064123 - NACHTJAGD COMBAT ARCHIVE: A Comprehensive Operational History of the German Night Fighter Force on all Fronts and an Analysis of all claims including Flak Units against RAF Bomber Command: The Early Years Part 1: 1939 - 12 July 1941
By Theo Boiten
Red Kite are proud to announce the launch of THE EARLY YEARS PART ONE (1939 - 12 JULY 1941) in the continuing book series that will prove essential for not only Luftwaffe historians but also anyone with an interest in RAF Bomber Command.
The Nachtjagd Combat Archive is possibly the largest WWII aviation project ever published running to over 1.3 million words with over 1200 original photos, a remarkable 70% of which are previously unpublished.
In simple terms, the NCA is a comprehensive record of over 6000 Luftwaffe Night Fighter Claims and over 2100 Flak claims which have been painstakingly matched to RAF Bomber Command losses resulting in over 95% of them now being identified. This means that for the first time ever, the fate of the vast majority of RAF Bomber Command losses can be clearly understood with exact locations, times and identities of the pilots or Flak units responsible for bringing them down.
This wealth of information has been further brought to life with over 1200 original photos, full summaries of each night’s operations and compelling first-hand accounts of the Luftwaffe night fighter pilots who often were the only witnesses to the last moment of thousands of RAF airmen. The books are further enhanced with maps that detail the crash sites and routing of RAF bombers for selected raids.
To make this huge work accessible for everyone, the publishers have decided to break it down into a series of 128 page softback books that are grouped into years. This will allow Bomber Command researchers to focus on particular periods of operations without having to invest in a single huge and expensive hardback book. The first set of three softback volumes to be published covered 1943 and now we turn attention to the early years. This first volume in The Early Years covers the beginnings of the Nachtjagd and includes many previously unseen photos of both the night fighters and their victims.
*Red Kite decided to publish 1943 first (as this was a major transitional year in the night airwar), and will now release the volumes for 1940-42. The series will be concluded with vols on 1944-45 and on the night airwar over Russia and the Med. It is estimated the series will run to between 12 – 15 volumes and be published every two months.