Tuesday 20 December 2022

out now, Aérojournal issue 91 - " Focke Wulf 190 Long Nez - Doras au combat"


Recent issues of Yannis Khadari's bi-monthly magazine under the direction of Yann Mahé continue to evoke the spirit of CJE with plenty of good Luftwaffe content as ever; the Richthofen over Dieppe, I./NJG 2 over Britain (by J-L Roba), little-known Luftwaffe aces in the Battle of Britain (by Philippe Saintes). 

Just published in the latest Aérojournal (issue 91) ..twenty pages of rare accounts and images compiled by this blog writer devoted to the Fw 190 D-9/11 and Ta 152 in combat, including newly translated diary/logbook entries from JG 51, JG 301 and JG 6. I've also managed to incorporate some of Werner Molge's lengthy contributions in Jägerblatt during the 1980s which don't appear in D.Caldwell's various JG 26 texts.  French text.

"....If the Focke Wulf 190 A (Anton) was – to coin a phrase – the ugly duckling, then the Fw 190 D (Dora) was the graceful swan. The re-designed nose – to accommodate a Jumo in-line engine – and the lengthened rear fuselage gave the Dora an elegance that was far removed from the pugnacious, snub-nosed Anton. Built in large numbers from late August 1944 the Dora was one of the best fighters of the war – on paper. The fact that the type accounted for less than one hundred Allied aircraft shot down in its entire career is indicative of the overwhelming aerial supremacy of the Allies by late 1944. It also highlights the evolving role of what was initially conceived as a stop-gap high altitude fighter to combat the Allied bomber fleets but was increasingly deployed as a fast ground strafing light bomber – another ‘miracle’ weapon that contributed little more than the virtually obsolescent Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs it was designed to supercede..."

The superlative cover artwork is by Antonis Karidis and depicts Fw. Wolfgang Polster at the controls of his 11./JG 26 'yellow 10' (WNr. 500603) being caught landing at Plantlünne on 24 February 1945 by Fl. Lt. David Fairbanks in his 274 Sqd Tempest V coded JJ-F. Polster was Fairbanks 11th victim but survived this downing and the war. 

" On or around April 20, 1945 the Dora-9s of II./JG 6 flew into Kummer am See in northern Bohemia, Czechoslovakia – part of the so-called and hastily thrown-together ‘Gefechtsverband Rudel’. Rudel, the ‘famous’ Stuka ace recalled his return to a front command and a sortie in the new Dora following his leg amputation...."

Having used the service a number of times now I can confirm that back issues of Aérojournal are speedily and professionally shipped via http://caraktere.com    (cost 8 euros). Stocked in the UK by the Aviation and Military book Centre 

Monday 5 December 2022

‘What Is Man Against It?’: Combat Motivation, Experience, and Morale across the Luftwaffe during the Second World War


Victoria Taylor talk at the RAF Museum Cosford on morale and combat motiviation in the Luftwaffe  - PhD candidate and now Dr. Taylor's main focus of study is British and German aviation in the inter-war and Second World War period. She wrote her thesis on the "Luftwaffe and National Socialism in the Third Reich"

Talk Outline

‘I'm lying here in a village outside Leningrad. The bullets and grenades fly back and forth. What is man against it?’ This fraught letter from the mid-throes of Operation BARBAROSSA came not from a soldier with the German Heer (army), as one might expect, but instead from a low-ranking Luftwaffe serviceman with the Luftnachrichten-Regiment 11 (Air Signals Regiment 11) on 21 September 1941. In a topic that is dominated by the post-war memoirs of the famous German fighter aces, the Luftwaffe’s historians have often neglected the lived-in combat experiences of its men across the organisation’s ranks and roles during the Second World War.

That air signals units, anti-aircraft personnel, and even bomber crews sometimes became embroiled in brutal close-range fighting on the ground, or that the medical personnel tasked with patching up casualties in the flying arms were haunted by the broken airmen they attended to, rarely factors into our general understanding of the Luftwaffe’s wartime history. When a wider swathe of letters from both its flying and non-flying personnel are considered, a more complex and contradictory image of the Luftwaffe begins to appear – especially when considering its various sources of combat motivation, from their families to the Führer.

Drawing upon original letters sent home to their loved ones in the Third Reich and other contemporary sources, such as the Allied interrogations of captured Luftwaffe personnel, this lecture considers how combat motivation, experience, and morale could differ across the Luftwaffe and the theatres it fought within, although opinions of the war’s direction among its multiple branches could also vary considerably even when they were serving on the same front. In turn, this allows a more thorough perception of its operational culture, esprit de corps (or, in some cases, lack thereof), and eventual collapse to be more thoroughly developed beyond the gunsights of the Luftwaffe’s fighter pilots.

Saturday 3 December 2022

German Fighters in the West from Poland to the Defence of the Reich - new JaPo Luftwaffe fighters volume is on sale now!



From the archives of Michael Meyer and Paul Stipdonk this new hardback photo book from JaPo comprises 508 pages and features over 1,000 images. Detailed photo captions in German/English, 41 profile artworks by Anders Hjortsberg - on sale now!

Dual language text. The extensive English-language photo captions have been translated/edited by this blog writer and in total add up to some 75 pages of text. Having been involved in the compilation of this volume (a 'one off' stand-alone) this blogger can confirm that a good majority of the images are previously unpublished. Certainly in this quality. The notion that the 'average Luftwaffe enthusiast' will have seen more than 50% of these images is nonsense!  (There are ten 'new' images on the page views below alone..) Obviously if you have all the JfV volumes published (around 30 so far), then there will be fewer 'surprises'. An essential purchase  that, along with the detailed captions, tells the story of the Jagdwaffe in the West, some 10 years in the making! 

See the publisher's website for more info here

"....A comprehensive pictorial volume on the day fighters of the Luftwaffe units deployed in the West and the later Defence of the Reich. This volume is organised chronologically beginning with the establishment of those fighter formations set up in the period from 1935 to 1939 and the first offensive campaign over Poland. At first glance, it may not seem logical to also deal with the war in Poland. But that is where the Second World War began. At the end of hostilities, many of the units deployed over Poland moved to the West as a result of the declaration of war by England and France on Germany on 3rd September 1939. This was followed by the offensive against Germany’s western neighbours, by operations against the UK through 1940–41 and then the need to organise defences against the Allied units operating from the UK over the Continent, so-called Reichsverteidigung (Defence of the Reich). Over the years we have received many requests for photos from people interested in the Luftwaffe. We are fortunate in that our archives feature a good number of striking and significant images of German fighters. Although there are already a number of good publications devoted to Luftwaffe fighter pilots, we decided to put together a volume featuring some of the best of our pictures. Put simply that is how this book came about. There are many new images here – but we have not entirely dispensed with previously published images, as to do so would leave large gaps in coverage. For this reason, the reader is also shown a number of known pictures, but hopefully in much better quality than before. The photos are complemented by a number of excellent profile artworks, which may just spark some new ideas for model builders and potentially serve as an incentive for the decal manufacturers to create something new...."

These page views are taken from the Japanese 'Hobby Search' website and give some idea of the fabulous content in this volume - these are 'new' views of machines serving with I./JG 300 and single-engine night fighters with JG 2

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