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Autumn ’44 Campaign Commences

The FTC ‘Autumn 1944 Campaign’ aims to initially cover Operation Market Garden (17-25 September) and then its immediate aftermath into early October.

Here, Luftflotte 3, with reinforcements from the wider Reichsluftverteidigung (German Air Defences), faced off against 3 Allied air forces: the USAAF 8th Air Force (operating out of England), the USAAF 9th Air Force (based in Belgium and France) and the RAF’s 2nd Tactical Air Force (based in Belgium and later in the Netherlands).

As Market Garden drew to a close, the 8th AF resumed its daylight bombing campaign and the Luftwaffe reinforcements similarly redeployed, leaving 2 TAF and JG26 as the main protagonists over the Netherlands area.

Bad weather often intervened during the rest of October – November but frequent clashes occurred as the Allies sought to initially defend the salient left over from Market Garden and then close up to the Rhine in preparation for a crossing operation and the invasion of Germany proper.

For a detailed account of the situation in NW Europe as the campaign opens, see pp1-5 of the following MA thesis by Aaron Christopher Bates (University of Calgary 2020):

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