Luftwaffe Bomber Aces, Men, Machines, Methods

Books about fighter aces may be two a penny, but books about bomber aces are rare. This is a study of German bomber aces of WWII and it provides fresh insights. – Highly Recommended.

NAME: Luftwaffe Bomber Aces, Men, Machines, Methods
FILE: R2509
AUTHOR: Mike Spick
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES:  239
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, armour, 
tanks, AFV, Armoured Fighting Vehicles, gun tank, flak tank, assault 
gun, mortar, infantry, close support, bombs, cruise missiles, 
torpedoes, dive bombers, strategic bombing, terror bombing, Ju87, 
JU88, Me262, FW190, Arado234, He111, He115, He117, FW200, bomber aces

ISBN: 1-84832-862-1

IMAGE: B2509jpg
DESCRIPTION: Books about fighter aces may be two a penny, but books 
about bomber aces are rare. This is a study of German bomber aces of 
WWII and it provides fresh insights.  -  Highly Recommended.

Books about bomber aces may be rare, but then most young pilots want 
to become fighter pilots and treat a posting to bombers as much less 
desirable. One ace reviewed in this book is an excellent example. 
Hans-Ulrich Rudel is a good example of the reluctant bomber pilot 
becoming an ace. 

When Rudel completed his flying training he expected to be selected 
for fighter pilot training. His instructors considered him a marginal 
pilot and recommended he be sent to a bomber unit. He ended up being 
sent to a Stuka squadron where his new CO considered him a below 
average bomber pilot and, when the squadron was sent to Greece and 
Crete, he was left behind as an engineer officer, responsible for 
chasing up spares and supplies to be sent on to his comrades. Rudel 
was not pleased by his fate. He only became a combat pilot because 
the Germans were short of pilots for the invasion of Russia. Then his 
fortunes changed and he was to become the most decorated German 
soldier of WWII. He sank Russian warships and destroyed an unknown 
number of Russian tanks. He pioneered the use of the Stuka with two 
37mm canon fitted under-wing, developing the very risky, but 
effective, tactic of flying very low and slow from behind a column of 
Russian tanks, shooting them in the back where the armour was 
thinnest. Inevitably he was shot down many times and escaped back to 
his own lines, including one occasion when he was captured, escaped 
and then swam a wide cold river to reach his own lines. The reason 
that his total tally of 1,000 Russian tanks is not the full total is 
that Hitler ordered him not to fly any more combat missions because 
of the propaganda risks should he be shot down and killed or taken 
prisoner. Rudel ignored the order and continued flying but each of 
his kills was attributed to new pilots joining the squadrons to start 
them off with a score. On one occasion, Rudel was badly injured and 
lost a leg. Even that did not stop him flying and he returned to duty 
with a temporary prosthetic made by his ground crew. Although best 
known for his exploits flying the Stuka, he was one of the first 
pilots to fly the ground attack version of the FW190 fighter. His 
story is an excellent example of why bombing was anything but dull 
and could be more exciting and daring that flying fighters.

The author has managed to provide a comprehensive account in a single 
book which is a feat in itself. All the notable German bomber aces 
are covered, starting with those who flew in the Kondor Legion during 
the Spanish Civil War. There is very good illustration and a nicely 
written text. 

Read this and revise your opinion of the relative merits of bombers 
and fighters