THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
Our air war in Europe was fought at high altitudes much of
the time at temperatures of 50 to 70 degrees below zero
Fahrenheit... .Fantastic aerial duels with the stakes being air
supremacy and victory. It is a story of great sacrifices.
Most of what has been read about air superiority has been
about our side and I think you’ll find it shocking to know
what a German pilot went through. This story is just nine
months of the war in the life of Luftwaffe ace Heinz Knoke
in 1943, five years after Germany started the war.
MAY 14, 1943: Today the Yanks bombed Germania
shipyards. I am impressed by the precision with which
those bastards bomb; it is fantastic! I dive for a frontal
attack upon about 30 Fortresses and my salvo registers hits
right in the control cabin of one Fort. It rears up like a
great animal that has been mortally wounded and drops
away in steep spirals to the right. At about 10,000 a wing
breaks off and it crashes near Husum at 12:17 hrs. Today
my flight got down five heavy bombers and one was our
flight’s 50th kill of them.
MAY 15, 1943: Twice I move head-on into a group of
Fortresses and they take evasive action by sort of a weaving
flight. That makes a frontal attack more difficult, for the
firing time is limited to three to four seconds only. Perfect
timing is essential due to the terrific closing speed, which is
600 m.p.h. I get a Fortress on the outer flank and hit his
right inside engine, but he simply closes over into the middle
of the formation. I dive steeply from behind another
Fortress and shoot up his left two engines, they begin...
Next...The Heavy Water Operation
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