Osprey's survey of German fighter pilots of World War II (1939-1945). Fighter pilots have always been held in the highest regard and the Luftwaffe Fighter pilots or Experten were undoubtedly the best pilots in the world, often racking up huge scores when compared to Allied fighters. It is for this skill, the sheer number of kills they obtained and their glamour that they are remembered even today. But what of the men themselves? It took a certain type of man to brave the skies in 1939-45, which were often more dangerous than the battlefields below and where a lone fighter pilot was often reliant on an aircraft that was frighteningly basic and fragile. Over the years much has been written about these Luftwaffe aces, but this book seeks to examine the lives of the ordinary men who took to the skies. These men all shared the same "aggressive spirit, joy of action and the passion of a hunter." Rich with fascinating first-hand accounts exploring every step of the fighter pilot's career from his enlistment, intensive training to his exploits in the Battle of Britain and on the Eastern Front, this book is an invaluable insight into the life of a Luftwaffe fighter pilot.
The Kampfflieger are relatively unknown within aviation circles, although many of them had careers as distinguished as those of their fighter-pilot counterparts. The men of the bomber crews did not enjoy the luxury of combat tours - they flew until they died or became unfit for combat duty. This book studies the attitudes, beliefs and motivation of the average crewman, following him through recruitment and training to experience on campaign in western Europe, Africa and the Russian front during World War II (1939-1945), detailing the exploits and trials of the famous Ju 87 'Stuka' dive-bomber crews and their own crucial part in Germany's war effort.
The Luftwaffe, honed in the Spanish Civil War, played a vital part in Germany's 'Blitzkrieg' victories during the 1939-41 period of World War II. Badly overstretched by war on three fronts in 1942-44, it was crippled by an incompetent commander-in-chief, the losses among experienced aircrew, and shortage of fuel. In 1944-45 it faced a final battle of attrition in skies ruled by the Allies as the Eastern and Western pincers closed on the Reich; but until the very end the dwindling band of veteran pilots - among them the greatest 'aces' the world has ever known - presented a potent threat. This fact-packed review of Luftwaffe uniforms and flying kit is illustrated with rare personal photos, insignia charts, and two dozen meticulously detailed colour figures.
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