Item description for Bodenplatte: The Luftwaffe's Last Hope -The Attack on Allied Airfields, New Year's Day 1945 by John Manrho...
In the early morning of New Year's Day 1945, as the last great German offensive in Ardennes slowly smoldered to an end and the Allies prepared for a final year of war in northwest Europe, against all odds, the Luftwaffe -- assumed to be starved of fuel and fighting spirit -- launched a massive, surprise, low-level strike targeted at Allied tactical airfields throughout France, Belgium, and Holland. Planned under great secrecy, the raid gambled on using the bulk of Luftwaffe fighter assets on the Western Front, with the aim of decimating significant elements of both the British 2nd RAF and the USAAF on the ground. As the winter skies lightened, more than 900 German aircraft -- most of them Fw 190s and Bf 109s -- swept across vulnerable and unsuspecting airfields, including Brussels and Eindhoven. Altogether, more than 200 Allied aircraft were destroyed, with a further 150 damaged. But for the Luftwaffe it was a Pyrrhic victory; 271 fighters were lost and many more damaged. Worse still, of the 213 pilots lost, more than 20 were valuable formation leaders. Using hundreds of eye-witness accounts and rare photographs, this is a definitive study.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.73" Width: 8.35" Height: 1.02" Weight: 3.48 lbs.
Release Date Jul 9, 2004
Publisher Hikoki Publications
ISBN 1902109406 ISBN13 9781902109404
Reviews - What do customers think about Bodenplatte: The Luftwaffe's Last Hope -The Attack on Allied Airfields, New Year's Day 1945?
Superb research, wonderful book Jul 8, 2008
This is an incredible book. It's just that simple. The level of detail and precision of the research involved is better than any other "battle" book I've ever read, air or ground. But if there is any criticism of this book to be had it is just that, there is so much information here that it can be a bit overwhelming. Not to say that it isn't well written, it most assuredly is, but it is not a book for someone with a casual interest in the air war or someone looking for some light reading on WWII. Bodenplatte was the ill conceived last gasp of a desperate Lufwaffe. And while it succeeded in causing considerable damage at some fields even if it had done so everywhere it would have still proven a pyrrhic victory as it killed very few allied personnel, mostly it destroyed equipment... equipment that, at that point in the war, the Allies could rapidly and easily replace. But it was a fascinating battle, and if you want to understand what happened and why it happened, this is the book to read.
Bodenplatte Jan 20, 2008
Bodenplatte is an excellent book and very interesting, the more so since I was at Eindhoven on New Year's day 1945 and was wounded with many others. I can certainly confirm the verocity of the attack.
Definitely a definitive account.... Feb 18, 2007
Bodenplatte proves to be Luftwaffe's last major aerial offensive of World War II and this book shows why this raid proves to be so ill-fated, ill conceived and badly planned. Superbly researched by the two authors with hundreds of first hand accounts that gives much clarity to this often overlooked one day effort that totally compromised the Luftwaffe military effort along the western front for the rest of the war.
The book is divided so each fighter wing (Jagdgeschwader) who took part of the operation had their own chapter. Each chapter shows how they prepared and how they fared during the New Year Day raid. As in most cases, these Jagdgeschwaders did not fared very well at all. It pretty interesting to read that almost 50% of all Luftwaffe losses were due to anti-aircraft, mostly Allied although German lost some more to their own anti-aircraft units. The lost of German pilots proves to be the hinchpin of doom for the Luftwaffe while Allies easily replaced all pilots and planes lost in that raid.
The book read pretty well, there are over 400 black and white photos that goes with the account given and many of photos proves to be interesting ones. The book is written with certain German centric point of view although first hand accounts were given from both sides. There is also a very detail appendixs of who shot down who, what unit lost what planes and pilots and host of other material that reflect on the details of the raid. The research, as I write again, proves to be superb.
If there was a weakness, I would say that the maps could have been better design. Also, this book wasn't meant to be read by beginner reader. The authors fully expect their readers to understand the full aspect of World War II history during this period and readily be able to tell the difference between a FW190D and ME109G. There isn't much in this book for elementary education on World War II. The authors take you straight into the military narrative of the raid.
Overall, a definitive account of Bodenplatte Raid and as it turned out, it wasn't much hope for the Luftwaffe after this. The book come highly recommended for experience readers. (Funny, Hikoki Publications - Hikoki is Japanese word for "plane".)
The Definitive Book on the Subject! Oct 20, 2005
Hikoki Publications has a well-deserved reputation for producing high-quality military aviation history books.
BODENPLATTE is a perfect example of Hikoki's commitment to quality. There have been other books on the Luftwaffe's ill-fated attacks on Allied airfields on 1 January 1945, most notably Norman Frank's book, but the Manrho and Putz book must stand as the definitive book on the subject.
The depth of research in this book is truly impressive. Comments from dozens of German and Allied personnel help trace the fate of each Jagdgeschwader over France, Belgium and Holland. The book's final chapter detailing actual losses on both sides is especially helpful in showing what a pyrrhic victory Bodenplatte was for the Luftwaffe.
The book is well-illustrated with over 400 photos, including shots of Luftwaffe aircraft caught in the act of strafing Allied airfields. (I wish Hikoki had included color profiles of some of the FW 190s and Me 109s involved but that's a minor quibble).
In short, Buy this book! Military aviation history doesn't get much better than this!