The German Aces Speak: World War II Through the Eyes of Four of the Luftwaffe's Most Important Commanders
Few perspectives epitomize the sheer drama and sacrifice of combat more perfectly than those of the fighter pilots of World War II. As romanticized as any soldier in history, the World War II fighter pilot was viewed as larger than life: a dashing soul waging war amongst the clouds. In the 65-plus years since the Allied victory, stories of these pilots' heroics have never been in short supply. But what about their adversaries - the highly skilled German aviators who pushed the Allies to the very brink of defeat?
Of all of the Luftwaffe's fighter aces, the stories of Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck shine particularly bright. In The German Aces Speak, for the first time in any book, these four prominent and influential Luftwaffe fighter pilots reminisce candidly about their service in World War II. Personally interviewed by author and military historian Colin Heaton, they bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their lives, and, perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler.
Luftwaffe Aces: German Combat Pilots of WWII (Stackpole Military History Series)
World War II air war companion to Panzer Aces and Panzer Aces IIIn-the-cockpit accounts of aerial dogfights by some of Germany's deadliest pilots ever to take to the skiesThis exciting book tells the combat biographies of seven Luftwaffe aces: three day-fighter pilots, one night-fighter pilot, one close-support pilot, and two bomber pilots. This mix of well-known and less famous pilots includes Heinz BÃ¤r, who had 221 victories and was an ME 262 ace; Otto Kittel, the fourth-highest Luftwaffe ace with 267 kills; Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, a leading night-fighter ace with 121 kills; Wilhelm Batz, whose two-year combat career ended with 237 kills in the elite JG 52; Otto Weiss, a close-support pilot in the Hs 123 and Hs 129; Joachim Helbig, who flew the Ju 88 bomber over Malta; and Ludwig Havighorst, who served first with the infantry and then the Luftwaffe, where he flew fifty bombing missions over Stalingrad.
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II
A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies”* emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times and international bestseller by the author of Spearhead. December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger...What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.INCLUDES PHOTOS
Duel Under the Stars: The Memoir of a Luftwaffe Night Pilot in World War II
"The enemy bomber grew larger in my sights and the rear gunner was sprayed by my guns just as he opened fire. The rest was merely a matter of seconds. The bomber fell like a stone out of the sky and exploded on the ground. The nightmare came to an end."In this enthralling memoir, the author recounts his experiences of the war years and traces the story of the ace fighter pilots from the German development of radar to the Battle of Britain.Johnen flew his first operational mission in July 1941, having completed his blind-flying training. In his first couple of years he brought down two enemy planes. The tally went up rapidly once the air war was escalated in spring 1943, when Air Marshal Arthur Harris of the RAF Bomber Command began the campaign dubbed the Battle of the Ruhr. During this phase of the war Johnen’s successes were achieved against a 710-strong force of bombers. Johnen’s further successes during Harris’s subsequent Berlin offensive led to his promotion as Staffelkapitan (squadron leader) of Nachtjagdgeschwader and a move to Mainz. During a sortie from there, his Bf 110 was hit by return fire and he was forced to land in Switzerland. He and his crew were interned by the authorities. The Germans were deeply worried about leaving a sophisticatedly equipped night...
Autobiography of World War Two Luftwaffe pilot Hans Ulrich Rudel, the most highly decorated German serviceman of WW2, and the only one to be awarded the Third Reich’s most prestigious medal which was specially created for Rudel by Hitler himself, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.Shot down over 24 times, Hans Rudel is credited with destroying over 500 tanks, 2,000 ground targets, the Russian battleship Marat, two cruisers and a destroyer, and was so successful against Russian forces that Joseph Stalin put up a 100,000 rouble ransom on his head. His flying record of over 2,500 combat missions remains unmatched by any pilot since.Until his death in 1982 Hans Rudel remained a loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler, and National Socialism. Hans Rudel remained a complex character, but arguably one of WW2’s most heroic figures. This is a new edition of this classic war epic which includes new maps, photographs, and footnotes, with an introduction by British air ace Group Captain Douglas Bader.
Initially designed as a fast medium bomber, the Junkers Ju 88 was also used as a Zerstörer heavy fighter by the Luftwaffe. It saw its combat debut over Poland in 1939, and heavy fighter variants saw action on every front up to VE Day. The ultimate Ju 88 fighter variant was the G-model of 1944, which boasted a FuG 220 or 227 radar, an astounding array of cannon and machine gun armament, and advanced Junkers Jumo or BMW engines. A dedicated nightfighter, the first Ju 88G-1s entered service with the Nachtjagd in the summer of 1944, replacing Ju 88C/Rs as well as some Bf 110Gs. Despite suffering heavy losses in the final months of the war, Ju 88Gs also inflicted serious casualties on Bomber Command right up to VE Day.Illustrated with original artwork, Ju 88 Aces of World War 2 tells the story of the aces who menaced Allied aircraft and shipping throughout the war, whether patrolling over the Bay of Biscay, to the Arctic circle opposing Allied convoys and, most successfully, as radar-equipped nightfighters engaging RAF heavy bombers during defense of the Reich operations from late 1941.
Luftwaffe War Diary: Pilots & Aces: Uniforms & Equipment
Visual history of the German air force in World War II. Hundreds of color and b/w images of pilots and crews, aircraft, uniforms, awards, sidearms, and moreIncludes Stuka dive-bombers, Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters, and other planesMust-have for historians, modelers, World War II buffs, and aviation enthusiasts
The German Aces Speak II: World War II Through the Eyes of Four More of the Luftwaffe's Most Important Commanders
The much-anticipated sequel to The German Aces Speak gives voice to four more of WWII’s most noteworthy German pilots. When The German Aces Speak published in 2011, Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine welcomed Colin Heaton’s and Anne-Marie Lewis’s masterful command of interview-based narrative, writing, “. . . what might have been numbing recitations of dogfights are instead vivid descriptions of life as a warrior during World War II.” Indeed, it is this unexpected perspective, brought to life by the authors’ neutrality and thoughtful research, that illuminates a side of war largely hidden from the American public: the experience of the German Luftwaffe pilot. In The German Aces Speak II, Heaton and Lewis paint a picture of the war through the eyes of four more of Germany’s most significant pilots—Johannes Steinhoff, Erich Alfred Hartmann, Gunther Rall, and Dieter Hrabak—put together from numerous interviews personally conducted by Heaton from the 1980s through the 2000s. The four ex-Luftwaffe fighter aces bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their off-duty lives, their lives after the war, and, perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler. Together, t...
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.
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Luftwaffe ace flies in Spitfire - BBC News
German Luftwaffe Ace Pilot
One of Germany's most highly decorated World War Two pilots has achieved a long-held ambition - to fly in a Spitfire.
Hugo Broch, 95, took to the skies over Kent, where the RAF held the line during the Battle of Britain.
He was credited with 81 victories in 324 missions during the war.
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