Bob Jubb - The German night fighter "Schrage Musik"

Running time
3 min 13 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


When we finished our first tour, we were asked due to crew shortage would we volunteer to do an extra five trips? That would give the squadron time for newcomers to come in. So we got together and said look, it's always other people that get shot down, it's not us, so we volunteered to do the extra five trips. On the third one of those, we were shot down, but we were shot down by what was called the Schräge Musik, which was something that we never knew anything about.

The Germans had a twin engine fighter with upward firing cannon, and they would come in below in your blind spot where it was impossible to see them, and give you a three second burst into an engine, which was sure to set fire to your aircraft. Then they would move on to the next one. I heard a German night fighter pilot interviewed after the war, and he said "On one night I shot down seven four engine bombers in 19 minutes". He said, "I would just set one on fire, I'd move on to the next one". He said "You couldn't go wrong".

That was how we came to our sticky end. As a night fighter they were very good. Once they equipped them with these upward firing canons, they had a wonderful life. Most of the casualties of bomber command would have ended up as victims of Schräge Musik, because many blokes who were shot down thought it was flak, because the first thing they knew was they were on fire, and a few bullets were flying past them. Some would have gone into the aircraft, and some would have gone between the wings or out through the other side. Fellas had never heard of Schräge Musik, and they would put it down to flak, but I think most of it was Schräge Musik.

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