Saturday 3 October 2020

new Luftwaffe books


Currently on the 'to-read' pile;

Part II of Philippe Saintes’ history of JG 54 Grünherz has been published in the series "Histoire des Unités" by the French-language specialist publisher Lela Presse. Despite being a soft-cover this is a fine book. It features 333 densely filled pages, both in terms of text and illustrations. There are eleven chapters, organised both in chronological order and according to the geography of the theatre of operations, with a Gruppe in the West and two Gruppen in the East in Courland. Final operations with the Bf 109 are detailed followed by the transition onto the Focke-Wulf 190 and the arrival in service of the first Fw 190 D-9s. Each chapter ends with a partial conclusion and a summary of casualties. More than 800 photographs, both black & white and colour, and some thirty profiles illustrate the text - personal accounts and captions are in blue-ish green and blue to differentiate them from the text in black which makes reading a lot ‘easier’ if you can handle the French.  The footnotes are also coloured in olive green. A general conclusion gives way to a copious thirty-page appendix listing all JG 54 pilots. Acknowledgements, sources and references and two pages of errata from Volume 1 wrap up this excellent two-volume history of the Grünherz. All kudos to the author, his contributors and Lela Presse for producing these excellent volumes - a shame there are no equivalent productions in English in the works currently (..unless you know differently). I believe the author is currently writing/researching another Jagdgeschwader history so look forward to that.

From the ‘Military book collectors’ page on Facebook

Go here for the review of these books on the britmodeller forum

Recently published by Mortons in a very nice hardback format is Dan Sharp’s ‘Secret Projects of the Luftwaffe - Jet Fighters 39-45'. This is a fine production of over 300 pages and 600 photos on glossy paper with plenty of drawings, diagrams and conference translation transcripts describing the convoluted genesis of the German jets. 'Luft 46' and paper projects- featuring some designs based on only the sketchiest details or the odd drawing - are not really my ‘thing’ but author Sharp has dug deep into the archives and provides new developmental histories of well-known types such as the Me 262, He 162 and Me 163 which feature 'new' information and more accurate developmental timelines which go a long way to correcting previous histories. Much of this new information sheds additional light on many of the lesser or unknown jet projects that were under development or attained operational status during the period 39-45. This is an important work for enthusiasts interested in aviation history during a period when technology and innovation propelled flight into new dimensions.

Coming soon, part 1 of " The Luftwaffe in France - From the Phoney War to the invasion of the Unoccupied Zone" (a first Luftwaffe book from French specialist Éditions Arès) a new Luftwaffe Gallery from Erik Mombeeck and a new Osprey....