The night of 4/5 September 1944 (Page 84)

A rare reference to NSG 9's impact on Allied ground troops can be found in "The Gothic Line: Canada's Climactic World War II Triumph in Italy" by Mark Zuehlke (Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 2003).gothic

Recommending this book highly, reviewer Bill Stone wrote:

...there's scarcely a mention of air support until the night of 4–5 September [1944]. Surprisingly, it was not an Allied operation. The Luftwaffe sent a few raiders over the Canadians and caused disruption far in excess of their numbers and the actual physical destruction.


(left) The Air Liaison Officer at No. 1 Mobile Operations Room Unit writes about the reaction of Canadian troops to attacks by "odd Ju 87's" of NAG 9. (Source: TNA AIR 27/420)




ULTRA and NSG 9: September 1944



9 September 1944

XL 9699
Luftflotte 2 sorties ... (b) on 9th, 38 sorties by 19 GA aircraft and attacks on localities and road traffic east and west sectors.

10 September 1944

XL 9802
GAFCIT report late 10th: 35 NGA sorties road strafing eastern front area and Lucca (comment: presumably night 9/10th) ...

11 September 1944

XL 9942
... (b) GAFCIT report late 11th: 20 sorties by 17 Ju 87 (comment: presumably night 10/11th)

12 September 1944

XL 9987
GAFIT evening 12th ... night G/A ops cancelled until further notice. Ops in new moon period would be notified in good time.

23 September 1944

HP 1103
According GAFIT late on 23rd: NGA ops were to be expected from Verona area from 26th.

By Autumn 1944, the number of ULTRA messages intercepted about the Luftwaffe in Italy had declined sharply and a researcher can spend a lot of time looking but come up with comparatively little. Consequently those chapters of Ghost Bombers relied more on other sources.

These pages list some messages either not used or not cited in Ghost Bombers. Mostly they are signals that came to light during research into the September-November period for a later project. They amplify what appeared in the book but don't invalidate anything there, as far as I'm aware.

ULTRA Glossary



11 hours etc.

All times quoted in ULTRA signals are adjusted to Greenwich Mean Time.

120357Z/11/44 etc.

Time that the decrypted signal was issued , in this case: 12th day, 03.57 hours Zebra (=GMT) / November / 1944.


Ground attack.


German Air Force Central Italy.


German Air Force Italy.


German Air Force Upper Italy.


Night ground attack (Nachtschlacht).

ZZZ etc.

Priority rating ranging from Z (least urgent) to ZZZZZ (most urgent). A signal with one Z usually contains background information; one rated ZZZZZ has information affecting Allied operations underway or about to happen (e.g. warning of a German attack that has yet to take place).

NOTE: for a much more detailed discussion of ULTRA signals and their interpretation, click here.




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