During 1943 as the RAF Bomber Command raids became more persistent and effective the Luftwaffe needed to come up with a fresh approach to combating the bomber force. Lacking the sophisticated Command and Control facility that had served the RAF so well in 1941 the Luftwaffe took a more direct approach. Experienced single seat fighter pilots were given a ‘box’ in the sky where they had complete freedom to intercept and attack enemy aircraft - within this box anti-aircraft fire was restricted to below 20,000 ft. - this approach was referred to as Wilde Sau or Wild Boar tactics. The Luftwaffe ‘experten’ well used to their favourite Bf 109 and FW 190 mounts soon made their mark especially on nights where there was some moonlight - spectacularly so over Berlin on the night of 23/24 August 1943 when 57 RAF aircraft were claimed by Wilde Sau operations.
The composite shows a typical Wilde Sau approach with the FW 190 running in from astern and below - the bomb-bay and fuel tanks were prime aiming points - with little risk to the fighter as long as the Lancaster rear gunner failed to pick up the small approaching target. Images from recent airshows and skyscape from the library.
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