This penetrating work explains the successes and failures of the German air force in World War II.
Fighting Hitler's Jets brings together in a single, character-driven narrative two groups of men at war: on one side, American fighter pilots and others who battled the secret “wonder weapons” with which Adolf Hitler hoped to turn the tide; on the other, the German scientists, engineers, and pilots who created and used these machines of war on the cutting edge of technology. Written by Robert F. Dorr, renowned author of Zenith Press titles Hell Hawks!, Mission to Berlin, and Mission to Tokyo, the story begins with a display of high-tech secret weapons arranged for Hitler at a time when Germany still had prospects of winning the war. It concludes with Berlin in rubble and the Allies seeking German technology in order to jumpstart their own jet-powered aviation programs. Along the way, Dorr expertly describes the battles in the sky over the Third Reich that made it possible for the Allies to mount the D-Day invasion and advance toward Berlin. Finally, the book addresses both facts and speculation about German weaponry and leaders, including conspiracy theorists’ view that Hitler escaped in a secret aircraft at the war’s end. Where history and controversy collide with riveting narrative, Fighting Hitler’s Jets furthers a repertoire that comprises some of the United States’ most exceptional military writing.
With access to previously unpublished information, authors Schick and Meyer bring to life the furturistic shapes that might have terrorized the Allies had the war gone beyond 1945. Full color action illustrations in contemporary unit markings show vividly what might have been achieved. Careful comparison with later Allied and Soviet aircraft show the legacy handed on, right up to todays stealth aircraft.
By his own, modest, admission Norbert Hannig was a Frontflieger, or operational pilot, who really did nothing special during World War Two. He was just, he says, one of the many rank and file pilots fighting for his country and not for the Führer. But his wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the 1939-45 war not often covered in the English language; primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet Union.
Norbert started flying during high school on gliders and joined the German Air Force as volunteer and officer cadet, one of the midwar-generation of Luftwaffe fighter pilots. He began operations with JG54 on the eastern (Leningrad) front in March 1943; initially he flew Messerschmitt Bf 109s before transitioning to the Focke-Wulf FW 190. After a year’s fighting, he was ordered back to Germany as a flight instructor to oppose the bomber streams of the AAF and RAF. Returning to Russia at the end of 1944, he became a Staffel CO and claimed many aircraft shot down. In April 1945 he converted to the first jet fighter, the Me 262, in south Germany, and flew his last missions with this aircraft. Also serving with JV44 (whose CO was Adolf Galland), Norbert Hannig finished the war with 42 victories from more than 200 missions. Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivity.
Continue reading “Luftwaffe Fighter Ace”
When the Luftwaffe entered World War 2, its nightfighter force was virtually nonexistent thanks to its leader, Reichmarschall Hermann Göring, who boasted that bombs would never fall on Germany. By mid-1940 his folly was evident; the first night fighter wing was hastily formed with Bf 110s. Initially capable of detecting targets by visual acquisition only, the force greatly improved its effectiveness with the creation of the 'Giant Würzburg' radar chain. By the end of 1942, the night fighter force controlled some 389 fighters and had destroyed 1,291 RAF bombers in that year alone. Complete with first-hand accounts and detailed colour illustrations, this book profiles the many variations of night fighters, and the men who made ace flying them.