"SHADOW OF THE MOON" by BRIAN BATEMAN
250 signed and numbered by Hajo Herrmann $115
By the summer of 1943, the Allied bombing offensive against Germany was gearing up for a combined 24-hour operation; the British by night and the Americans by day. The recent British introduction of “window” (small strips of aluminum cut to reflect the radio waves of the German radar and dropped during these missions) effectively blinded the Germans in directing their night fighters to intercept the British bomber stream.
Around this time, Major Hajo Herrmann, an accomplished bomber pilot with nearly 70,000 tons of enemy shipping to his credit, came up with the concept of sending single seat fighters which were used during the day to also be used to intercept British bombers at night. Flying above the bomber stream, the German pilots
would be able to see the bombers silhouetted by the glare of the probing searchlights of the defenses below or by the glow of the full moon above. Recruiting expert pilots with night flying experience, these flyers formed the nucleus of a test unit known as JG300. Their tactics became known as the “Wilde-Sau” (Wild Boar) and like the ferocious beasts for which they were named, they soon struck fear into the Allied bomber crews they encountered.
Depicting the FW-190A-6 of one of Germany’s leading night fighter pilots with 23 kills, Friedrich Karl Muller’s “Green 3”, aviation artist Brian Bateman captures the deceptive tranquility of the night sky as Muller gently banks high over Berlin among contrails of enemy aircraft, looking for yet another victim of the “Wilde-Sau.”
SHADOW OF THE MOON by BRIAN BATEMAN (FW-190A: Hajo Hermann: Luftwaffe)@vbader.com