Ghost Bombers- The Moonlight War of NSG 9 Luftwaffe Night Attack Operations from Anzio to the Alps

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9781903223154: Ghost Bombers- The Moonlight War of NSG 9 Luftwaffe Night Attack Operations from Anzio to the Alps

For the first time, author Nick Beale, tells the story of a Luftwaffe ground attack unit - NSG 9 - and its hazardous, pin-point bombing missions in Italy during the Second World War. NSG 9 was formed in late 1943 from veteran pilots drawn from the Eastern Front. Intended to use captured Italian aircraft for fighting partisans, it was rushed into action against the Anzio beachhead with just a handful of Fiat biplanes. Reequipped with the famous Ju 87 Stuka - and later the Fw 190 - the unit was heavily committed against the Anglo-American breakout in May 1944 and then operated over Rome and the Appenine Mountains during the summer of that year. It was the first German night attack unit to encounter modern Allied fighter defenses and suffered heavy losses, mainly at the hands of RAF Beaufighters. Ghost Bombers is based on interviews and correspondence with many former veterans of NSG 9. Much is told in the words of the men who fought on both sides in the night skies over Italy. Nick Beale is co-author of the widely acclaimed Air War Italy 1944-45: The Axis Air Forces from the Liberation of Rome to the Surrender. He was one of the first authors to use ULTRA material - deciphered German signals - in reconstructing the Luftwaffe's activities.

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Review:

Nick Beale's book tells us about the birth and fully-combat history of the NSG 9. Based on the extensive bulk of sources, this title provides all the unknown peripetias of the unit. NSG 9 saw active service in the Eastern Front, where it was formed. Created under the influence of the Soviet tactics of disturbing bombardment of German positions, the unit then operated in Italy, and quite sucessfully. The Italian Front was the some sort of test site for pilots and technicians. Then retreat to Austria and finally the surrender. Extremely interesting title from Ian Allan's imprint, the Classic Publications. --By Igors Karpovs (LA, Latvia)

hough vitally important to Germany's war effort, ground attack units rarely received the historical recognition they deserved. From 1944 to war's end, Nachtschlachtgruppe 9 - NSGr 9 - carried out nocturnal ground attack missions against Allied forces in Italy. British author Nick Bale recounts the unit's history in GHOST BOMBERS, THE MOONLIGHT WAR OF NSG 9; LUFTWAFFE NIGHT ATTACK OPERATIONS FROM ANZIO TO THE ALPS, a 2001 Classic Publications release. Created in late 1943, NSGr 9 crews initially flew anti-partisan and night ground attack missions against the Anzio beach head using Caproni 314 light bombers and Fiat CR 42 biplanes. In April 1944 the unit converted to Junker 87s, which became its main mount although FW 190s were introduced in 1945. The unit's Stukas carried out attacks on Allied truck convoys, bases, etc. and furnished air support for German forces. From mid-1944 on, NSGr 9 was the sole Luftwaffe offensive force in Italy. Despite an a/c strength of only 30-40 a/c and steadily dwindling fuel stocks, the unit soldiered on till war's end, logging some successful night strikes but also suffreing steady losses to flak and Allied Beaufighter nightfighters. First off, Beale's research is absolutely top-notch. His mix of official German and British documents including ULTRA intercepts, combat reports and reminiscences from NSG 9 vets makes for a comprehensive and authoritative narrative. The illustrations are, likewise, superb. The book features hundreds of pix of NSGr 9 a/c and crews, squadron-life shots, Allied nightfighters and other a/c, crash scenes, etc. along with maps, illustrations and diagrams and 14 gorgeous color profiles of NSGr 9 Fiats, Capronis, Arados, Junkers and FWs along with Allied Beaus, Spits and P-51s. Visually, the book is a delight. In short, GHOST BOMBERS is military aviation history at its best. Beale's book will stand as THE definitive history of this valiant if unheralded unit. Highly recommended. --By Michael OConnor "Wordsmith" (Wausau, WI USA)

Very interesting read so far, . . . . there is no filler in it. Excellent detail . --By Aaron Brooks Wolters

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