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Luftwaffe Eagle: 206 Combat Victories in the Me 109 and Me262 Hardcover – Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hikoki Publications (Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902109066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902109060
  • Product Dimensions: 30.4 x 21.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 558,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

It isn't often that one gets to read a modern autobiography about a WWII pilot. The ones published after the war were interesting reading, but generally tinged a bit due to the nearness of the events. When one gets something like Walter Schuck's work, it has the benefit of being able to put things more into perspective. I was amazed at the amount of detail that Herr Schuck was able to bring to this book. Obviously he has a superb memory and kept most of his personal logs and notes from being lost or destroyed, as was often the case with veterans in post war Germany.

Like most, the author was very interested in aviation and as soon as he could, he joined one of the many groups around Germany at the time that were able to nurture that interest and desire. So at 16 he decided to join the Luftwaffe. Of course, there was the mandatory 6 month stint in the Reich Labor Service to build up his body and the usual initial military training before being accepted into the Luftwaffe pilot training course. As many of you know, it takes several years to go through pilot training until one is able to get one's wings and the author had a most interesting time of it, to say the least.

Finally, he earned a posting with JG 3 but found little opportunity for combat until posted to JG 5 in Northern Norway. Thus begins the sage of what was to become the 'Arctic Eagle'. Few books have concentrated on the Arctic front, so that aspect alone really adds to the interest of this book. There were days and weeks where the weather made flying difficult if not impossible, yet the men stationed in northern Norway were able to take the war to the Soviets at their bases around Murmansk with quite a bit of success.

Walter Schuck was quite successful, shooting down a lot of P-40s, P-39s and Hurricane fighters as well as the usual Yaks and various bombers. In fact, he managed to defeat 12 aircraft during one 24 hour period, a remarkable feat for any pilot. Starting as an enlisted pilot, he earned a commission as well as many awards. During the end of the war, he was asked to join JG 7, then flying the Me-262. Though he did not fly many missions, he was able to achieve ace status on the jet, which added to his total victory score, bringing it to over 200 confirmed victories.

Is is a superlative book that is full of rare photos from the author's personal collection. Combine that with the usual color profiles of the aircraft flown by the author and it makes for a book that is a must have for any WWII aviation enthusiast. Most highly recommended. --Scott Van Aken - Modelling Madness May 2010


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Diggy111 on 26 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Walter Schuck's memoirs are an enjoyable read. This a blunt and forthright account of what it was like to fly Bf-109s for the Luftwaffe in Finland and northern Norway, and Me-262s in the home defense role during 1945. He is quick to heap praise upon those who he respected and admired, and equally quick to disparage those who actions deserved condemnation. (Surprisingly, he makes little effort to hide the identity of those whose actions he condemns). Unlike many Luftwaffe memoirs, he relates experiences with Nazis and Nazism.

From a combat aviation point of view, this is a typical presentation. Yes he describes many engagements, but not in detail. As a general rule he will tell you the background to an engagement and how many he shot down, but not much more. Apparently he did not get involved in many dogfights, because he usually needed only a single burst to dispatch a foe?

Hikoki Publications has a penchant for providing an abundance of goodies in their aviation volumes, and this book is no exception. There are more photographs than there are pages in the book, nearly all pertaining to the author's on-going narration. There are color plates of Schuck's aircraft and appendices with kill lists, lists of aircraft flown, photos of aircraft types which Schuck faced. All in all, this book is a real treat.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Taylor on 2 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I had previously met Schuck at a gallery signing event and bought this book following that. He came accross as a very easy going and likeable character and the book confirms this to be the case. He was not one for formality or keeping quiet when something needed to be said to his seniors.
A very interesting and easy to read account of a little covered campaign, well illustrated and focussing much on the personal life of Luftwaffe crew roughing it in forward bases fighting Russian pilots in a wide variety of aircraft types.
Highly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thompson Family VINE VOICE on 20 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
Luftwaffe Eagle: 206 Combat Victories in the Me 109 and Me262Wow! What a read: like a good thriller it was very difficult to put down. However unlike a thriller this was not fiction, but rather a person's memories of his younger days as a Luftwaffe pilot flying & fighting for his life. This autobiography is mixed with a selection of Walter Schuck's personal photographs, many never before published. These & several colour plates are a bonus for the aircraft modeller. Walter Schuck flew mainly on the Eismeer Front, on the northern edge of Europe where natural conditions were harsh and social & living conditions were primitive: it struck me as absurd as to the extremities that mankind will go to to kill one another! I seem to remember a professional reviewer being critical of the number of photographs of Schuck's comrades (as opposed to machines) contained within this volume; but stop here and look at their young faces! This is a must buy for the aircraft enthusiast, in particular those with an interest in the Luftwaffe. It describes flying under adversity, and may Schuck's memoires remain a lasting tribute to those (of all nations) who paid dearly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Siko on 5 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely well researched account of the combat career of Walter Schuck, one of the Luftwaffe's leading aces of WW2. The majority portion relates to his time with the "EismeerJager" in the North of Finland, fighting the Russians mainly from Murmansk, although he also sees action against the British in Norway and the USAAF as an ME262 pilot at the end of the war.

Schuck comes across as forthright, honest and utterly professional in the business of downing enemy fighters. He quickly finds his feet as a pilot and rapidly increases his score, at one stage downing the unheard of total of 12 enemy fighters in one day. His accounts of the bitter aerial fighting over the arctic tundra in the middle of the bitter winter bring a chill to the bone and are certainly the first accounts of this conflict that I have read. It is amazing that he was able to bring down aircraft with so few rounds, but he is very passionate that all his kills were confirmed by either a wingman or the ground forces. At one stage he 'acquires' another 24 kills that he hadn't originally claimed after the navy is finally able to confirm his ac callsign and the various times/places.

What really makes the book for me (and very much like 'Stormbird') is the exquisite research and lavish illustrations that have gone into it. Almost everyone of significance (ie colleagues/senior officers etc) he has acquired several photos to illustrate them and he has a massive quantity of photos of him in action/rest etc. The book is liberally illustrated with drawings of his ac, photos of him, some of the crews of aircraft he downed, his awards, telegrams to congratulate him, newspaper clippings etc etc.

So, overall, one of the best accounts of a Luftwaffe 'Experten' you will find, one of the most lavishly illustrated and a superb accounts of a forgotten campaign. Highly reccommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CD on 5 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book, whilst I admit that the author does not go into detail about every one of his sorties/victories, the significant combats are detailed, and the fact that he brought down over 200 aircraft and he wrote the book a long time after the events, makes this understandable.
That said, the story itself is very interesting and the authors achievements are impressive to say the least, it really was hard to take a break from reading!
What stands out about this book is the wealth of photographs of aircraft and those involved. Seeing who each pilot was made their victoroies and fates more personal.
The author also helpfully allocated a section to photos of enemy aircraft, allowing the reader to see what, say, a Petlyakov Pe-2 looked like. Add to this a number of colour photos and diagrams, and you have a very interesting book that once read, will be picked up again for enjoyment and as reference material.
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