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I Was Hitler's Pilot (Paperback)

The Memoirs of Hans Baur

Aviation > WWII > Luftwaffe Military > Biographies Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWII WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Hans Baur, Introduction by Roger Moorhouse
Frontline Books
Pages: 243
ISBN: 9781526760760
Published: 18th September 2019

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A decorated First World War pilot, Hans Baur was one of the leading commercial aviators of the 1920s before being pitched into the thick of it as personal pilot to a certain 'Herr Hitler'. Hitler, who loathed flying, felt safe with Baur and would allow no one else to pilot him. As a result, an intimate relationship developed between the two men and it is this which gives these memoirs special significance. Hitler relaxed in Baur's company and talked freely of his plans and of his real opinions about his friends and allies.

Baur was also present during some of the most salient moments of the Third Reich; the Röhm Putsch, the advent of Eva Braun, Ribbentrop's journey to Moscow, the Bürgerbräukeller attempt on Hitler's life; and when war came, he flew Hitler from front to front. He remained in Hitler's service right up to the final days in the Führerbunker. In a powerful account of Hitler's last hours, Baur describes his final discussions with Hitler before his suicide; and his last meeting with Magda Goebbels in the tortuous moments before she killed her six children. Remarkably throughout it all Baur's loyalty to the Führer never wavered. His memoirs capture these events in all their fascinating and disturbing detail.

A very eye-opening read. I found this memoir to be a thought-provoking insight into a time in history that should not be forgotten, no matter how difficult it may be. When viewed from the perspective of someone very close to Adolf Hitler, this book is an interesting read from a German perspective

Vintage Airfix

“I WAS HITLER’s PILOT – The Memoirs of Hans Baur” is not only a treasure trove of insight, but also perhaps one of the three best reminiscences by a Fuhrer loyalist providing obscure personal information unavailable of course, no one had been in a better position to assassinate Hitler, then fly to London.

ARGrunners Magazine

As a regular reviewer of WWII books, I must say this is the very best such book I have read. It is a fascinating account of a highly decorated WWI German fighter pilot who then became a successful commercial pilot for the early German airline, Lufthansa. He was a fearless pioneer who tested many new aircraft and pioneered a number of commercial flights to fledgling European airfields and across the Alps, a flight feared and refused by many pilots.

He first flew Adolph Hitler In 1932 who, at the end of the flight, appointed Baur as his person pilot, a position he held until until the end of the war. Hitler promoted him to the rank of Lt. General, equating with the British rank of Air Vice Marshal, a rank he held throughout his subsequent imprisonment by the Russians after being captured when he attempted to escape the Hitler bunker, loosing a leg from being shot in the process. His high rank clearly saved his life although he was held a prisoner-of-war by the Russians until his release in 1955.

As Hitler's pilot, Baur lived an interesting life, he flew Hitler's friends and dignitaries and was privy to many of Hitler's plans. His many years as a Russian POW are painful to read; his mail was kept from him, he was regularly and deliberately starved, repeatedly moved between prisons and kept in grim conditions, all to punish him for his association with Hitler.

The book has been cleverly and well translated from the original German making it highly readable. It is a thorough and intriguing review of one senior Pilot's experiences in the early days of commercial flying, especially then as Hitler's personal pilot.

Highly recommended.

Dr Adrian Greaves, The Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society

Bauer gives us a look at the evolution of aviation in the period, air combat in the Great War, and the rise of commercial aviation, while offering often revealing observations about Hitler...

The NYMAS Review, Spring 2020

An extraordinary tale of dedication and devotion to Herr Hitler. This is an aspect of Hitler's life I was previously unaware of. Fascinating, but makes for somewhat grim reading, particularly towards the end of Hitler's life.

Books Monthly

Readers interested in early aviation history will find some interesting anecdotes in Baur’s account.

New York Journal of Books

Editor's Choice

Highly recommended.

The Armourer, January 2020

First published in 2013, this soft back edition is very welcome, providing a unique insight into the Nazis from their rise to power through to Hitler’s suicide. Hans Baur was a trusted member of Hitler’s staff and the only pilot he trusted to fly him – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here

Firetrench

A very interesting read!

Watch the full video review here

Scale Modelling Now

Compelling memoir of Hitler's personal pilot and confidante, Hans Baur.

The Bookseller 14/6/19

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Daily Express

The most valuable aspect of this memoir is the insight it gives us into Hitler's methods of gaining and keeping the loyalty of his close associates - Hitler the skillful politician and Hitler the charismatic boss, taking an interest in the everyday details of his staff's lives. These early reasons for Hitler's successes are often overshadowed by the later ranting, isolated, paranoid Hitler and Baur's account reminds us of the skills that made Hitler so successful and so dangerous.

History of War

A worthy contribution to the overall history of the Third Reich. A thought-provoking, sometimes sobering, but always compelling and enjoyable read.

Forces Pension Society

A decorated First World War pilot, Hans Baur was one of the leading commercial aviators of the 1920s. In 1932 he was engaged by Hitler to fly him on an election tour of Germany. Hitler, who loathed flying, seemingly felt safe with Baur, leading to the latter's appointment as commander of Hitler's personal squadron. In this role, Baur experienced many of the salient moments of German history in the years that followed; he even remained in Hitler's service right up until the final days in the führerbunker in 1945, all of which is detailed here.

Britain at War magazine

A very interesting insight into the Hitler regime by somebody who was able to look in on the hideous characters that were at the centre of it. The inevitability of the decline and fall of the regime is apparent in the duplicity and division between those characters as recorded by Hitler’s personal pilot.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Hans Baur

HANS BAUR joined the German Air Force during WWI. After the war he flew commercial airlines before becoming Hitler’s personal pilot. Hitler’s last order to Baur was to fly Martin Bormann out of Berlin, but during their escape attempt Baur was captured by the Russians. For ten years the Russians questioned him, suspecting that he had flown Hitler to safety before the fall of Berlin. After his release in 1955 Baur returned to Germany.


About Roger Moorhouse

Roger Moorhouse is an historian of the Third Reich. He is the author of the acclaimed Hitler's Third Reich in 100 Objects and The Devil's Alliance, and has been published in more than 20 languages. He is also a tour guide and visiting professor at Warsaw's College of Europe. You can see him on Twitter at @Roger_Moorhouse.

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