Luftwaffe Fighter Units: Russia 1941-45 (Aircam Airwar 11)
By Christopher Shores
Publisher: Osprey Publishing 1978 48 Pages
PDF 9 MB
On the morning of 22 June 1941, the massive German invasion of Western Russia, Barbarossa, was spearheaded by deep armoured thrusts, designed to encircle and destroy large segments of the numerically strong Red Army. Overhead, providing immediate support and protection, flew the battle-hardened and highly-experienced units of the Luftwaffe, similar in composition, size and equipment to those used in western Europe and against Britain during 1940. Only amongst the Jagd-gesckwader (fighter units) had any substantial re-equipment taken place. Late in 1940 the first example of the Messerschrnirt Bfl09F had become available, and by June 1941, 13 of the Gruppen in the east had received these superb fighters— considered by many to be the best of all the variants of the Bfl09 in terms of handling and response. Certainly it was of superior general performance to any opposition it would meet over Russia for many months to come. Indeed, the older Bfl09E which still equipped the remainder of the fighter force, was more than adequate to deal with the vast majority of Soviet aircraft it would meet initially— particularly when in the hands of the very high quality pilots which most of the Jagdflieger were.