Sunday 13 November 2016

New Luftwaffe books - 296 Verlag, Luftwaffe Gallery, Luftwaffe in Colour

Compiled by two leading writer/researchers at Lela Presse (the leading French publisher of Luftwaffe publications)  'Luftwaffe in Colour - the Victory years' is part one of a two-part photographic compilation of the best of Luftwaffe colour photography published by Casemate in this English-language edition. This is a card-covered softback featuring some 160 pages on thick glossy paper and divided into nine chapters covering all theatres such as 'Poland and the Sitzkrieg', the 'Blitz and the Battle of Britain", 'Barbarossa', the 'Mediterranean and Africa'. The PK photo reporters on the ground for the launch of Blitzkrieg and the subsequent campaigns had privileged access to colour film for official wartime German outlets but there are a good number of images here from private collections- at least one JG 53 pilot regularly 'raided' local shops in search of colour film. Luftwaffe camouflage schemes have long been a subject of deep debate among modellers and enthusiasts. Here the reader can trace the evolution of Luftwaffe finishes directly from the 1939 dark greens of the Stukas and Heinkels - suitable for low-level attacks over Eastern European conifer forests and fields - to the high altitude blues and light greys introduced for fighter combat in the West and the Battle of Britain during 1940. Bf 109 Friedrichs and Bf 110 Zerstörer appear in winter camouflage schemes in Russia and the Sandgelb yellow and browns of the desert. Aircraft types covered include seaplanes and transports to night fighters, trainers and reconnaissance machines. Among my personal favourites are photos of the Bf 109 Emils of JG 26 and JG 53 in northern France - want to know exactly what the Grau Grün Hellblau 02 /71/65 combination looked like? Then check out pages 57-60. And then follow the attempts of the Jagdgeschwader 54 and 77 to darken these 'bright' colours and tone down the fuselages of their machines for, say, the Balkans campaign - the photos on pages 83-87 are exceptional. It is probably true to state that any photo book stands or falls on the quality of photo reproduction and fortunately here not only is the standard very high but the quality of 90% of the images is very good indeed while each picture is informatively and expertly captioned. This is a book to keep close to hand for reference, to dip into constantly. I look forward to volume II, the 'Years of Defeat 1943-1945'.

The latest Luftwaffe Gallery, edition No. 5, has arrived.  Once again I have worked on the English text

Erik's latest Luftwaffe Gallery includes the first accounts in English from pilots and crews of a little-known weather reconnaissance unit Wekusta 2. Wekusta 2 deployed the He 177 in the long-range weather recce role. The full story of Wekusta 2 is told by Pierre Babin in his French-language book from Heimdal devoted to the unit reviewed in a previous 'new Luftwaffe books' blog piece, see link below..
Page samples of the latest 'Luftwaffe Gallery' and ordering on Erik's site here

More on Wekusta 2 on this blog

message from Kurt Braatz of 296 Verlag; ".. I managed to publish Vol. I of a new biography of Robert von Greim. It covers v. Greim's career as a fighter pilot in WW I - he returned some 30 victories and was awarded the Pour le Mérite - and the immediate postwar period with Ernst Udet as stunt flyers until v. Greim's first strange encounter with a yet completely unknown wannabe revolutionist named Adolf Hitler in March, 1920. 288 pages, 179 mostly unpublished photographs..order here"

" ...Sie haben lange auf eine Neuerscheinung des NeunundzwanzigSechs Verlags warten müssen, aber hier ist sie nun, rechtzeitig vor Weihnachten. Sie beschreibt das Leben und Überleben des Jagdfliegers Robert von Greim im Ersten Weltkrieg. Am Ende dieses Krieges stehen für Greim nach hunderten von Luftkämpfen und 30 Abschüssen die Verleihung des Ordens Pour le Mérite und die Erhebung in den Adelsstand – aber auch ein ungewisses Schicksal. Eine Weile schlägt er sich noch mit seinem engen Freund Ernst Udet als Stuntpilot durch, ehe das Fliegen in Deutschland völlig verboten wird... Robert v. Greim hat seinen Weg durch den Ersten Weltkrieg und die Zeit danach genau dokumentiert und fotografiert. So ist ein äußerst packendes Buch entstanden, das die Reihe unserer Biographien auf jenem hohen Niveau fortführt, mit dem wir uns über viele Jahre Ihre Anerkennung erwerben konnten. Sie können Robert von Greim. Jagdflieger im Ersten Weltkrieg ab sofort unter bestellen. Dort finden Sie auch weitere ausführliche Informationen und Leseproben..."

 a quick mention for the latest issue of After The Battle - issue no 174 covers the battle of the Vercors - on July 21 the Germans launched the largest operation ever conducted against the Resistance in Western Europe, attacking with airborne and mountain troops to destroy these French insurgent groups in the Vercors. Also in issue no. 174 an article entitled The Dissolution of the Luftwaffe — Following the final defeat of Germany the Allied governments decided that she must not be allowed to rise again as a military power, the thinking being that despite the efforts of the victors after the First World War, Germany had been able to recover so completely that in a relatively short period she was able to unleash another world war within 25 years. This article is the story of the complete disarming of the Luftwaffe.

A quick link to all Luftwaffe book reviews on this blog, click here