Flying the Captured German Aircraft of World War II
Author: Eric Brown
Category: Biography & Autobiography
During more than two decades of uninterrupted flying Eric 'Winkle' Brown enjoyed the most extraordinary career of any test pilot and no pilot has a logbook that lists a greater variety of aircraft types flown. The first naval officer to head the elite Aerodynamics Flight at the world renowned Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, 'Winkle' Brown fulfilled his childhood ambition to fly German aircraft. Indeed, he was to fly no fewer than 55 individual German aircraft types, ranging from such exotic creations as the push-and-pull Dornier Do 335 and the remarkable little Heinkel He 162 Volksjager to the highly innovative combat types that were entering the inventory of the Luftwaffe shortly before the demise of Germany's Third Reich. 'Winkle' Brown also interrogated many of the leading German wartime aviation personalities, such as Willy Messerschmitt, Ernst Heinkel, Kurt Tank, and Hanna Reitsch. From his unique knowledge of German aviation, 'Winkle' Brown has selected the most important and most promising aircraft employed by the Luftwaffe and those evolved for that air arm in Germany during World War II--the true wings of the Luftwaffe. He describes their background and characteristics, and together with more than 200 photographs, color profiles, and sectional drawings provides an in-depth assessment of the contribution made to the annals of military aviation in the late 1930s and early 1940s by an aircraft industry that proved itself truly second to none in ingenuity.
WORLD HISTORY: SECOND WORLD WAR. With the Allied forces pushing into Germany, a desperate Hitler launched the next breed of German aircraft. Imagine a strange triangular bomber, that could not be detected by radar or intercepted by fighters, launching an inextinguishable ball of fire over London which destroys the city and its surroundings up to the sea. Or perhaps a black boomerang sixty meters long drops two tons of anthrax over Washington and New York, making them uninhabitable for fifty years.
This book examines the reality behind the myths of the legendary German fighter aces of World War II. It explains why only a small minority of pilots - those in whom the desire for combat overrode everything - accounted for so large a proportion of the victories. It surveys the skills that a successful fighter pilot must have - a natural aptitude for flying, marksmanship, keen eyesight - and the way in which fighter tactics have developed. The book examines the history of the classic fighter aircraft that were flown, such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke Wulf Fw 190, and examines each type's characteristics, advantages and disadvantages in combat. The accounts of the experiences of fighter pilots are based on archival research, diaries, letters, published and unpublished memoirs and personal interviews with veterans. The pilots included are Werner Molders, Gunther Rall, Adolf Galland, Erich Hartmann and Johannes Steinhoff.
"My Luftwaffe is invincible... And so now we turn to England. How long will this one last - two, three weeks?" Hermann Goering, June 1940. These detailed accounts of Luftwaffe combat operations are taken from the extensive series of interviews conducted with higher echelons of the German Fighter Force by the USAAF very shortly after the end of the Second World War. The new generation of German fighters such as the Me.262 was at the forefront of the agenda and the USAAF were particularly keen to learn as much as they could about these machines and their successes and failures. These fascinating insights cover the experience of the Luftwaffe during the whole war and are drawn from the interviews conducted by those who managed to excel despite all that was thrown at them: Heinz Bar, an ace with 240 victories to his credit; Walter Dahl, an anti-bomber specialist; 'Hitsch' Hitschhold, who undertook many high-risk operations with his Stukas and FW-190's; and Adolf Galland, last commander of the Luftwaffe and author of the classic memoir, "The First and the Last." The frustrations which the pilots of the Luftwaffe encountered in their own aircraft is well voiced within these pages, as is the tenuous relationship between the fighter and bomber wings of the Luftwaffe. Political interference, the bane of the Wehrmacht, also raised its head within the Luftwaffe and the consequences of intermeddling by Hitler and others in the Nazi machine are expressed in the interviews. These absorbing primary source accounts of aerial combat at the tactical, operational and strategic level provide a unique window on the Luftwaffe at war.
