German Flak Defences vs Allied Heavy Bombers, 1942-45...

... from Osprey Publishing

Title: German Flak Defences vs Allied Heavy Bombers, 1942-45

Author: Donald Nijboer

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-3671-7


Number 98 in the Dual series takes on what I find an interesting topic. There has been so much written about the Allied bombing campaigns of WW2, with the RAF by night and the USAAF by day. Against them we have seen much on the German fighter forces, again for both day and night fighters, and one both sides, the development of the aircraft themselves. Yet throughout that there have been plenty of references to planning routes to avoid centres of Flak while many targets necessitated the bombers flying through the black puffs of smoke as a Flak shell explodes nearby.

This book concentrates on the aircraft (both US and British), and the weapons that equipped the German Flak units. It examines their advantages and disadvantages, and amidst some amazing statistics, it explains not only the effectiveness of Flak but how they fitted together with radar guidance, sound ranging, searchlights, positioning of the Flak batteries and how they all combined in a single system. The effectiveness of Flak is seen not only in the number of aircraft they shot down (and there were a lot), but how they disrupted the bomber streams. They forced them higher, disrupted the bomb aiming and helped cause many bombs to simply miss their aiming points.

We see the technical specifications of RAF and USAAF aircraft, a good example being the RAF Stirling which was unable to fly high enough to avoid many of the Flak weapons, As for the Flak guns themselves, the lighter 37mm weapons, the medium 88mm Flak 36, the improved 88mm Flak 41 and the heavier 128mm gun in both single and twin mounts. Add archive photos, maps and the fine artwork images which Osprey always do so well.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.