The German High Command entered World War II with the notion that the war would be quickly won, and certainly without the need to fight at night. The RAF changed all that when Bomber Command, having suffered appalling losses in daylight, turned to attacking under the cloak of darkness. By mid-1940 the Luftwaffe was forced to hurriedly form its first night-fighter wing utilizing the Messerschmitt Bf 110.
Without specialized equipment, initially Luftwaffe pilots relied on visual acquisition, detecting enemy aircraft with the aid of searchlights. To combat intensifying RAF night attacks, new electronic methods of navigation and detection were developed, and by the end of 1942 the German night-fighter force had almost 400 aircraft contesting the night skies. Almost 1300 British aircraft were destroyed in that year alone.
Nicolas Trudgian’s atmospheric painting depicts the Bf110G-4 of night victory pilot Oberleutnant Martin Drewes at dusk in March 1944, heading out to intercept in-bound British four-engined bombers over north west Germany.
Equipped with the latest FuG220 and 218 radars, the experienced crew will lie in wait, carefully choose their prey, stalk and close for the kill. The deadly game of hide and seek is about to begin.
Each print is signed by the artist and and one of the Luftwaffe’s most legendary night-fighter leaders.
Oberst WOLFGANG FALCK – Knight’s Cross