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  #1  
Old 28th October 2020, 10:04
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"The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

Should be available in a couple of days:

"On Wednesday, 27 September 1944, a force of 283 Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers from the USAAF's 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing, took off from their bases in Britain and headed out across the North Sea escorted by 198 P-51 Mustang fighters. The bombers' target was the industrial city of Kassel in northern Germany.

Among the bombers assigned to the raid were the aircraft of the 445th Heavy Bombardment Group. Thirty-five of the 445th's Liberators, along with the 336 men who made up their crews, took off from their base near the village of Tibenham in Norfolk. Their specific target that day was the engineering works of Henschel & Sohn which built Tiger and Panther tanks.

Kassel had been bombed by the Allied air forces in the past, most notably in October 1943 when more than 500 bombers had dropped 1,800 tons of bombs creating a firestorm that had ravaged the city. The raid on 28 September 1944, however, would have a far different result.

Due to a navigational error, the lead Liberator of the 445th Heavy Bombardment Group turned due east instead of east-south-east and the following thirty-five bombers missed Kassel altogether, attacking an alternative target. But the worst was to come. The change of direction meant that the bombers lost their escorting Mustangs and on the return flight they were pounced on by 150 enemy fighters - and massacred.

Within just six minutes, the 445th experienced the greatest single-day losses suffered by any group from one airfield in the history of aviation warfare. Twenty-five of the Liberators were shot down inside Germany itself; three crashed en route to the coast (two in France and one in Belgium); two made forced landings at an emergency airfield in England; and the last came to grief within sight of home. Just four of the original thirty-five B-24s landed safely back at Tibenham. The human cost was equally high. In the course of just a few minutes, 117 airmen lost their lives, including eleven who were murdered after parachuting safely to the ground. A further 121 men were taken prisoner; only ninety-eight returned to duty.

In this highly moving account of the Kassel raid, the author, who lives close to the Tibenham airfield, uncovers the painful details of those terrible moments in September 1944 through the stories of those who survived one of the Second World War's most disastrous operations in the USAAF's battle against the Luftwaffe.
"

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Old 29th October 2020, 00:35
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII
(Air World, an imprint of Pen & Sword Books - 30 October 2020)
by Eric Ratcliffe
200 pages w/ 55 b&w photos - hardback
£19.99
$34.95

The Author
Born in the North of England, at an early age Eric Ratcliffe moved with his parents to Norfolk, where he still resides. His love of flying began in 1975, when, aged 28, he first tasted gliding. Eric continues flying both gliders and powered aircraft to this day. It was his involvement with the Norfolk Gliding Club, and their home airfield at the ex-USAAF base at Tibenham, which aroused his interest in the Second World War, vintage aircraft, and the aircrew who flew them. Retiring from his engineering business seven years ago, Eric found the time to research the Kassel mission, whilst still acting as a tour guide of wartime battlefields and air bases in UK, France, and Germany.

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-...rdback/p/18555
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Old 29th October 2020, 08:54
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

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Originally Posted by Edward View Post
The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII
Haven’t they missed a word out of the title e.g. “by a USAAF Group” or “... any USAAF Group”?
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Old 29th October 2020, 17:39
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

It does seem a little odd.
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Old 19th November 2020, 17:52
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

Received. One can wonder why the author spell "B-24" put spell "P38" and "P51".
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Old 19th November 2020, 17:56
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

Can you please tell us a bit about it once you've had a chance to read it? Does it include details from the German side?
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Old 19th November 2020, 22:59
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

I want to finish Mission 376 before that one so I went to got a little closer look.

It look like Ernst Schröder is the main eyewitness on the German side. In fact the air battle is covered in a 35-page long chapter (out of 135, not including the appendix).

I don't think you should go for this book if you are interested by the German side, example: "[The Sturmgruppen] needed the protection of a group of Me Bf 109Es acting as top cover" and the technical description of the Sturmbock is faulty. In English, you better go for JG 4 and JG 300 books or Donald Caldwell's Defence of Reich books.
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Old 20th November 2020, 02:00
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

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Originally Posted by Alfred.MONZAT View Post
I want to finish Mission 376 before that one so I went to got a little closer look.

It look like Ernst Schröder is the main eyewitness on the German side. In fact the air battle is covered in a 35-page long chapter (out of 135, not including the appendix).

I don't think you should go for this book if you are interested by the German side, example: "[The Sturmgruppen] needed the protection of a group of Me Bf 109Es acting as top cover" and the technical description of the Sturmbock is faulty. In English, you better go for JG 4 and JG 300 books or Donald Caldwell's Defence of Reich books.
Thank you very much, Alfred!

I've been interested in the Kassel Mission for many years. I definitely prefer books that cover both sides (as accurately as possible) though, so this will slip down some spots on my priority to purchase list.

Btw, I have all of the books you mention and those are indeed good recommendations. If you enjoy Mission 376 I heartily recommend the same author's work on Mission 85.
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Old 20th November 2020, 09:43
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

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If you enjoy Mission 376 I heartily recommend the same author's work on Mission 85.
I've already read Mission 85
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Old 20th November 2020, 11:46
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Re: "The Kassel Raid, 27 September 1944: The Largest Loss by USAAF Group on any Mission in WWII" by Eric Ratcliffe

I only found soft cover versions of mission 85.Was there hard cover printed?
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