I finished reading this book today at 7:55 PM (local time) and was much impressed with Osprey's coverage of the combat experiences of the Luftwaffe pilots in the West, who, between 1942 and 1945, bravely took on the seemingly herculean task of trying to blunt and disrupt the Allied bombing offensive against Germany.
When the first 4-engined bombers (B-17s and B-24s) of the U.S. Eighth Air Force began flying combat missions over Europe during the summer of 1942, the German fighter force in the West (which up to that time had largely been successful in maintaining air superiority against the Royal Air Force) came to the realization that new tactics and training would be needed to tackle these massive aircraft which bristled with machine guns capable of throwing out a solid wall of defensive fire.
At first, the Luftwaffe fighter pilots on the Channel Front were at a loss as to how to effectively attack the American 4-engine heavy bombers, which were very well-armed and flew in tight formations at high altitudes, which generally afforded them the best protection against fighter attacks.
A top ranking fighter ace in the Second Fighter Wing (JG 2), Egon Mayer, studied this problem very carefully and together with Georg-Peter Eder, a fellow pilot in JG 2, helped to develop the head-on attack against the B-17s and B-24s. The bombers were most vulnerable to attack from the 12 o'clock or head-on position because from this angle of attack, the attacking ME 109 or FW 190 pilot faced less return fire from the bombers. Nevertheless, it required considerable courage and skill to carry off this type of attack. On average, given the converging speeds of the bombers and the Luftwaffe fighters, the Jagdflieger had barely 3 seconds to carry off the attack and score an "Abschluss" or certain kill.
From these beginnings, the air war over Europe took on a ferocity in which both sides fought tenaciously til V-E Day.