Luftwaffe Combat Reports

B1830

This is a book that every reader with an interest in aviation, and or World War Two will need to read. It is a collection of personnel accounts, assembled at the end of the war when memories were fresh and the collectors were skilled military interrogators. The result is a book that captures the essence of the air war from a German perspective. It is unfortunate that a similar collection of information was not compiled for the victors. Following the tradition of war, the history is written by the victors, who are keen to conceal some of the weaknesses and errors of their own military formations.

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NAME: Luftwaffe Combat Reports
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1830
DATE: 310513
AUTHOR: Bob Carruthers
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 248
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War Two, Second World War, WWII, Luftwaffe, pilots, technology, air war, European Theatre, Mediterranean Theatre, interrogations, war diaries, personal accounts, tactics, organization, command structure
ISBN: 1-78159-213-6
IMAGE: B1830.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/m2kzaf9
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is a book that every reader with an interest in aviation, and or World War Two will need to read. It is a collection of personnel accounts, assembled at the end of the war when memories were fresh and the collectors were skilled military interrogators. The result is a book that captures the essence of the air war from a German perspective. It is unfortunate that a similar collection of information was not compiled for the victors. Following the tradition of war, the history is written by the victors, who are keen to conceal some of the weaknesses and errors of their own military formations.

Bob Carruthers has edited and introduced what are essentially unvarnished intelligence interviews, conducted to enable the Allies to gain an insight into the Luftwaffe mind set and to identify the reasons why technology and tactics were combined to attack of defend against specific Allied threats to Germany.

As the war drew to an end, interrogation teams were set up to interview all captured German personnel of significance. Part of that process was also directed to assisting the War Crimes Court in prosecuting Nazis. In parallel with these interrogations, teams of pilots and engineers were set the task of seizing all types of German weapons system for detailed analysis and the flight testing of aircraft. There was cross-over between these teams. Interviews conducted under the combat report interrogations provided some information to assist test pilots and engineers. Equally, test pilots requested information from their colleagues and also carried out some interrogation at airfields to obtain useful information prior to testing aircraft and other weapons. This book concentrates on the work of the interrogators.

Interviews were conducted with senior Luftwaffe officers, most above the rank of Lt Col. Lt Gen. Adolf Galland features strongly as sole or joint information source and this officer had not only senior command experience, but also began as a Kondor Legion pilot flying Me 109 fighters in the Spanish Civil War and continuing in combat to the final days of WWII. As General of Fighters, he gained a unique knowledge from the German perspective of the Allied bombing campaign on the German homeland.

The book begins with an assessment and description of the Luftwaffe organization and structure. It then continues through analysis of Allied aircraft from the German perspective and the way in which Luftwaffe technology and tactics developed through the course of the war. In the process a wealth of detail is disclosed and supported by a good selection of images through the body of the book. This provides much detail that does not appear together in this manner in other books, making it a very valuable source work for those intending to study the subject in detail, or to research in writing books or papers. However, this book will appeal to a wide readership because it provides, in a very readable form, a unique insight from the German perspective of the conduct and progress of war, showing the increasingly desperate attempts to defend against what was becoming an overwhelming Allied force, where Germany had only one hope, that they could strike up a peace with the Western Allies and encourage them to join with Germany in attacking the Russians, or for a major political change to occur in one of the Allied nations. The more realistic Luftwaffe commanders did not subscribe to that faint hope and it is clear from the book that they were making a fatalistic defence of their homeland and hoping that peace was not far removed.

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