Schräge Musik (slanting music, or Jazz)
In the Schräge Musik tactic, the nightfighters carried specially equipped
20mm cannon almost upright in the fuselage or rear cockpit of the planes.
Since they were aimed upward, a nightfighter pilot would, in a feat of
incredible piloting skill, approach the unsuspecting bomber from behind and
below (usually a RAF bomber's blind spot) and remain seemingly suspended
there as he moved closer and closer to the bomber's fuselage. Then he would
aim the guns through a special "Revi" reflector site (like a upward viewing
periscope)and fire away with tracerless shells -- taking care to hit the
fuel tanks and not the bomb bay, since an explosion of the bomb load might
destroy his own aircraft. The nightfighters were armed with three 7.9mm
MG17 machine guns and three 20mm cannon. A short burst of this heavy
armament usually resulted in the bomber immediately exploding into flames.
Later versions of the
Ju 88 night fighter were fitted with two 20mm MG151
cannon mounted in the top of the fuselage and firing upwards at an angle
of between 70o and 80o. This lethal tactic caused
great damages to the RAF night bombers and had once achieved a killing rate
of one bomber per minute!
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