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Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe in World War II (Hardback)

Aviation Aviation in WWII Luftwaffe

By Philip Kaplan
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781844154609
Published: 22nd March 2007
Last Released: 1st August 2007

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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 The accounts of the experiences of fighter pilots are based on archival research, diaries, letters, published and unpublished memoirs and personal interviews with veterans.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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About Philip Kaplan

Art director / designer / photographer Philip Kaplan was drawn to the derelict remains of the Second World War in England and Europe. He has photographed air bases, battlefield sites, monuments, the Normandy invasion beaches, the Atlantic Wall defences and the U-boat pen shelters. Author of more than forty books on aviation, military and naval subjects, his first book One Last Look—A Sentimental Journey to the Eighth Air Force Heavy Bomber Bases of World War Two England sold more than 80,000 copies. While he was Graphics Director of Architectural Digest magazine in Los Angeles his work was recognised by the American Society of Magazine Editors with their Award for Visual Excellence and he is a recipient of many awards from the art director’s clubs of New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Hitler's First Aerial Attack on Britian

16th October 1939

The first aerial attack on British territory occurred on 16th October 1939. At 1100 hours, 15 Junkers JU -88 of 1/KG 30 led by Hauptman Helmuth Pohle took off from Westerland. They were on route to bomb their intended target, HMS Hood, which had been sighted off the Scottish coast. The airman had instructions from Hitler not to attack the Hood if she had reached dry dock. By the time the aircraft flew over the Forth Bridge, HMS Hood had reached the 'safety' of the dock, but there were other targets in view. However, the German aircraft had been spotted. Tribal Class HMS Mohawk opened fire on the Junkers. Unfortunately the aircraft had time to release 2 bombs which exploded close to the ships, killing 15 men and injuring 30 others.


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