Bloody Biscay: The History of V Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 40

Published: January 22nd, 2014     
Book Cover
Book Cover
Author: Chris Goss
Reviewed by: 
Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Specialty Press
ISBN #: 978-0-85979-175-5
Other Publication Information: 256 pages, 200 photos, Paperback
Price: $19.95
Product / Stock #: AD175

KG 40 was the only long range maritime unit of the Luftwaffe. V Gruppe was the only long range fighter Gruppe within the unit. That alone makes the study of their operations an interesting topic.

As part of the Battle of the Atlantic, U-Boats transiting the Bay of Biscay became pray of RAF bombers. As a response measure, KG 40 activated a heavy fighter unit (Junkers 88 C-6) to intercept the bombers. As a response the RAF deployed the Beaufighter and later, Mosquitos into the bay. The Luftwaffe counter the move by deploying single engine Fw-190 fitted with long range tanks (from 8/JG2), but eventually, the sheer number of the Allied aircraft established air superiority over the bay.

 The book has the following chapters

  • "Someone must have been watching over me"
  • Crescendo
  • Carnage
  • Enter the Americans
  • Turning the tide
  • Butchered

These chapters chronologically follows the combat actions of V Gruppe over the Bay of Biscay, until its virtual destruction operating against the Normady beachhead.

The book has seven appendixes, covering commander officers and crews of V Gruppre, German drawings of British aircraft, Air Combat victories, losses, and inconclusive combat reports, and translations of operational orders issued to KG 40.

The fierce combats over the Bay of Biscay are narrated in this book via many first-hand accounts, mainly by interviewing former crews of V Gruppe, but it also includes several interviews and operations diaries from both the RAF and USN units engaged against V Gruppe.

The author has done a superb job of including general information to describe the general situation and strategic situation against which the first hand narratives are depicted.

The B&W pictures are very illustrative of the narrations and some show camouflage patterns as well as partial markings or details of specific aircrafts, but they are not of a "walk-around" type.

This book is a must read for any WWII aviation history aficionado, as most modelers are. Highly recommended.

I would like to thank Specialty Press and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

  • Cover
    Cover