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Thread: 'Deutsche Nachtjagd' by Michael Balss

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    Default 'Deutsche Nachtjagd' by Michael Balss

    Hi all

    Does anyone have a copy of the above? Is it any good?

    Leaving aside the fact that it's written in German (a minor detail for someone who flunked German 'O' Level), just wondering if it's worth finding a copy via the internet.

    Any opinions? (I guess there's no chance of it being re-published in English?)

    Ian

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    Hi Ian,

    It depends on what you're looking for.
    I found some info which might be of some interest to you. Sorry, it's all German but maybe this enables you to rise from
    O to B or even A-level :-)

    Have a try (text from the webpages of Buchhandel.de):

    Als Anfang 1998 Deutsche Nachtjagd - Personalverluste in Ausbildung und Einsatz veröffentlicht wurde, war die Resonanz enorm; Hunderte von Zuschriften, Anrufen, persönlichen Besuchen zeugten von dem Interesse an diesem Thema, aus ganz Europa erreichten den Autor Ergänzungen, Korrekturen und Unterlagen. Dieses Buch zum Thema Nachtjagd erhebt keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit, dennoch dürfte dem Leser mit diesen beiden Nachschlagewerken wahrscheinlich die detaillierteste Aufstellung über die Verluste der Deutschen Nachtjagd im Zweiten Weltkrieg vorliegen. Durch die meist genauen Ortsangaben bietet es auch Historikern oder Heimatforschern wertvolle Informationen. Von hohem Wert ist das Bildmaterial (vor allem von Nachtjagdflugzeugen), da dies sonst bei der Nachtjagd doch relativ schwer zu finden ist.

    Cheers,
    Hans

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    Hi Ian,

    Balss actually published two volumes, which are complimentary.

    The first, on personnel losses was privately published in limited numbers and is very difficult to obtain on the second-hand market.

    The second, on material (aircraft) losses is the work that is still available to purchase new. Even although it is published in German, it isn't so difficult to translate, especially since (a) Balss includes a basic explanation to the listing format in English at the back of the book, and (b) the Luftwaffe tended to use a limited list of generic terms to describe the cause of loss. The real problem with the second volume is that it is incomplete and doesn't include all available loss data.

    My understanding is that Balss may be working on a revised version, and certainly the Ring/Aders/Bock team is also working on a very comprehensive book that includes losses.

    Cheers

    RodM

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    Default Deutsche Nachtjagd

    Thanks Hans. I can see why I failed German. I can work out about one word in six from that. Maybe I should have paid more attention in class. Still, never to late to learn more I suppose!

    And Rod, great answer as always! How do you know all this stuff from 12,000 miles away??? :-) Do you have Vol 1 and/or Vol 2? Unless Vol 2 (which from what you say is likely to be the only one available, and I've seen it on the internet) is really good, it sounds like it might be worth waiting for his new edition and certainly for the other guys' work. I picked up a second-hand copy of Aders' history of the NJ a while ago and that's got loads of good stuff in it despite being 30 years old now. Hopefully their new book will be well worth it too. Has there been any indication of a possible publication date, do you know? We waited about 2/3 years for Theo's/your NJWD's so another few years is ok if that's what it takes.

    Cheers

    Ian

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    Hi Ian,

    Performed a "quick-look" and maybe Flash Aviation in Eindhoven can be of use to you.
    I found Balss' publication on their site but only the 'material losses', not personel.

    ISBN: 9783925480362
    Format: A5
    Price: € 36,00
    Status: Available, in stock

    And another one:

    Aviation Megastore

    ISBN/Doos : 3925480366
    Uitgever : VDM
    Schrijver : Balss M.
    Formaat : a5
    Pagina's : 530
    Uitvoering : h
    Prijs : 34,95 Euro

    2 different ISBN numbers so maybe vol. 1 and 2 ??!!

    Good luck.

    Cheers from the NL.
    Hans
    Last edited by Temple Tudor; 4th April 2009 at 19:55.

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    Hi Ian,

    the second book by Balss is a good starting point, and it is just unfortunate that the limited-run first book is well-and-truly out of print (I don't have a copy of the first book, and are currently working from copies of the original records anyway). I believe that the second book compliments the first, which is why I meant that the second book appears to be incomplete.

    The rumour that the Balss books may be updated is just that - a rumour. The Ring/Aders/Bock project has been underway for sometime and hopefully will be realised in print within the next few years or so. I don't know if they already have a publisher lined up or not.

    The Balss book can be used by non-German speakers. As previously mentioned, the Luftwaffe tended to use a limited number of terms to describe the cause of loss, and it isn't too difficult to translate these via a web-based translation service (e.g. babelfish).

    Besides being far from complete, IMHO the biggest weakness of the Balss book isn't the fault of the author but is rather a limitation of the way the Luftwaffe chose to record losses - while whether a loss was operational or non-operational is recorded, no time is given in the majority of the cases so the best that can be said is that a loss occurred between a 24-hour period from midnight to midnight on a particular date. In addition, sometimes the Luftwaffe wasn't fully accurate with describing the cause of loss - I've found examples recorded as the likes of 'engine failure' (making it sound like a maintenance problem) where it is omitted that the engine failure was caused by enemy fire (as confirmed from other sources).

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 5th April 2009 at 01:25.

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    I have both books. Both are just listings of losses from both main Lutfwaffe sources, personnal and material losses.

    Both books are very useful tools, but you have to check both for each date, and the lack of an hour of loss is troublesome for many cases. On the other hand, most of the losses occuring at night, the date of loss will then be shown as 12-13 March 1943 for example, at least pointing on the good night.

    If you're interested in the Nachtjagd, Theo Boiten wrote recently two books on it, with more details AFAIK. But I don't know if these books include German loss lists.

    You can see samples of these books there:
    http://www.redkitebooks.co.uk/aa/twelveoclockhighNJWDsample1.pdf
    http://www.redkitebooks.co.uk/aa/twelveoclockhighNJWDsample2.pdf
    http://www.redkitebooks.co.uk/aa/twelveoclockhighNJWDsample3.pdf

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    Default Deutsche Nachtjagd

    Hi Laurent

    Am sending you a private mail. Thanks for the note. I've got both of Theo Boiten's recent books but they don't go into much detail about NJ losses. Mainly general descriptions and NJ claims.

    Ian

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