Item No. EK-6018
STORMING THE BOMBERS
A Chronicle of JG 4
The Luftwaffe's 4th Fighter Wing
Volume 1: 1942 - 1944
The fourth fighter wing of the Luftwaffe was initially established during 1942 and committed to operations in defence of the Rumanian oil fields during 1943. I./JG 4 first saw action in combat against a strike force of B-24 Liberators dispatched on the celebrated low level attack against Ploesti on 1 August 1943, Operation “Tidal Wave”. JG 4 was subsequently deployed in the bitterly fought German defensive campaign on the Italian penin sula during the first half of 1944, prior to being shifted to the Normandy invasion front and then falling back to the frontiers of the Reich in September that year. It was during the summer of 1944 that JG 4 underwent considerable reinforcement with two new Gruppen swelling its ranks. The most effective of these was II. (Sturm)/JG 4, a so-called “Storm” or "assault" wing, built up around a hard core of former Sturmstaffel 1 pilots and an intake of young daredevil volunteers. Committed against the massive USAF bomber fleets pounding the Reich, these German "kamikaze" fighters, as some saw them, were deployed to bring down the American bombers by any means, including ramming if necessary.
Compiling a history of this scope would have been an impossible task were it not for the support of many tens of veterans and their families, amateur historians, enthusiasts and friends. We owe a special debt of gratitude to five former members of JG “Richthofen” who were particularly supportive during the long process of assembling this work and whose encouragement and readiness to assist was unswerving: Julius Meimberg and Erich Rudorffer for kindly agreeing to write their respective forewords, Hennig Strümpell, Wolfgang Falck and Dr Siegfried Bethke. It was with great sadness that we learnt of the deaths of the latter three gentlemen before this work could appear.
Despite the appalling losses sustained by JG 4 during WW II, the author managed to locate around one hundred JG 4 and Sturmstaffel 1 veterans and their personal accounts and photographs bring this history vividly to life and imbue it with a human dimension which many will find moving. The first volume of this two part history covers the unit’s establishment, deployments and combat actions through to Autumn 1944, providing for the first time in English a day-by-day, mission-by-mission study of the Luftwaffe’s 4th fighter wing.
Hard cover, 8.5" x 12", 242 pages, hundreds of photos and 8 color profiles.
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