The Luftwaffe's Secret WWII Missions (Hardback)
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On the night of 14/15 August 1944, the roar of an unknown aircraft was heard over the dense forests to the south-east of Moscow. Flying past the Soviet capital, the aircraft turned towards a ‘secret’ landing site at Yegoryevsk on the outskirts of the city. But lying in wait were troops of Stalin’s elite secret service, SMERSH.
The troops turned on the landing lights and the aircraft, a German machine of some description, swept down to land. As the aircraft touched down, some of the SMERSH troops lost their nerve and opened fire prematurely. The German pilot responded quickly and managed to pull his aircraft up in time to brush over the top of the trees at the end of the clearing and disappear back into the dark Soviet sky.
This was just one of many vivid episodes in the operational service of the Luftwaffe’s special and secret units which engaged in the delivery of agents and saboteurs in the rear of the enemy throughout the Second World War – not just on the Eastern Front but across Asia and Europe. The activities of the pilots and crews of these squadrons, even in the Luftwaffe itself, were closed and secret. Information on the operations and missions of these units was known only a limited number of people. It was common practice for the crew of one aircraft in these units to know nothing about the assignments of their fellow airmen.
The area of activity of such units and aircraft covered the whole of Europe, North Africa, the Arctic circle, the Urals, the Caucasus, and Central Asia including Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Luftwaffe not only flew to these remote regions, but also created secret bases for their aircraft.
Drawn from German and Russian sources, much of the latter only recently declassified, the authors expose for the very first time the Luftwaffe’s secret operations and reveal the fate of many of the pilots, agents and saboteurs in a story as breathtakingly dramatic as any blockbuster novel.
The diligent research of German and Russian archives by Dmitry Degtev and Dmitry Zubov has revealed valuable information about multi-faceted secret operations, locked away for many years from public scrutiny. The biographic details of Luftwaffe air crews, agents and their subversive activities, German and Russian personalities enhance the narrative of this eminently readable book. The Luftwaffe’s Secret WWII Missions is a valuable contribution to the historiography of the Second World War.Roger Coleman, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association
"It is interesting to read a book written from a Russian perspective."The Aviation Historian
As Featured InScramble 1940
Using recently declassified documents, the authors provide a well-illustrated account of Luftwaffe secret missions. This is a most interesting account of the special Luftwaffe units that flew agents into enemy territory during WWII. – Most Highly RecommendedFiretrench
Read the full review here
"A nice compilation of missions. Enjoyed it".The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society
Review by Jason HubbardIrregular Magazine | Spring Issue 2021
It’s an easy read, and I found the fact that this book was focused on espionage carried by the German military refreshing read.
Normally when I’ve read around this topic within World War 2, it has been about the Allied missions and spies. So, it made a change to read about the types of missions being carried out by the Germans.
This book will appeal to several folk, it’s worth a read by aircraft enthusiasts, as they talk about some of the rare airplanes used such as the Ar-232A/Tatzelwurm. This will be a useful read for wargamers who play WW2 games, as it could provide some interesting ideas for scenarios. Finally, I say that those interested in spies and espionage should also pick this book up, as they won’t be disappointed.
"Offering an impressive wealth of documented detail, "The Luftwaffe's Secret WWII Missions" is a truly extraordinary and unique contribution to the growing library of World War II histories and is certain to be an enduringly welcome and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections."Midwest Book Review
Offering an impressive wealth of documented detail, "The Luftwaffe's Secret WWII Missions" is a truly extraordinary and unique contribution to the growing library of World War II histories and is certain to be an enduringly welcome and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.Midwest Book Review
Read the full review here
Video review hereScale Modelling Now
The Luftwaffe's Secret WW ll Missions is thought provoking book and one cannot help but compare it Special Operation Executive's (SOE) missions during the same period. Luftwaffe's special units flew thousands of miles to place teams of agents and saboteurs into far flung outpost in Eastern Europe, behind Russian lines on the Eastern Front and Asia. The SOE and SIS carried out similar missions in the Far East and Europe. The stark difference was SOE missions took place in pro-British areas while the Luftwaffe's missions, thousands of miles from friendly forces were often suicides missions or 'turned former captured P o W' used the missions for a quick return home.Richard Gough, Military author and historian
The well-researched work has the benefit of recently declassified German and Russian sources and reveals the fate of many of the pilots, agents and saboteurs who, just disappeared.
It reads very easily and is full of mystery and intrigue surrounding the Abwehr and the Luftwaffe secret missions supporting the insertion and less frequent extraction of agents behind enemy lines using specialised or captured aircraft. This is a book you won’t be able to put down if you are interested in covert German activities during the war or Luftwaffe special missions.Aviation News
Listed in Model Aircraft's Monthly Look at New BooksModel Aircraft, October 2020, Vol 19, Iss 10
Prewar missions over the UK and Poland; German airfields behind Soviet lines and a "Tatzelwurm" mission against Stalin himself - there is so much amazing stuff in this book, and not just about the Luftwaffe´s most secret missions. Some spectacular photos are also in the book.Lars Gyllenhaal
Read the full review here