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RAF and East German Fast-Jet Pilots in the Cold War (Paperback)

Thinking the Unthinkable

Aviation Photographic Books Colour Books Royal Air Force Cold War

By Nigel Walpole
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 300 black and white
ISBN: 9781526758385
Published: 30th September 2020

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RAF and East German Fast-Jet Pilots in the Cold War is the result of ten years of research, involving many visits to the former German Democratic Republic by a small Anglo/German team of military specialists. Their purpose was to explore the lives of RAF and East German fighter and fighter-bomber pilots, in the air and on the ground, at work and play, during the Cold War in North Germany.

The book is based largely on personal testimony from these pilots, coupled with facts drawn from official archives and comment from other historical sources. Where possible, political considerations have been avoided and no outright criticism has been intended, readers being left to draw their own conclusions on the thinking, strategies, equipment and tactics discussed. Far from being an intellectual polemic on the Cold War, the text and photographs merely record a slice of history as seen through the eyes of a select few who took up arms in the defence of their respective homelands – and faced each other daily across the Iron Curtain.

In an insightful conclusion, Nigel Walpole reassess the threat that both sides believed was genuine during those tense decades of the Cold War and examines the possible course and nature of a conflict which neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact wanted but both actively planned for.

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 Nigel Walpole

About Nigel Walpole

Nigel Walpole joined No.26 (Hunter Day Fighter) Squadron in 1955, served on Swift and RF-101 (USAF) tactical reconnaissance squadrons, commanded No.234 (Hunter FGA), No.II (Hunter FR10) and No.12 Buccaneer Squadrons, before his appointment as OC Operations Wing at RAF Brüggen in 1977, flying Jaguars. He gained another perspective of air power as Brigade Air Support Officer, 16 Parachute Brigade, was made responsible for fast-jet operational training in the MOD and completed his career as the Assistant Chief of Staff Offensive Operations, Second Allied Tactical Air Force, in Germany. Retiring from the Service in 1988, he became the air weapons adviser to British Aerospace.

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