Aces of the Reich: The Making of a Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot

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9781853676758: Aces of the Reich: The Making of a Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot

In 1939, The Luftwaffe was arguably the world's best-equipped and -trained air force. Its fighters were second to none, and their pilots had a tactical system superior to any other in the world. In campaigns over Poland, Norway, the Low Countries and France, they carried all before them. Only in the summer of 1940 did they fail by a narrow margin in achieving air superiority over England. In the West, with a mere holding force, they maintained an enviable killvloss ratio against the RAF, while elsewhere they swept through the Balkans, then decimated the numerically formidable Soviet Air Force. Their top scorers set marks in air combat that have never been surpassed. Yet within three years, and despite the introduction of the jet Me 262, the world's most advanced fighter, the Luftwaffe fighter arm, the Jagdwaffe, had been totally defeated. How did this happen? Air-warfare historian Mike Spick explores the question in depth. His most surprising conclusion is that the motivation of the Jagdwaffe was fundamentally flawed. The legend of Manfred von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron v the top-scoring pilot of World War I v which was promoted by Commander-in-Chief Hermann Goering to enhance his own image, became a paradigm. What mattered most to German fighter-pilots was a high victory score and decorations, at the expense of all else. The result was often an unseemly race for the top spot, which had a pernicious effect on the efficacy of German air combat. From the failings of High Command to the scores and decorations of individuals, Aces of the Reich is a compelling study of World War II's most fearsome air force and the skilled pilots who flew with it. Mike Spick's other works include Luftwaffe Fighter Aces and Luftwaffe Victorious.

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About the Author:

Mike Spick has written more than thirty books on military aviation, including Luftwaffe Bomber Aces, Luftwaffe Fighter Aces and Allied Fighter Aces. His books have been translated into more than ten languages, including Chinese, Czech, Hungarian, Spanish and Polish.

Review:

In Flight USA, October 2006“Author Spick’s work explores one of the interesting questions of World War II: Why did the Jagdwaffe, the most efficient, best-trained, and most technically advanced air force in the world in 1939 endure a bewildering defeat within three short years. Author Spick explores this question and comes up with some interesting theories having to do with the influence of the cult of Manfred Von Richtofen (the Red Baron).”

"When a noted military aviation writer like Mike Spick and publisher Greenhill Books produce a book on the evergreen topic of the Third Reich's war machine, one is guaranteed to be able to buy a winner. And so it is with this praiseworthy book. The book is especially interesting in that rather than being a biographical dictionary, it is more an account of the evolving fighter tactics, the expert practitioners of such and the fortunes of war. In fact, hundreds of experten, or aces, are mentioned, especially the higher scorers, innovators, and winners of the Knight's Cross in its varying grades ... The virtues and vices of the Reich's most famous fighter planes (the Me 109, the FW 190, the Me 262 and the Me 163) are extensively and expertly discussed. Amongst the diagrams and the tabulated information are innovative charts that compare the performance of German and Allied fighters and their armaments. The diagrams also provide pictorial insights into fighter formations and tactics. As for the experten themselves, a black and white photographic picture gallery allows one to study in detail the famous personalities, the uniforms and the decorations ... In short, if you enjoy reading of heroes of World War II, you should appreciate this offering."
– Sid Wagzell


"In reading this fascinating book, you'll gain tremendous insight into some of the best fighter-pilots the world has ever known, as well as the Luftwffe's rise and fall." – The Military Book Club

--Carl D. Todd

This is a tremendous book for the Jagdwaffe fans! It is choked with details about the aces, their training, the fighters they flew and how they performed compared to those of the RAF, Red Air Force and USAAF, many diagrams and statistics and much much more! It probably demands from the reader to have a good background on World War II and Luftwaffe and it will seem somehow heavy in numbers and details to the casual readers, but it is an absolutely marvellous source for the dedicated students of aerial warfare who would like to compare calibers of weapons on fighters, the velocities and weights of various ammunition used (the 30 mm ammo of Me 262's Mk 108 was a class in itself!), the turn and climbing rates of Spitfires and Bf 109s, the command changes in the Jagdwaffe, and the fascinating stories of hundreds of its best pilots. I also appreciated that Mr Spick didn't hesitate to correct mistakes that he made in his earlier books, like the information that Herbert Rollwage was not Luftwaffe's top scorer against four-engined bombers with 44 victories but he amassed only 14. A highly recommended book --Dimitrios

All of Mr. Spick's books are wonderful. I have enjoyed some of them several times. This work adds color and depth to the histories of the Luftwaffe that he has already written. For the serious student of the Luftwaffe, Mr. Spick is "the man". If he writes it - I buy it. --Carl D. Todd

This is a tremendous book for the Jagdwaffe fans! It is choked with details about the aces, their training, the fighters they flew and how they performed compared to those of the RAF, Red Air Force and USAAF, many diagrams and statistics and much much more! It probably demands from the reader to have a good background on World War II and Luftwaffe and it will seem somehow heavy in numbers and details to the casual readers, but it is an absolutely marvellous source for the dedicated students of aerial warfare who would like to compare calibers of weapons on fighters, the velocities and weights of various ammunition used (the 30 mm ammo of Me 262's Mk 108 was a class in itself!), the turn and climbing rates of Spitfires and Bf 109s, the command changes in the Jagdwaffe, and the fascinating stories of hundreds of its best pilots. I also appreciated that Mr Spick didn't hesitate to correct mistakes that he made in his earlier books, like the information that Herbert Rollwage was not Luftwaffe's top scorer against four-engined bombers with 44 victories but he amassed only 14. A highly recommended book! --By Dimitrios

All of Mr. Spick's books are wonderful. I have enjoyed some of them several times. This work adds color and depth to the histories of the Luftwaffe that he has already written. For the serious student of the Luftwaffe, Mr. Spick is "the man". If he writes it - I buy it. --Carl D. Todd

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción Greenhill Books, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. NEW. Fine / fine. In 1939, The Luftwaffe was arguably the world's best-equipped and -trained air force. Its fighters were second to none, and their pilots had a tactical system superior to any other in the world. In campaigns over Poland, Norway, the Low Countries and France, they carried all before them. Only in the summer of 1940 did they fail by a narrow margin in achieving air superiority over England. In the West, with a mere holding force, they maintained an enviable kill-loss ratio against the RAF, while elsewhere they swept through the Balkans, then decimated the numerically formidable Soviet Air Force. Their top scorers set marks in air combat that have never been surpassed. Yet within three years, and despite the introduction of the jet Me 262, the world's most advanced fighter, the Luftwaffe fighter arm, the Jagdwaffe, had been totally defeated. How did this happen? Air-warfare historian Mike Spick explores the question in depth. His most surprising conclusion is that the motivation of the Jagdwaffe was fundamentally flawed.The legend of Manfred von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron - the top-scoring pilot of World War I - which was promoted by Commander-in-Chief Hermann Goering to enhance his own image, became a paradigm. What mattered most to German fighter-pilots was a high victory score and decorations, at the expense of all else. The result was often an unseemly race for the top spot, which had a pernicious effect on the efficacy of German air combat. From the failings of High Command to the scores and decorations of individuals, "Aces of the Reich" is a compelling study of World War II's most fearsome air force and the skilled pilots who flew with it. Mike Spick's other works include "Luftwaffe Figher Aces" and "Luftwaffe Victorious". Nº de ref. de la librería MIL740

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Descripción Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Brand New. first edition. 256 pages. 9.75x6.25x1.00 inches. In Stock. Nº de ref. de la librería 1853676756

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