The German Air Force versus Russia, 1943, written by Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher, revised and edited by Mr. Harry Fletcher, and first published in 1968, is one of a series of historical studies written for the United States Air Force Historical Division by men who had been key officers in the German Air Force during World War II.
The overall purpose of the series is twofold: 1) To provide the United States Air Force with a comprehensive and, insofar as possible, authoritative history of a major air force which suffered defeat in World War II, a history prepared by many of the principal and responsible leaders of that air force; 2) to provide a firsthand account of that air force's unique combat in a major war, especially its fight against the forces of the Soviet Union. This series of studies therefore covers in large part virtually all phases of the Luftwaffe's operations and organization, from its camouflaged origin in the Reichswehr, during the period of secret German rearmament following World War I, through its participation in the Spanish Civil War and its massive operations and final defeat in World War II, with particular attention to the air war on the Eastern Front.
In the course of the crucial battles in the East at the close of 1942, the only important mission assigned to the Luftwaffe was that of providing for the support of the Army, usually direct support on the field of battle. This remained the Luftwaffe's main mission throughout the year 1943, and was almost exclusively dependent upon Army operations. Therefore, in this third volume on the war in Russia, it is again necessary, in fact even more than before, to treat the ground situation in some detail.