The Germans had several means to defend against the bombers. Likely targets such as manufacturing facilities, air bases and submarine pens were camouflaged, guarded by flak guns, and given fighter support. In addition, many times the Germans would attempt to obscure the target by utilizing smoke screens. The flak guns would shoot an exploding round up to the altitude of the bombers, which would then explode spreading shrapnel in all directions.

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Heavy flak bursts fill the sky.  One sign that the flack guns would start to
fire was the depaarture of enemy fighters.

The primary German fighter consisted of the Messerschmitt Bf 109, but the Junkers JU 88 andFocke Wulf also saw considerable action.

Messerschmitt  Bf 109

For more on the Luftwaffe


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