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Totally outnumbered throughout their short two-year sojourn in the Western Desert, the crack fighter pilots of the handful of Jagdgeschwader in-theatre fought an effective campaign in support of Rommel's Afrika Korps against the British and American forces. Relying almost exclusively on the Luftwaffe's staple fighter of World War 2, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the battle-hardened aces used the aircraft's superior performance to achieve incredible scores against the Allies. Similarly, once pushed out of North Africa, these units continued to take the fight to the RAF and USAAF from makeshift bases in northern Italy.
Unquestionably the best American fighter of World War 2, the North American P-51 Mustang served in large numbers with the USAAF's Eighth Air Force from late 1943 until VE Day, and was the mount of most aces in-theatre. Charged with the responsibility of escorting huge formations of B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers on daylight raids deep into Germany, the P-51 pilots of the various fighter groups within the 'Mighty Eighth' went head to head with the cream of the Luftwaffe's fighter squadrons for control of the skies over the Third Reich.
Air-to-air combat was limited in Vietnam compared to the Korean or Second World wars. The author does a credible job of examining the air combat that did take place, examining the tactics, equipment, and the personnel of both sides.
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