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Graf & Grislawski: A Pair of Aces Hardcover – Sep 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Eagle Editions (Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972106049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972106047
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 23.5 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This title describes the interwoven fates of Luftwaffe fighter aces Hermann Graf and Alfred Grislawski on the Eastern Front between 1941-1943 and 1944-45. It asks whether Graf was identical to the "Major von Graf" who was shot down, and whether he co-operated with the Soviets in captivity.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Tralee on 18 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any aviation buff will love this book, for me it had the balance right between combat and backgrounds plus the photos are very good.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Big Dud on 22 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you have any interest in fighter pilots then this is a must read. Two pilots from a working class background make good...and how!

Graf has the added interest of his Russian imprisonment and the rumours that surround that experience. Griswalski comes across as very tough and determined. A great read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1st Class Account of Two Luftwaffe Aces 19 Feb. 2005
By W. B. Smith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book follows the lives and careers of two German Luftwaffe aces Graf and Grislawski and is written by the same authors of 'Black Cross Red Star'. The two men were like chalk and cheese, but they complimented each other well and became good friends. Graf, the quiet conscientious type that belied his determination while Grislawski was brash, hot-headed and stood for no nonsense. Grislawski came from a working class background and hardship and his refusal to join the Hitlerjugend vitually railroaded his chances of becoming a pilot from the outset, but was able to join the navy as naval flier to receive flight training.

The book is extremely well written and thought out and we see two inexperienced flyers slowly develop in confidence and develop into hardened vetrans and aces of immense skill. The book seems to interchange from a biographical mode to one that describes events and experiences first hand, providing excellent and enthralling accounts of some aerial combat. The book talks of German fighter pilots (including Graf) driven onward to fly as many missions as possible despite exhaustion and fatigue, to achieve the Knights Cross decoration. (Neck-Itches as referred to in the book). Graf was effectively grounded by the Nazi hierachy after becoming the first man to reach two hundred victories and this is when his obsession for the love of soccer became more apparant. Grislawski's fighter career continued and became the mentor to Erich Hartmann and Hartmann likewise Grislawski's protege. Despite all Grislawski's experience on the Russian front it was ironically his transfer to the Western front for him to realise the meaning of total war, for this is where he saw German pilots machine gunned in their parachutes by American fighter pilots. The unrelentless Allied aerial assualt became a huge mounting cost for the Luftwaffe. The book also covers the captivity of Graf and Grislawski and the authors find no evidence of Graf's alleged cooperation with the Soviets after examining his POW file.

Overall, this is a first class book, easy to read, (exciting to read at times), with many photographs (many probably from Grislawski's private collection). It also includes a section of colour profiles of the machines Graf and Grislawski flew and a full tally of their confirmed kills. I highly recommend this book.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Impressive research 26 Jun. 2006
By ViktorViktor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a quality book, from beginning to end. An interesting feature of this book is that the author has taken great pains to identify the foes who Graf and Grislawski flew against, both on the Eastern and Western front. This gives us the opportunity to see what an opponent thought and experienced during an encounter against these aces. The author has also checked the official records of the Luftwaffe and Allied air forces in order to confirm that an opponent claimed shot down was actually shot down. (Not surprisingly for me, it seems that about half the time, claims for kills are exaggerated by 50% for both sides.) Through such research, he is also able to identify that aircraft from the 354th FG and 4th FG were responsible for 2 incidents of 'chute-shooting'. And that Grislawski and Hub Zemke from the 56th FG dueled each other later in the war.

Being a historian, the author has also takes pains to describe the big picture, be it a German offensive, or an 8th AF attempt to cripple German synthetic oil production, in conjunction with the specific activities these aces' air units were engaged in during a given period. Thus, for example, when 7/JG52 transfers to Kerch, we know why, and the excellent map provided with the book lets us pinpoint where.

The book has quality (shiny) paper, which allows photos to be printed on any page (some are even in color). In fact, this book and Hermann Buchner's 'Stormbird' are much alike in terms of features and quality. The only negative I found with this book is the writing, which I rate as mediocre, primarily because the author, whose native tongue is not English (I hope), bungles common expressions here and there. For example, instead of writing 'his predication came true', Bergstrom writes 'his predicament came true'. Regardless, this book rates a 5.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A really good book to read 29 Aug. 2006
By Michael B. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book which surprised me after reading some of the excerpts I saw on line. If your interested in JG52 of the Luftwaffe this is a book to have. I found it to have as much of the excitment as I found in the book " The War Diary of Helmut Lipfert". It gave a balanced view point from both the German side and the Russian side which made it like being a part of the story. It also busted some of the false myths about Herman Graf, also showed both pilots to be very decent men. It was well worth the money. There is a few grammar problems which was a translation problem or editing problem (very minor) but it's the story that is important and enjoyable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Graf & Grislawski A pair of Aces 12 Sept. 2007
By Mark R. Steers - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Excellent text highlighted by well placed photos throughout the book. Very complete documentation of pre and post Luftwaffe service by these extraordinary aviators. The outstanding aircraft profile artwork is a bonus to modelers. This book is a fine addition to any WWII historian's library.
Two of Germany's best aces on the Eastern & Western fronts. 27 Aug. 2015
By lynG - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a VG read, on two of Germany's best aces, Alfred Grislawski & Herman Graf, both having attained over a hundred aerial victories against Allied pilots, with Graf getting more than two hundred victories. I was glad to get more information provided by the author, on the accusation that Herman Graf betrayed his fellow pilots in the post-war Soviet POW camp he was incarcerated in. It seems Graf was ruthlessly exploited by the Soviet camp commandant when he asked Graf to write an article about an air display in Sukhino & have it in the camp newspaper. His article was truthful & non-political, but was used by the Red propaganda machine, with a misleading words like "long live the Red Air Force, the strongest in the world." Graf's comrades were outraged, & he became a pariah from then on to many of them. Graf denied the charges, & the Soviets then tried to put him on trial for shooting Red pilots in their parachutes during the war, but Graf proved his unit was nowhere near the places these alleged war crimes took place & the charges were dropped.
Alfred Grislawski was credited with 132 aerial victories by the end of the war, & was the man chiefly responsible for training the new pilot Erich Hartmann in 1942 on how to survive aerial combat & in some of the best techniques on how to bring down Soviet aircraft, especially the IL-2 Sturmovich, known as 'the flying tank' because of its difficulty to shoot down. Hartmann paid attention to his tutor, & went on to become aviation's leading air ace, with an astounding 352 aerial victories. Both Graf & Grislawski had many close calls during the war, & barely survived the years of grueling service in the Luftwaffe, where 5-6 missions a day was common for a Luftwaffe pilot. Their being in much more contact with the enemy is the main reason that 100 German pilots attained 100 or more combat kills during the war, with 12 receiving 200 or more, & two getting 300 or more confirmed victories. This book is the story of two such giants in the art of aerial combat.
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