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Luftwaffe Aces in the Battle of Britain (Hardback)

Aviation > WWII > Battle of Britain Aviation > WWII > Luftwaffe Photographic Books WWII

By Chris Goss
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 312
Illustrations: 300 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526754219
Published: 29th October 2020


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The term ‘fighter ace’ grew in prominence with the introduction and development of aerial combat in the First World War. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an ‘ace’ has varied but is usually considered to be five or more.

For the Luftwaffe, a number of its fighter pilots, many of whom had fought with the Legion Condor in Spain, had already gained their Experte, or ace, status in the Battle of France. However, many more would achieve that status in the hectic dogfights over southern England and the Channel during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. A number would also be either killed or captured. Some of these men, individuals such as Adolf Galland, Werner Mölders, and Helmut Wick, who between them had claimed 147 aerial victories by 31 October 1940, are well-known, but most are less so.

In this book, the story of each of the Luftwaffe’s 204 Messerschmitt Bf 109 ‘aces’ from the summer of 1940 is examined, with all of the individual biographies, detailing individual fates during the war, being highly-illustrated throughout. Original German records from the summer of 1940, have been examined, providing a definitive list of each pilot’s individual claims. It also covers, to a lesser extent, those forgotten fifty-three Messerschmitt Bf 110 pilots who also achieved ace status by day and also by night between 10 July and 31 October 1940.

There is an amazing amount of detail in this one, which should be of great for anyone with an interest in the Battle of Britain, giving us more detail on the other side of the history of that important period in the history of both the RAF and Britain as a whole.

Read the Full Review Here

Military Model Scene

Recommended, especially to anyone interested in the Battle of Britain period, or the Luftwaffe in general.

Scale Aircraft Modelling

"A LOT of research has gone into this book, with an author of Chris Goss's standing it is almost to be expected, but the way photos of the pilot and in many cases an example of 'his' aircraft that he flew (where known) have been matched is an added bonus, not only to aircraft enthusiasts, but modellers as well.

Recommended, especially to anyone interested in the Battle of Britain period, or the Luftwaffe in general."

Neil Robinson, IPMS Magazine, March/April 2022

As Featured In

Scramble 1940

This book will be of most interest to those with a particular fascination with the Battle of Britain or the careers of Luftwaffe aces.

Air Power History

This book which is truly overdue, and Chris Goss has certainly stepped up to the plate with this his latest ground-breaking work. This is surely the stand-out book of them all.

Iron Cross Magazine

Review by Geoff Simpson

In this highly-recommended volume Chris Goss naturally covers some well known names - Mölders, Galland and Wick for example. We also have the opportunity to learn of the careers of relatively unfamiliar names to a British audience.

Railway & Canal Historical Society, Air Transport Group

An extraordinary analysis of the "scores" chalked up by individual fighter pilots serving in the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. So much detail!

Books Monthly

The result is a book that is an excellent companion to Goss's previous "Knights of the Battle of Britain" (however, published by Frontline), and completes it in any consultation on the biographies of the German aviators engaged in that terrible battle that was the Battle of Britain.

Read the full review here

On The Old Barbed Wire

Whatever job you do, you want to do your best or be the best at what you do. Well it’s the same if you’re a fighter pilot in WW2. This book takes a look specifically at German pilots who served in the Luftwaffe around the time of the Battle of Britain. This book written and researched by the author Chris Goss, looks at the individual German pilots, their experience, their work rate and where. The book also looks at how many times they were shot down and how many enemy fighters they themselves shot down. The book also includes fifty three ‘forgotten’ Messerschmitt Bf 110 pilots who also achieved flying Ace status.

A fascinating book indeed, when you think most books cover the Allied side, it was really good to read about how the German pilots got on during the event. I should say having recently read the Battle of Britain reference book about the British pilots, click here. Luftwaffe Aces is just like this except that we get a bit more detail about each of the pilots. The book is a really great read and I’ve learnt so much not only about general aviation, but quite a bit about the detail of German flying during WW2. The only slight downside was having to keep reverting back to the Glossary, whilst reading through. But after a while you do get used to it. Reading about the bravery on the German side makes a nice change, and I was surprised to learn how the pilots are moved around from theatre to theatre. I suppose I had just thought you’d want to try and get your best men concentrating on the one theatre. But then when you consider how badly run the Luftwaffe were, there probably shouldn’t be much surprise. I would most definitely recommend this book to others and I would certainly give a thorough 5 star rating.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

Chris Goss interview on the station’s The Arts Club programme with presenter Serena Spencer-Jones

Marlow FM, 8th January 2021

'A new book by a former RAF Wing Commander from Marlow tells the stories of Luftwaffe pilots during the Second World War'

Round & About, January 2021

The author has done great service by compiling these biographies and they are enjoyable to read. In my opinion, if you are interested in the Battle of Britain then I do feel that you should read and consult this book. It reflects activity not only by the Luftwaffe but also the RAF. Where possible the author has identified individual RAF pilots who had dogfights against known Luftwaffe pilots. It is professionally written and deserves a place in any library on the Battle of Britain.

Dr Stuart C Blank

As featured on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

What at first seems just a list becomes a fascinating insight into the careers, many rather short, of the Luftwaffe pilots. So many meet similar ends, unsurprising given their constant exposure to combat. It is also noticeable how many to this day remain ‘missing’ with no recovery of their bodies for known burial. A most interesting ‘list’.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Chris Goss

After a 32-year career in the RAF and three years working for a civilian company as its Head of Operations, Chris Goss is now a full-time aviation author and military historian. He is the author of over 50 critically acclaimed books covering aspects of the World War II air war over North- West Europe. He is a historical consultant for a number of major projects, such as the recovery of the Dornier 17 by the RAF Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and for TV channels such as The History Channel and Channel 5's The Battle of Britain: 3 Days that Saved a Nation.

Perfect Partner

Knights of the Battle of Britain Luftwaffe Aircrew Awarded the Knight's Cross in 1940 (Hardback)

The Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross), known simply as the Ritterkreuz (Knight’s Cross), was the highest German military award of the Second World War. Instituted on 1 September 1939, to coincide with the German invasion of Poland, it was awarded for leadership, valour or skill. As the war progressed, higher variants were instituted, namely the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, and the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves Swords and Diamonds. Similar in design, but larger, than the Eiserne Kreuz (Iron Cross), and worn…

By Chris Goss

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