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Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik-As': 25 (Aviation Elite Units) [Kindle Edition]

John Weal

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"Chock full of photographs of the men and machines of JG 53, the book is further enhanced by several pages of color profiles showing the variety of camouflage schemes worn by this unit over the years. A book that needs to be on the shelf of every Luftwaffe and 109 fan, and one that I can highly recommend to you." -Scott Van Aken, (December 2007)


Arguably the archetypal Luftwaffe fighter unit of World War 2, JG 53 aircraft were encountered on almost every fighting front from the first day of hostilities until the last. During almost six years of near-constant campaigning, JG 53 took a steady toll of Allied aircraft in every theatre it fought over. The variety of camouflage finishes worn by its machines -winter white, desert dapple and Reich's defence black - and the progression of variants are reflected in an eye-opening colour section. John Weal has spent several years researching in German archives and this, together with his personal contact with several veterans, results in an authoritative and human account of JG 53's long and eventful war.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 5009 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 128 Seiten
  • Verlag: Osprey Publishing (1. November 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B009ZDED6A
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #388.891 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.7 von 5 Sternen  3 Rezensionen
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen 'Ace of Spades' Messerschmitts in Action! 19. April 2008
Von Michael OConnor - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Despite dogged service fighting on various fronts throughout WWII, JG 53 never achieved the prominence of other wings such as JG 52 or JG 26. Yet, because of its distinctive 'Ace of Spades' insignia, JG 53 can undoubtedly claim to be the most recognized Luftwaffe fighter wing in history. John Weal tells the 'Pik-As' story in this Osprey Aviation Elite Unit book, #25 in the series.

Created in March 1937, JG 53, flying Bf 109Es, scored its first victories in September 1939 defending Germany's border during the 'Sitzkrieg.' The blitz on France found the wing assigned air cover of the German's left flank, which resulted in few combats. Werner Molders, a JG 53 Staffelkapitan, however scored steadily, becoming the first Luftwaffe pilot to reach 20 kills and its first Knight's Cross winner. The wing's Battle of Britain record was likewise adequate not spectacular. Successful pilots included Wolfgang Tonne, Hans-Karl Mayer and Heinz Bretnutz. In September 1940 Gunther von Maltzahn became Wing CO, a position he would hold for three years. Operation Barbarossa would see JG 53 fighting as separate groups at various locations. This pattern continued throughout the war as Pik-As units equipped with Bf 109F, G and K models, served in Russia, the Med and Defense of the Reich. New Experten such as Herbert Schramm, Klaus Quaet-Faslem, Franz Gotz, 'Tutti' Muller and Franz Schiess made their mark but inevitably fell victim to the ever-growing Allied air fleets. By war's end JG 53 had downed several thousand Allied aircraft, losing some 600 pilots in return.

Air combats aside, the Pik-As story included several interesting features. During the Battle of Britain Goering ordered the 'Pik-As' insignia replaced by a red band, allegedly because the wing CO, Hans-Jurgen Cramon-Taubadel, was married to a woman of Jewish descent. Then too Cramon-Taubadel's successor, Gunther von Maltzahn, led the wing for three years, a tenure unheard of in Luftwaffe fighter circles. Reading Weal's book, von Maltzahn comes across as a gifted, widely respected fighter leader and a decent individual who put his men's welfare first.

John Weal does a workmanlike job of relating JG 53's wide-ranging operational life. The book would have benefitted from more first-person accounts of air combat, Werner Molders being about the only JG 53 pilot quoted. Nine pages of color side-views by Weal document the varied camouflage schemes carried by the wing. The book also includes over 120 black and white photographs, some of which have been previously published.

If JG 53 did not compile as spectacular a war record as, say, JG 52, its story nevertheless makes for an interesting read. Luftwaffe fans should enjoy the story of this journeyman unit at war. Recommended.
5.0 von 5 Sternen TERRIFIC LUFTWAFFE HISTORY! 9. Juni 2014
Von P. A. Panozzo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I love World War II aviation, especially the German Luftwaffe. John Weal is a preeminent Luftwaffe historian and aircraft profiler. The Osprey Aviation Elite Units volumes are necessarily concise due to the 128 page restriction but they still "pack a pretty good punch"! Michael O'Connor, the "Wordsmith" writes a fine review and I look for his reviews before I make a purchase. His recommendations are always reliable and I purchased this volume after reading his words! The great ace Werner Molders is the featured star of this fighter wing and his personal accounts are prominent. The wing was present at some of the greatest battles of World War II: the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, Malta, the Battle of Stalingrad, Cassino and Anzio, and Ploesti Oilfields in Romania to name a few! I highly recommend this volume as well as. Jagdgeschwader 52: The Experten (Aviation Elite Units). also by John Weal. JG 52 featured Erich Hartmann, the greatest ace of all time with 352 victories. For his personal story I recommend. The Blond Knight of Germany: A biography of Erich Hartmann.
4 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen More Personnel Stories 13. August 2008
Von Hercule Poirot - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The book talks about JG-53 achieve some spectular victories against the Allied Air Forces in Italy and Romania; however, they did not have names of the pilots who score those victories plus their stories of those battles. The author does not state the total number of air victories that was accumulated by JG-53 when the war came to an end.
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