Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Jabos

I love aircraft, especially low flying, high powered aircraft, preferably with two piston engines going at full whack (but I'm not fussy on the number of engines). Nothing in the air gets my juices flowing faster than a Mosquito or a Beaufighter at tree top height, rockets under their wings and all guns fully loaded.

Load her up boys!

Whats odd about the German's surprise regarding the Jabos, was that they originally coined the phrase to describe their own jagdbombers operating over south eastern England in 1942. 60 Fw 190s bombed Canterbury with only one aircraft lost, killing 32 civilians and injuring 116, in the largest raid since the Blitz. Flying at sea level, under the radar, these raids were hard to intercept (Source). Despite this, when the German forces encountered the Allies post D Day air superiority, they got a terrible shock. The following document, translated by American intelligence officers during an interogation sheds some light on how terribly effective the Jabos were.

"Something happened that left us in a daze. Spouts of fire flicked along the column and splashes of dust staccatoed the road. Everyone was piling out of the vehicles and scuttling for the neighbouring fields. Several vehicles already were in flames.

The men started drifting back to the column again, pale and shaky and wondering that they had survived this fiery rain of bullets. Had that been a sign of things to come? This had been our first experience with the ‘Jabos’

It dawned on us that this opponent that had come to the beach of Normandy was of somewhat different form. The march was called off, and all vehicles that were left were hidden in the dense bushes or in barns. No one dared show himself out in the open anymore. Now the men started looking at each other. The first words passed. This was different from what we thought it would be like. If things like this happened here, what would it be like up there at the front? No, this did not look like a feint attack upon our continent. It had been our first experience with our new foe — the American."

1 comment:

Historiker-Palle said...

In the summer of 1944, Germans were always looking at the sky. It was quickly labelled "The German Stare".