Nachtjagd Combat Archive
The RAF’s bombing of the Third Reich was among the longest and costliest campaigns of the Second World War. Bomber Command lost nearly 9,000 aircraft and 55,000 aircrew were killed.
Causing such a heavy toll were the aircrew, gunners and radar operators of the ‘Nachtjagd’ -defending their homeland.
Such a monumental ‘Battle’ requires a monumental effort to record it accurately; and this was the task that Theo Boiten and Rod Mackenzie began over 20 years ago.
· The largest aviation project ever published:
Over 1.3 million words - almost 1 1/2 times the size of the Bible.
Over 1,200 Luftwaffe and RAF photos, 80% of which have not been seen before.
· Most important work on Bomber Command since Chorley's ‘Bomber Command Losses’ published in 1990s.
The Nachtjagd Combat Archive features:
6,000 German night fighter claims - 95% linked to their RAF victims.
2,100 Flak claims - revealed for the first time - 95% linked to their RAF victims.
95% of all Bomber Command crash locations accurately identified.
Night-by- Night account, in minute detail, of each raid and the night fighter’s reaction.
Later volumes will detail the ‘Nachtjagd’ on the Russian Front and the Mediterranean.
I have the Nachtjagd War Diaries. Why do I need this?
The Nachtjagd War Diaries were published in 2008 - ten years ago – and much of the research was carried out before then. Naturally, historical research evolves as new material becomes available that adds to, or revises, ones knowledge. The Flak claims are ‘new’, the crash locations and fighter claims greatly improved, and there are new photographs.
The Combat Archive also features maps of the most significant raids, showing routes, and the locations of downed RAF and Luftwaffe aircraft.
The ‘Diaries’ only covered night fighter claims (partly based upon what are now known to be falsified and incomplete records). The Combat Archive has ironed out all these 'fake' claims, documented many hitherto unknown claims.
Why is this so important?
By using a combination of all available German records - and British intelligence records – we are finally able to tell the truth about the sacrifice of so many young men fighting in the night air war on both sides. ‘New’ sources such as decrypted Enigma messages and analyses of intercepted Tagjagd and Nachtjagd traffic, show the most complete picture possible of the why, how and where of virtually all Bomber Command and Nachtjagd combat losses occurred.
This will hopefully contribute to the next of kin’s knowledge and understanding of their family’s loss.
Why is this not in one book?
This work provides full summaries of each night’s operations and first-hand accounts of the Luftwaffe night fighter pilots who often were the only witnesses to the last moment of thousands of RAF airmen. Out of respect for all involved neither the authors or publishers wanted to ‘edit out’ any of the information to save space.
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 covers 1943 - as this was a major transitional year in the night air war - and then will release the volumes for 1940-42. The series will be concluded with volumes covering 1944-45 and on the night air war over Russia and the Mediterranean. It is estimated the series will run to between 12 – 15 volumes and be published every two months.