This Day in History: 1945-01-01

North West Europe. In a desperate attempt to disrupt the Allies near-overwhelming air supremacy and assist the German forces in the Battle of the Bulge, the Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a mass attack by 1,035 aircraft on 16 Allied airfields in Belgium and the Netherlands. Many pass over the gun positions of 92nd(Loyals) LAA Regiment (formerly 7 Loyals). The Regiment’s Bofors guns fire continuously for around 45 minutes. In all they fire 1765 rounds, destroying seven aircraft outright and two more shared, with another five ‘probables’ – the biggest score by any of the several LAA regiments in action that day.  Allied aircraft losses, mostly destroyed on the ground, are heavy but are replaced within a week. The Luftwaffe loses somewhere around 300 aircraft and (unlike the Allies), more importantly their pilots, and never recovers.