The author is an acknowledged expert on German experimental aircraft of WWII and has provided a lavishly illustrated book with concise text and extended photo captions. This is a subject that has fascinated so many people, many of whom have little general interest in military aviation history. This a book that many readers will enjoy, but it is essential reading for anyone with specific interest in military aviation and advanced engineering. Strongly recommended.
NAME: Luftwaffe X-Planes, German Experimental Aircraft of World War II
AUTHOR: Manfred Griehl
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, technology, tactics, war in the air, German aircraft designers, rocket planes, jet planes, special service aircraft.
DESCRIPTION: The author is an acknowledged expert on German experimental aircraft of WWII and has provided a lavishly illustrated book with concise text and extended photo captions. This is a subject that has fascinated so many people, many of whom have little general interest in military aviation history. This a book that many readers will enjoy, but it is essential reading for anyone with specific interest in military aviation and advanced engineering. Strongly recommended.
Neither Germany nor Britain entered the war with sufficient numbers of aircraft, nor battle-winning technology. Germany had a clear advantage in numbers, but Britain was fighting from home ground, with the advantage of radar and a well prepared command and control system for its fighters. The Hurricanes and Spitfires were very similar in performance to the Me 109 and Me 110 fighters that would escort German bombers and had a clear advantage over the German bombers, as the Germans enjoyed against any British bombers attacking German targets. Both countries had to keep up with replacements for attrition, and also saw a pressing need to develop technical advantage. Britain was able to acquire aircraft from the US and was able to maintain better discipline over its designers. Germany spent a great deal of scare resources chasing a dream. Many experimental aircraft failed to make the grade and those that did enter production did not always deserve the opportunity. Of those potentially useful aircraft that did make it into production, poor command decisions and the depredations of Allied bombing reduced their effectiveness.
Even so, the Me 262 twin jet fighter was a formidable aircraft with a very heavy armament of four 30mm canon and rocket batteries. It was the most impressive aircraft of WWII and it would have had a major impact had it been consistently developed and given priority for materials and resources. The Me 163 rocket fighter was an amazing aircraft, but as deadly to its pilots as it was to the enemy. Again, it was developed in inadequate numbers. There were many aircraft and weapons that might have become important and were certainly very advanced concepts, but they never achieved adequate production volumes and arguably required significant further development. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that German failure to prioritize, and then direct adequate resources, meant that huge opportunities were missed.
The author has provided a fascinating selection of advanced and special purpose aircraft and weapons systems.