By John Manrho

Within the early morning of latest Year's Day 1945, because the final nice German offensive in Ardennes slowly smoldered to an finish and the Allies ready for a last yr of conflict in northwest Europe, opposed to all odds, the Luftwaffe -- assumed to be starved of gasoline and battling spirit -- introduced an important, shock, low-level strike particular at Allied tactical airfields all through France, Belgium, and Holland. deliberate less than nice secrecy, the raid gambled on utilizing the majority of Luftwaffe fighter resources at the Western entrance, with the purpose of decimating major components of either the British 2d RAF and the USAAF at the floor. because the wintry weather skies lightened, greater than 900 German plane -- so much of them Fw 190s and Bf 109s -- swept throughout weak and unsuspecting airfields, together with Brussels and Eindhoven. Altogether, greater than two hundred Allied airplane have been destroyed, with a different a hundred and fifty broken. yet for the Luftwaffe it was once a Pyrrhic victory; 271 warring parties have been misplaced and lots of extra broken. Worse nonetheless, of the 213 pilots misplaced, greater than 20 have been important formation leaders. utilizing hundreds and hundreds of eye-witness money owed and infrequent pictures, this can be a definitive research.

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Extra resources for Bodenplatte: The Luftwaffe's Last Hope -The Attack on Allied Airfields, New Year's Day 1945

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112 Although Hahn's belongings were discovered in the wreckage of his aircraft, the site of his grave is still unknown. He was probably buried as an unknown pilot at Ghent cemetery and later reinterred at Lommel cemetery. I 13 Pursued by the three Fw 190s on his tail, there was no escape for the valiant Waclaw Chojnacki. His body was found thrown clear of his aircraft (MJ281) near Baarle, barely five kilometres northnorth-west of the airfield. Next over the field was F/Sgt. Jozef Stanowski, who had to break from his formation due to fuel shortage: "Consequently, 1 arrived over base ahead of the Squadron at 1,500 feet and saw enemy aircraft strafing the airfield.

4i'War Diary Wilhelm Wichardt. 24075-24077,VDK Vorgangsakte 80497. March 1970 the aircraft was recovered by the Royal Netherlands Air Force. ~2 Correspondence with Geoffrey Coucke. H Correspondence with S/Ldr. G. Dickinson 142Wing. ~~ Correspondence with Eric Dowden. (K) Report No. 158/1945. (K) Report No. 124/1945. Ade actually attacked Ursel instead. Interview with WilhelrnAde by Adrie Roding, unknown dare. Stanowski, PRO AIR 50/434. 1995. " Correspondence ofHprm. Georg Hackbarth with his wife, OctoberDecember 1944.

Crashed Enemy Aircraft Report No. 264. 12" Letter Deutsche Dienststelle, 17 February 1995. 130 Crashed Enemy Aircraft Report No. 264. 131 Letter Deutsche Dienststelle, 17 February 1995. 2000. 133 Correspondence with Ignacy Olszewski. 1}4 Personnel memoirs of]erzy Glowczewski. 135 Personnel Combat Reports No. 131 Wing. <, page 197. 1J7 Article Dr. Jan l~ Komarek. 138 EdwardJaworski via Michal Mucha. '" ORB No. 302 Squadron. 4998. See also War Diary 2ndTAF,Sheet No. 2338. loll) Ground Control. 141 The statement in the ORB orNo.

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