Eagles over the Sea 1935–1942 (Hardback)
A History of Luftwaffe Maritime Operations
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The arduous development of a dedicated naval air arm for Germany’s resurgent military was fraught with the kind of fierce inter-service rivalry that was rife throughout the turbulent history of the Third Reich. However, almost despite the odds, a small dedicated maritime strike force was assembled, germinating during the Spanish Civil War before being committed to action from the first days of the invasion of Poland. Concurrently, the operational Luftwaffe developed its own maritime units that would eventually subsume all of the Kriegsmarine-controlled formations as the war years progressed. This new book by the well-known author of German naval operations in WWII offers, for the first time, an in-depth study of all the Luftwaffe maritime operations. This is the first of two volumes and takes the story up to 1942.
The story of Luftwaffe maritime operations has frequently been written about in fragmentary terms, delineating between the planned naval air arm operating under Kriegsmarine direction and the ‘operational Luftwaffe’. Each branch of service — and even aircraft type — has usually been studied in isolation. This book, however, broadens the lens to study the development of German naval aircraft as a whole, not as separate independent services but rather as a concerted attempt to engage the enemy at sea in every theatre of operations, from Norway and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and the Eastern fronts, and, of course, over the Atlantic. Through ship-board aircraft, torpedo bomber attacks, minelaying and reconnaissance missions, Luftwaffe maritime aircraft played a vital role in Germany’s naval war and the author analyses all the operations and the successes in the early years of the War. This first volume ends in 1942 when, despite great success, petty rivalry and naked arrogance combined to foreshadow the eventual defeat of the Luftwaffe’s war at sea.
Heavily illustrated throughout, this detailed and exciting operational history will be of huge appeal to both naval and aviation historians and enthusiasts.
This is a most impressive work. It has earned the title, “Definitive,” and may well remain the best in-depth treatment of LW maritime operations. Paterson plans a second volume on LW maritime operations from 1942 to 1945—a prospect this reviewer greatly relishes - reviewed by Robert L. Shoop Colorado Springs, ColoradoThe Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, (Vol. XXIX, No. 4, Fall 2019)
To summarise – this is a really intriguing book. What purports to be a history of Luftwaffe maritime units is actually a very human story about failed relationships, inter service rivalries, and individual one-upmanship by very senior officers who should have known much better. This utterly depressing, all-too familiar backdrop is brightened by individual examples of courage and tenacity by both tactical units and individual crews. It does reinforce the lesson that it is not possible at unit level to consistently mitigate toxicity at the very top of the services. As descendants of those who fought against the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine, we ought to be very thankful indeed that Goering and Raeder detested each other. Had they been able to work together in any sort of capacity the Battle of the Atlantic – and with it the ability of the UK to continue the fight against the Nazi war machine - may well have gone the other way. Good stuff.The Naval Review, February 2020 – reviewed by CHRIS MELVILLE GROUP CAPTAIN, RAF
A new review of the Luftwaffe's maritime military operations through a joint monitoring of all the services involved in each of them.Miniaturas JM
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This book presents an impressive amount of detail which dedicated researchers will find authoritative yet is also very readable to more casual readers who are interested in understanding an aspect of German Luftwaffe operations previously overlooked by historians. I highly recommend this book and believe it strongly deserves your consideration.Australian Naval Institute
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"The author provides an extensive bibliography.and scholarly notes, together with a comprehensive index. All serious students of naval aviation should have this volume on their bookshelves."Society of Friends of the Fleet Air Arm
The full story of the history of Luftwaffe maritime operations has not been told before although there are many books that include parts of the story. This new book corrects the deficiency with a comprehensive review and impressive illustration through the body of the book in support of very able text – Very Highly Recommended.Firetrench
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This is a good addition to the literature on the Luftwaffe, focusing on a key element of the war, but one where the Germans had to cope with a self-inflicted wound imposed by Goring as well as the inherent dangers of operating over the sea and British and Soviet opposition.History of War
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The reader can only wait with impatience to receive its companion!Lawrence Paterson, Shackleton Association
An extremely impressive titles, very thorough and in-depth.Scale Modelling Now
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Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil SmithWargames Illustrated, August 2019
First full account of all the Luftwaffe's naval operations.Bookseller Buyers Guide
This is the second volume of Lawrence Paterson’s detailed account of all the Luftwaffe’s naval operations during World War II. The first volume took the story up to 1942, and by the end of that year Hermann Göring’s Reich Air Ministry had subsumed nearly every aspect of Wehrmacht maritime aviation. Kriegsmarine attempts to develop an independent Fleet Air Arm had been perpetually frustrated, reflecting the chaotic nature of the Third Reich’s internal military and political mechanics. Driven more by vanity than operational prudence, the Luftwaffe had continually thwarted the advancement…By Lawrence Paterson
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