Formed shortly after the outbreak of World War 2, and equipped with Messerschmitt Bf 109Es, Jagdgeschwader 1 was initially tasked to defend the regional North Sea and Baltic coastal areas and Germany's main port cities and naval bases. The greatest task for JG 1 though came after 1942 in its defence of the Reich against the US Eighth Air Force's B-17s and B-24s, bearing the brunt of defence against increasingly regular, larger and deep penetrating USAAF daylight bomber raids with fighter escort. Levels of attrition subsequently grew, but so did experience among the leading aces, who were often the subject of propaganda films and literature.
Many of Germany's most famous World War 2 aces flew with JG 1 including Herbert Ihlefeld (132 victories), Heinz Bar (220) and Walter Oesau (127), piloting Bf 109Es, Fw 190s and the Heinkel 162 jet fighter. Packed with photographs and profile artwork and revealing first-hand accounts, this is the compelling story of the Luftwaffe fighter pilots who battled to defend the skies of Germany.
Robert Forsyth has studied the history and operations of the Luftwaffe for many years. He is the author of JV 44 - The Galland Circus (1996), Battle over Bavaria - The B-26 versus the German Jets (1998), Mistel - German Composite Aircraft and Operations 1942-1945 (2001), Messerschmitt Me 264 Amerikabomber (2006), He 162 Volksjager, Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 52 (with Eddie J Creek), all for Classic Publications/Ian Allan Publishing/Crecy Publishing. He has also written several books for Osprey in the Aviation Elite Units, Aircraft of the Aces, Combat Aircraft, Duel and X-Planes series. Robert has written articles for Aeroplane magazine and The Aviation Historian, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the latter publication. Jim Laurier is a native of New England, growing up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and in that time he has produced some of the finest artwork seen in these volumes.
Chapter 1: Guarding the Ramparts 1939-1942 Chapter 2: Enemy at the Gates 1943 Chapter 3: The Bastion Holds 1944 Chapter 4: Invasion: The Fortress is Breached 1944 Chapter 5: Last-Ditch 1944-1945 Chapter 6: Volksjager 1945 Appendices: List of top-scoring JG 1 aces Selected bibliography Index