PRINCES OF DARKNESS: SAYN-WITTGENSTEIN & LIPPE-WEISSENFELD
Rare book: Princes of Darkness: The Lives of Luftwaffe Night Fighter Aces Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weissenfeld, published by Ian Allan, 2009, 208 pages.
Princes of Darkness is a unique illustrated account of the careers of Heinrich Prince zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Egmont Prince zur Lippe-Weissenfeld – two aristocrats who served with the Luftwaffe’s night fighter force and whose lives were often interconnected. Prince Heinrich Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was the third-highest scoring night fighter ace in the Luftwaffe who served from mid-1941 until his death in 1944. He was killed when his aircraft was hit by return fire from a bomber or by an RAF night fighter. Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein baled out but was killed by the impact of landing. His victory score at that time of his death was 83 – 29 in the East and 54 in the West.
Prince Egmont zur Lippe-Weissenfeld, an Austrian, started his career as a daylight fighter pilot and became a night fighter when serving under the famous Helmut Lent as Staffelkapitan. He is accredited with 51 aerial victories while flying – mainly the Messerschmitt Bf 110 – and is ranked 21st among the German night fighter aces. He was killed on 3 March 1944 when his Bf 110 clipped the ground and crashed during a flight over the Ardennes. The text is supported by rare and fascinating photographs of the pilots’ aircraft, weaponry (including the upward-firing ‘Jazz Music’ twin cannon), and radar equipment as well as others in their squadrons, together with commissioned
color artwork of Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Junkers Ju 88 night fighters.