Ian Allan, 1st Eng., ed., 1975. 140 pp., photo-plates, maps & plans. D.j., 23 x 15cm. FINE. This book covers the decline and the end of air defence in Germany. Its focus is the controversial Operation Baseplate on the morning of New Year's Day 1945, an operation in which the German fighter force received its final mortal wound. Losing some 230 aircrew in less than four hours, the fighter units suffered their most severe defeat. Only after years of evaluation of all available sources can the true figures of fighter losses on this day be reported. This book also deals with the characteristics of the end of air defence over Germany and in the West: neglect of the fighter force in favour of ‘offensive air capability'; the inability of the high commands of the Luftwaffe and the Wehrmacht to appreciate the significance of what was actually going on in Germany's skies; the lack of replacement pilots and of fuel; the Allied superiority in numbers and equipment as the War drew to its close; and finally, in East and West, the penny-packeting of the forces still available.