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Luftwaffe Fighter Ace [Hardcover]

Norbert Hannig , John Weal
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
Price: £14.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Sep 2004
Herr Norbert Hanning's wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the 1939-45 air war not often covered in the English language; primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet Union. He was one of the midwar-generation Luftwaffe fighter pilots and began operations with JG 54 on the eastern (Leningrad) front in early 1943; initially flying Messerschmitt Bf 109s before transitioning to the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. He became a Staffel CO and was credited with 42 victories, also serving with JV 44 (whose CO was Adolf Galland); he then returned to Germany towards the closing stages of the war to convert to Me 262 jet fighters. Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivity. John Weal's skilful translation ensures that the fluid and descriptive style of the author is preserved. Thankfully, also, Norbert was a keen photographer who shot a profusion of images, all previously unpublished, many of which appear in this important book.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street Publishing (30 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904010946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904010944
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Norbert Hannig's account of his experiences as a Luftwaffe 'Jagdflieger' (fighter pilot) on the Eastern Front from 1943-45 provides an interesting insight into the experiences of one of the "mid-war" Luftwaffe pilots. From Hannig's days with the Jungvolk (a youth organization in Germany similar to the Boy Scouts - in contrast to the Hitler Youth) in 1940 to his flight training experiences and subsequent posting to the "Green Hearts" Fighter Wing in Russia, the book is easy to read. The narrative flows and is not at all boring. You get a sense of the man himself and the effects of the daily grind of operations over an ever changing front.
(John Weal, who translated Mr. Hannig's book, is in his own right an expert on the Luftwaffe fighter arm. Check out any of his books in the "Aircraft of the Aces" series, which are published by Osprey Publishing.)
For any reader who is keenly interested in reading about the lives of obscure Second World War aces, this book will make a welcome addition to your library. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tale from a Luftwaffe pilot 30 July 2006
Format:Hardcover
The book is exellent value with good pictures and the story is never dull. I expected Hannig's story to be just training and fighting but stories of leave from the front, family life during the war, life as an instructor and fighter pilot at the front as well as his endeavours after the war held my interest so I could not put it down. It's not a very long story unfortunately and I sometimes wished more detail about co-pilots fates and battles fought.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luftwaffe Fighter Ace 14 Feb 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Luftwaffe fighter ace provides an interesting and in depth insight into the day to day life of an average fighter pilot on the Eastern front. Nobert Hanning began operations with JG54 and served until the end of the war flying over 200 missions and achieving 42 victories whilst flying the FW190. The book traces his career from his high school days to his post war career. The most interesting part of the book is the element that charts his wartime exploits as little is written about day to day operations on the Eastern Front. This makes gripping reading as does his account of working with and flying with the likes of Emil ‘Bully’ Lang and Walter Nowotny. The book is extremely well translated and contains a number of excellent pictures. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A POIGNANT STORY OF WAR 'IN THE CENTRAL BLUE' 15 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
Norbert Hannig went from service in the Jungvolk (an organization similar to the Boy Scouts) to the Luftwaffe in the latter part of 1940. Following completion of training, he was posted early in 1943 to Jagdgeschwader 54 (the "Green Hearts" Wing) on the Eastern Front, which boasted aces of the caliber of Otto Kittel (with 267 victories, the 4th ranking ace in history) and Emil "Bully" Lang.

Hannig flew both the ME 109 and Focke Wulf 190 in combat, scoring 42 victories. Shortly before the end of the war, he was posted to the West, where, after completing a conversion course in the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter, he served with Jagdverband 44 (the "Squadron of Experts") under the command of Adolf Galland.

Hannig's account of his experiences as a Luftwaffe `Jagdflieger' (fighter pilot) on the Eastern Front from 1943-45 provides an interesting insight into the experiences of one of the "mid-war" Luftwaffe pilots. From his flight training experiences and subsequent posting to the "Green Hearts" Fighter Wing in Russia, the book is easy to read. The narrative flows and is not at all boring. You get a sense of the man himself and the effects of the daily grind of operations over an ever changing front.

For any reader who is keenly interested in reading about the lives of obscure Second World War aces, this book will make a welcome addition to your library. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An object lesson in how even the most open minded - reasonable - person can still become trapped and embroiled within the maw of an increasingly demented and self destructive war machine!
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4.0 out of 5 stars German Point of View 1 May 2014
By W mills
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent read. This was a patriotic German defending his country against horrendous odds and political suicidal interference. Good to read the other side's point of view.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Incredible. Despite being on the other side it is impossible not to respect this man.
This gives an interesting insight into the German mind during WW2 and raises a few questions about the version of history that was written by the victorious Allies after the war. Any attempt by Germans to set the record straight on eastern Europe was ignored as people could not see past the truly awful things that were also done such as the extermination of the Jews and other racially motivated crimes against humanity.
But these were not offences committed by this man, a dedicated Luftwaffe officer who would have been a credit to any nations' airforce.
The retreat from Russia was painful to read at times - it's hard not to feel real sympathy for the Gerrmans fighting in the East. Some of the points he made then about the Russians as a political force were ignored at the time, and for many years after the war, but now, 70 years later it appears that he was correct! (Whilst reading this book Russia was invading/annexing Crimea which is still ongoing...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story well written 30 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover
Autobiographies by German WW2 pilots are rare and those that exist often don't translate well but this is an exception. Extremely well translated without losing the spirit of the story this book tells the life of a Luftwaffe fighter pilot from learning how to fly gliders as a child through fighting on the Eastern front in the BF109 and FW190 to escaping capture by the Russians at the end of the war.

Hannig was both skilful and very lucky. On many occasions you were left wondering 'what if' when he relates how a chance conversation or a chance change of destination had saved him. Hannig relates his story with pride for his country but without malice or glory and by the end of the book when he is trying to meet up with his family (again an amazing chance conversation helped here) you cannot help but feel a little sympathy.

I have been reading pilot autobiographies for the last 40 years and this ranks amongst the best and will be read again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Luftwaffe in detail..
A really good read. I liked the way the book was written and told of Norbert's life story and career in the luftwaffe. Read more
Published 4 months ago by PhippsAW
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
This is a good detailed unassuming of. Life, as a pilot, from the middle to the end of the war
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the air war well told
An unusual and interesting story and a marked contrast to those of pilots who flew on the allied side. Strongly recommended
Published 8 months ago by Big D
4.0 out of 5 stars Flying to the end.....Luftwaffe fighter pilot's account towards the...
Luftwaffe fighter pilot Norbert Hanning describes the increasing struggle to keep flying as the Nazi war machine begins to collapse. Read more
Published 8 months ago by C. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
A story well wrote very difficult to put down. Each chapter tells a brilliant story and this is why its so riviting.
Published 12 months ago by Mick
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
This is the best autobiography by a German pilot I've read so far, highlighting the fact that you don't have to be famous to write a great book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Andrew James
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well written and absorbing account of air combat in WW11.
Brilliant description of a young man who just wanted to fly and got his wish! A frank description of the terrible war on the Russian front
in WW11. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ken bryning
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint Michael
Very fine read, you get everything it says "on the tin!". If you study the combat of the various fighter pilot's of all nations, during period's of intense combat (WW1 and WW2), it... Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by saint michael
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