top of page
Highly respected aviation historian and Osprey veteran author Edward M. ‘Ted’ Young details the painful baptism of fire experienced by USAAF fighter pilots in the technically advanced but mechanically fragile P-38 Lightning when they were thrown into action in North Africa in the wake of Operation Torch in November 1943. Their opponents were battle-hardened jagdflieger of the Jadgwaffe, flying the tried and tested Bf 109 in its very lastest Gustav iteration.
 Responsible primarily for escorting USAAF bombers attacking Afrika Korps installations in Tunisia, the P-38 units in North Africa had to develop effective tactics to defend the bombers against Luftwaffe fighter attacks. For several months the Lightning squadrons had to also cope with shortages of aircraft and spare parts, steady losses and a lack of replacement pilots. To survive, American aviators had to learn quickly, and they did. While it is difficult to definitively attribute victories in air combat, in the air battles over Tunisia and later over Sicily and Italy, the claims made by Lightning pilots were comparable to Luftwaffe claims for P-38s destroyed. 
 In this fascinating title, ‘Ted’ Young turns his attention to the bitterly fought air war in North Africa and the Mediterranean in 1942–43. Using original archival sources, official records and first-hand accounts from both USAAF and Luftwaffe veterans, as well as newly commissioned artwork and 50 carefully selected photographs from official and personal archives, this book sees two of the most iconic piston-engined fighters of their era pitted head-to-head for control of the skies in a key theatre of World War II.

P-38 Lightning vs Bf 109

  • Edward M. Young

    This book details the hard-fought battle between the USAAF’s P-38s Lightning and the Jagdflieger’s Bf 109Gs for control of the skies over North Africa and Mediterranean in 1942–43.
  • Book Details

    Imprint: Osprey Publishing
    Publication Date: 23-11-2023
    Format: Paperback
    80 pages
  • About the Author

    Edward M. Young is a retired financial executive with a BA degree in Political Science from Harvard University and an MA from the University of Washington. In 2015 he received an MA in the History of Warfare from King’s College, London and in 2020 completed a PhD in History at King’s College. During his career he had assignments in New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He is the author of numerous books and articles on aviation history. He lives with his wife in Seattle, Washington. This volume is illustrated by Gareth Hector (cover and battlescene artwork) and Jim Laurier (engaging the enemy, armament, cockpit and aircraft three-views)
  • Rights Sold

    All rights available
bottom of page