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German Aces Speak II: World War II Through the Eyes of Four More of the Luftwaffe's Most Important Commanders (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. März 2014

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  • German Aces Speak II: World War II Through the Eyes of Four More of the Luftwaffe's Most Important Commanders
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"Colin Heaton once again brings excellent primary sources to the reading public.  He is one of the few historians who earned the trust of the leading German fighter pilots who flew during World War II.  Hartman, Steinhoff, Hrabak and Rall shaped the tactics that modern aviators have used for the past 70 years, from air to air combat to ground support operations.  These four men also helped develop the German Luftwaffe of today and fostered good relations with the US.  Heaton's ability to get these men to speak frankly about the war, Hitler and politics offers readers an insider's unique understanding of the air war during World War II and the men who fought it.  This book is a must read for any serious student of the Luftwaffe and World War II." - Bryan Mark Rigg, author of Hitler's Jewish Soldiers, Rescued from the Reich and Lives of Hitler's Jewish Soldiers

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Colin Heaton (Wilmington, NC) is a historian specializing in German aviation in World War II who frequently appears at signings, at author interviews, and on military TV shows. He is the author of the Zenith Press titles Noble Warrior (2010), The German Aces Speak (2011), The Me 262 Stormbird (2012), The Star of Africa (2012), and The German Aces Speak II (2014).
Anne-Marie Lewis (Southport, NC) has co-authored Night Fighters (Naval Institute Press, 2008) and Zenith Press titles Noble Warrior (2010), The German Aces Speak (2011), The Me 262 Stormbird (2012), The Star of Africa (2012), and The German Aces Speak II (2014).


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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"The German Aces Speak I & 2" are a must for all interested in the personalities of the German combat pilots who rose during WW II. The stories told by the concerned aces are giving a much more intimate picture of what were their feelings, especially towards their high Command (Hitler, Göring, Udet, von Greim, etc). One thing irritates me: I have read almost everything that has been written in english and german about this guys. Most of them tell they did know nothing about Shoah and concentration camps. Which is hard to believe especially from those who fought in the East and have no doubt seen thousands of almost dying slaves at work on their fields! But it is true that the German pilots had a greater sense for chivalry than their American fellows. For instance, firing at a guy hanging on his parachute was strictly forbidden. After reading these two books, I remain full of respect and admiration for Johannes Steinhoff, in my eyes the best fighter pilot of WW II, from a professionnal as well as a human point of view and for Hans-Joachim Marseille who refused the diamonds after he was informed about the concentration camps.
Fernand Carrel
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen 49 Rezensionen
23 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen World War II Through Luftwaffe Eyes - Part II 27. März 2014
Von Marc L. Tavasci - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
In the second volume of what I hope will become a much larger series, four German Experten from World War II give their stories. Three of them are very well-known: Erich Hartmann, Johannes Steinhoff and Gunther Rall. The fourth is Dieter Hrabak, a name some may recognize, but one which does not carry the fame of the other three. As in the previous volume, each ace gets their own chapter, with Hartmann's being the longest and taking up almost half the book. Next is Steinhoff, then Hrabak and then Rall. All four are wonderful to read and are the results of numerous interviews with, and articles about, each ace. Sometimes the narrative gets a little repetitive and certain events are mentioned more than once, but overall they're very easy and enjoyable to read.

All four will give you insight into what it took to become a successful fighter pilot, and there's plenty of stories about aerial combat to whet the appetite. Along the way you'll also find out more about some of the other personalities of the Third Reich and the Luftwaffe such as Adolf Hitler, Herman Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Hans-Joachim Marseille, Adolf Galland, Werner Moelders, Gerd Barkhorn, Walter Krupinski and Herman Graf. The famed "Pilot's Revolt" against Goering is recounted in great detail since Steinhoff was a major part of it, and each ace also was instrumental in the re-birth of the Luftwaffe after the war. I never knew about how controversial the F-104 Starfighter was and how its purchase lead to such friction within Germany, but I do now.

There are some nice pictures included and this is where I have my only complaint: on the back cover there is a picture of several Messerschmitt Bf-109s on an airfield...in Finnish markings. I find it hard to believe the publisher couldn't find a picture of German 109s and I sincerely hope they didn't think readers wouldn't notice the difference or care. I noticed, and I care.

