German fighter squadrons had bases all over Europe. They developed advanced radar to warn them when the bomber streams were approaching. They went after the Americans came during the day, the Canadians and the rest of the RAF at night. The lumbering bombers were easy prey. The Germans had a harder time finding the bombers at night, until they developed a new secret weapon - tracking radar antennae fixed to the nose of their fighters. This radar would allow the fighters to close in for the kill at night completely undetected by the bombers, then they would use another secret weapon, an upward firing gun called "schrage musica", slanting music. Scientist Freeman Dyson tracked such developments from Bomber Command headquarters.

In spite of the horrendous losses his bomber squadrons were taking, Air Marshall Harris was determined to press home his attack against German cities. The Supreme Allied Command ordered Harris to redirect his attacks to precise military targets, in preparation for "Overlord", the planned allied invasion of Europe, but Arthur Harris would have none of it. In the end, Harris got his way. His campaign to destroy German cities would continue, with a devastating cost to his own air crews.