The Influence of Air Power on the Roosevelt Administration, 1933-1941
Author: Jeffery S. Underwood
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
The air force made a huge impact on the events of World War II, but this new force of men and machines did not simply appear out of the blue. There was a long history leading up to the use of air power in military campaigns. When Franklin D. Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933, the leaders of the Army Air Corps wanted to force him, Congress, and the Army General Staff to create an independent air force. Using Billy Mitchell's tactics of public confrontation, exploitation of the air corps's poor condition, and unproven claims about air power, these officers only antagonized the people who could grant them independence. After the air corps failed to carry the air mail in 1934, a number of air corps officers started a concerted effort to promote themselves as "team players" who had given up the caustic, separatist attitudes of Mitchell. By the beginning of World War II, they had convinced Roosevelt, Congress, and the General Staff of the air corps's efficiency, as evidenced by Roosevelt's air corps expansion programs and the army's war plans. After the war in Europe substantiated many of the claims about air power, especially the ability of land-based airplanes to force unprotected naval forces to withdraw, Roosevelt and his military advisors placed increasing emphasis on the role of the air corps. Jeffery S. Underwood's book moves away from the traditional studies of air power. By examining how the leading officers in the air corps developed political skills and used them to win the trust and support of their superiors, it shows that the political and military leaders of the United States were not suddenly forced to accept the importance of air power by the war in Europe. Rather, they had already been awakened to the potential of air power by the efforts of politically astute air corps officers.
From the author of the bestselling debut THE OPEN DOOR comes a moving and uplifting story about a generation of young people living through World War II. When war breaks out Annie Webster and her closeknit family find themselves - along with everyone else in the country - thrust into a world of uncertainty, danger and despair. Her brothers join up, her sweetheart Paul becomes a fighter pilot, and Annie, desperate to help, finds herself in the WAAF, where her intelligence and warmth singles her out for a role more daring than she can ever have known. All the time, the Battle of Britain is raging in the skies above her. The country has never needed its young people more, but will Annie and her loved ones survive its darkest hour?
An Account of Naval Aviation Training in World War II, The Correspondence of Aviation Cadet/Ensign Robert R. Rea
Author: Robert R. Rea
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Wings of Gold is a unique contribution to the history of Naval aviation. The book sets out the almost day-to-day experiences and reactions of a cadet who went through the training program at its peak during World War II. An emphasis on training per se is missing in virtually all books dealing with the war; in this account training is the focus of interest. In contrast with official histories, this is a story of how it was, rather than how it was supposed to be. It chronicles failures as well as successes, frustrations as well as achievements. Beginning with an introduction treating the history of Naval aviation training, it focuses upon the personal experiences of an individual cadet preparing for war. In both the introduction and the personal letters that form the body of the book, the authors have kept both the home front and the battle front in sight. While millions of Americans underwent military training during World War II, only now is the survival, compilation, and publication of their correspondence becoming the concern of historians. This book should encourage that process.
Propaganda Postcards of the Luftwaffe focuses on the efforts of the powerful Nazi propaganda machine to promote the technical achievements and might of the then newly created German airforce. The Luftwaffe had been announced to the world in March 1935, despite the restrictions contained in the Versailles Treaty signed after the First World War denying Germany the right to develop military aircraft. All major aircraft types used by the Luftwaffe together with many lesser known, obscure and secondary types are represented in this book. There is a section covering the main figures of the Luftwaffe and the leading aces who flew the aircraft. The German Air and Propaganda ministries worked together and, using professional photographers produced quality images, which were then made available to the general public in an attempt to inspire the nation and create strong moral.
John Killen's exhaustive work is a study of German air power between 1915 and 1945, from the early days of flying when Immelmann, Boelke, Richtofen and other First World War aces fought and died to give Germany air supremacy, to the nightmare existence of the Luftwaffe as the Third Reich plunged headlong to destruction. Here are the aircraft: the frail biplanes and triplanes of the Kaiser's war; the great Lufthansa aircraft and airships of the turbulent Thirties; the monoplanes designed to help Hitler in his conquest of Europe. Here are the generals who forged the air weapon of the Luftwaffe - the swaggering Goering, the playboy Udet, the ebullient Kesselring and the scapegoat Jeschonnek; here, too, are the pilots who tried to keep faith with their Fatherland despite overwhelming odds; Adolf Galland, Werner Molders, Joachim Marseille and Hanna Reitsch. Not least are the actions fought by the Luftwaffe from the Spanish Civil War to the Battle of Britain, through the bloody struggle for Crete and the siege of Stalingrad to the fearful twilight over Berlin.