Regardless of the back cover, this is a great book and a wonderful companion to the first volume. I certainly hope there are many more to come!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Triumphs, Travails, and Tragedies of the Luftwaffe as Related by Four More Luftwaffe Commanders! 4. Juli 2014
Von Dr.M.Lawicki - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is the second part of a compelling collection of personal interviews and fact gathering over three decades of four prominent German pilots who made the Luftwaffe a force to be reckoned with in the Second World War: Erich Hartmann, Johannes Steinhoff, Dieter Hrabak, and Gunther Rall. Readers of this volume will, I hope, feel fortunate as I do to read first person accounts of the greatest conflict in modern times by these distinguished commanders who once fought for Hitlers Germany. It is important to note that none of the 'experten' or 'aces' interviewed in this book belonged to the Nazi party, and that all of them survived the war to become future leaders in the West German Bundeswehr Luftwaffe, formed in 1956. With the exception of Erich Hartmann, the three other experten (aces) featured in this book also achieved high ranking status as respective Generals in NATO. World War II is now over seventy years in the distant past and I believe it more important than ever to record these important voices and recollections for posterity and place the achievements of these worthy warriors into proper perspective. Although they fought for a morally perverse regime, there is no doubt in my mind that they were all noble, chivalrous, and brave men who practiced their art of war with devastating efficiency. They were fighting for their country, nothing more and nothing less. Men from families with generations of faithful military service to their country could not simply ignore the call to duty because of political differences or ideology. Such men would be 'lost' or 'nationless', to quote Gunther Rall. There was no such thing as a 'conscientious objector' in Hitlers Germany. I believe readers will find the many stories in this book compelling in the extreme. My favorite aspect of this book were the harrowing tales of aerial combat, many of which occurred in the skies above the malachite forests of Eastern Europe or over the mountainous Caucasus region in what was then the Soviet Union of Josef Stalin. As we all know, Hitlers Third Reich was locked in a fierce life and death struggle with the Soviet Union at that time, and a greater portion of Germany's resources in men, tanks, planes, and armament were invested in what became the Eastern Front. Johannes Steinhoff is undoubtedly the best writer and orator in the group, and I thoroughly enjoyed his accounts of his days in the cockpit and of course his recollection of the famed 'Fighters Revolt' in January of 1945. The book is excellent source material for those interested in gaining better perspective on many notable and notorious personalities in the Third Reich. Men like Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering and even the vile Heinrich Himmler are mentioned occasionally throughout the book, but more interesting for me are the stories relating to other Luftwaffe pilots themselves. Men like Gerhard Barkhorn, Hans Joachim Marseille, Werner Molders, Hermann Graf, and Gunther Lutzow, to name but a few. There were a few startling revelations for me in this book. I did not know, for example, that the USAF (and not the RAF) was in the habit of shooting German Me-262 pilots helplessly suspended and dangling under their parachutes. I was aware that Soviet pilots were actually ordered to kill pilots at all costs, but I believed the Western Allied nations would have practiced a more humane approach to the conflict in the air since they outnumbered their German opponents by ratios of one hundred to one by the time the German jet fighters made their appearance in the skies over Germany. The USAF motivation for shooting parachuting German jet pilots was purportedly to end the war sooner by removing experienced German pilots from the conflict. Nevertheless, I would not have expected the USAF to resort to such morally questionable tactics. Interestingly, the Luftwaffe was never found guilty of comparable behavior vs. the Allies in the air war and this is worthy of consideration. Postwar myopia against Germany Is still prevalent everywhere and yet the subject of moral hypocrisy on the part of the Allied nations--particularly the Soviet Union--is a subject seldom explored. I also found the controversy surrounding postwar Germany's purchase and utilization of the F-104 Starfighter in the Bundeswehr Luftwaffe intriguing for a variety of reasons. After reading several independent accounts of the events, I concluded that the Starfighter program was basically 'forced' upon Germany by the United States and that the decision to purchase them for the Bundeswehr Luftwaffe was made for political reasons and financial incentives independent of West Germany's actual military needs. Corruption in politics is nothing new, right? Of the four experten, only Gunther Rall approved of the Starfighter program and this is telling. Beyond a doubt, these chronicles of the lives of the Luftwaffe elite are so much more than dry, biographical recollections of time long gone by. They are for me compelling stories that offer many insights on life in our modern age and offer many genuine nuggets of wisdom along the way. This was an excellent read and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen 200 plus kills. 1. Juni 2016
Von Roliman 55 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book was a real eye opener for me. I had no idea there were pilots in any of the air forces with over 200 kills. Hearing the German pilots recount their missions was fascinating. The use of their planes and tactics involved was very interesting. The chivalry involved on both sides was news to me as well. I would recommend this book to any WW2 buff. Reading about the pilots time in Soviet prison camps after the war showed the cruelty of our Eastern ally. All in all a great read.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen I too was disappointed to see a photo of Finnish AF 109's on ... 24. Juni 2015
Von John Schrenker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Interesting book. The interviews are valuable as oral history, adding personal insight to the body of knowledge regarding WW II in the air. I too was disappointed to see a photo of Finnish AF 109's on the back of the dust jacket. Why this error wasn't caught before printing is disheartening. The authors are trying to preserve history and the art department is ironically undermining their effort. Maybe a book based upon interviews with surviving Finnish AF pilots should be their next undertaking. I'd buy a copy and I offer to review the book to assure the photos are correct.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great stories but should have been one book. 17. August 2014
Von LoosMoose - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The German Aces Speak 1 and 2 is of itself a great thing and a wonderful read. Unfortunately it could have most easily have been made as a single book and done a better job but not as lucrative for the author and publisher. You get wonderful stories told by these pilots that flew together. The books are written in chapters one on each man, and you hear the story told by first one and then you get to read the same story told the same way from the other pilot that was there when you get to his chapter. There is barely enough material to fill each book as it is and when you take out the doubling of the stories it's almost a long magazine article. I met 2 of them (Rall, Galland) and enjoyed spending an evening with them away from the airshow/reunion environment and they had a lot to say and I am glad that these stories were put down and there were a lot more believe me that could have been told, but grateful for what we got.
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