Aircraft of the Aces BF-109D/E Messerschmitt Aces 1939-1941 Osprey Books

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In contrast to the single Jagdgruppe which had been deemed sufficient for the subjugation of Norway, the build up of forces in the west for the forthcoming invasion of France and the low countries resulted, for the first time, in practically the whole of the Luftwaffe's single-engined fighter strength being brought together in one campaign. Of the 1000+ pilots involved, many would achieve the status of five-victory acedom in the six-week campaign that was to follow, and even more would score the first kill setting them on the road to that figure and well beyond to as-yet undreamt of heights. The period covered in this volume was considered to be the 'glory years' for the Jagdwaffe - fresh from the experience gained in the Spanish Civil War - and for the Bf 109 in particular. Many famous pilots scored their first kills in the classic dogfights staged over Poland, Western Europe, the Channel and finally southern England. Some 40 Knight's Crosses were awarded in 1940 alone. However, after sweeping all before them in support of the Blitzkrieg across continental Europe, the Bf 109E pilots were to suffer badly during the Battle of Britain, the result of poor tactics inflicted upon them by the Luftwaffe High Command, and their mount's less then generous range.