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Luftwaffe Over Scotland: A History of German Air Attacks on Scotland, 1939-45 [Paperback]

Les Taylor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 April 2010
Luftwaffe over Scotland is the first complete history of the air attacks mounted against Scotland by Nazi Germany during World War Two and undertakes a detailed examination of the strategy, tactics and politics involved on both sides, together with a technical critique of the weaponry employed by both attackers and defenders. Extensive figures on Scottish civilian casualties have been included, together with a full list of all Scottish locations that were bombed and details of German aircraft losses. From the relentless hit-and-run attacks up the east coast of Scotland to the calamities of Clydebank and Greenock, Luftwaffe over Scotland not only offers a detailed analysis of exactly what happened, but also provides fresh new evidence and claims regarding many aspects of the war in Scotland - some of them specifically at odds with the more traditional British portrayals of World War Two. Some of the controversial issues raised include Why was there no 'Phoney War' in Scotland? Did the Battle of Britain begin over Orkney in April, 1940? Why were more people killed in Glasgow than at the target of Clydebank? Why were the Greenock raids such a disastrous failure for the Luftwaffe? Why did Hitler personally ensure Aberdeen became Scotland's last raided city? Why was the last air battle in Europe fought off the Aberdeenshire coast? Luftwaffe over Scotland draws on a wide variety of sources, such as official archives, articles, letters and personal testimonies, including information about German Luftwaffe operations, to paint the first full and accurate picture of the dramatic and often brutal air attacks that took place in almost every village, town and city in Scotland during World War Two. From a detailed analysis of the attacking German forces, to an explanation of the strengths and weaknesses of the air defences around Scotland, this is an important and long-overdue contribution to the full understanding of this dramatic period in the history of the modern Scottish nation.

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Luftwaffe Over Scotland: A History of German Air Attacks on Scotland, 1939-45 + Scottish Airfields in the Second World War Vol 1 - The Lothians: Lothians v. 1 (Airfields Series) + Scottish Airfields in the Second World War:  Vol.2 Fife and Central Region
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Whittles Publishing; First printing. edition (27 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849950008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849950008
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 0.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'...contains significant new information and fresh analysis of the main Luftwaffe air raids, including many previously unpublished photographs.' The Scots Magazine '...descriptions of attacks and targets make fascinating reading with easy-to-follow lists of the Luftwaffe's key Scottish targets... ...shows a depth of knowledge that's as impressive as some of Britain's best-known military warfare writers. ...easy to understand and breaks up the subject into sections and with superb images that deliver a concise and detailed account of a very important, and largely ignored, part of the German war on Britain.' The Knocknews and Regional Adertiser 'It is truly a must-read.' Irvine Herald ' excellent book which sets out an engaging, measured and carefully researchedaccount of the air war over Scotland during World War II. ...Les Taylor is to be chronological treatment of his subject. ...succeeds in throwing new and unexpected light on the subject.' Undiscovered Scotland ' a long-overdue publication that goes a long way to help our understanding of the German bombing campaign over Scotland during World War Two and answers some important questions. ... The book includes some previously unpublished photographs, plenty of clear, detailed full page maps, Bibliography, good index, and 144 pages. Without a doubt to be kept handy on your bookshelf. Highly recommended.' Wargames Illustrated

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book 27 Dec 2010
This is a fairly thin volume in terms of the number of pages (144, including appendices and Index) but packed with photos and details; for example, there is a list of all Luftwaffe planes shot down over Scotland, with location, date and captain's name.
The book starts with an interesting piece about the theory that bombing of an area could demoralise civilian morale and undermine the war effort. The approach is then chronological. Dates are supplied for each air raid and its target, although this is only the name of a city or town so you can find out that Renfrew was attacked on the 14th October 1940 but no further detail is given in most cases. However, the main text does pick out some of the attacks for more detailed discussion. Space is limited, however and even a major raid like Clydebank in March 1941 is covered in 3-4 pages (together with some good maps and photos). The role this book is playing, therefore, is as an overview in a single volume, which is extremely valuable as I have not been able to find anything equivalent to this. If you are interested in a specific raid like Clydebank there is a book dedicated to that ("River of Fire" by John Macleod).
Much of the action takes place on the east coast, including numerous raids on Aberdeen, Peterhead and Fraserburgh, as well as the Firth of Forth and Orkney. I'd say you should probably regard this as a reference book rather than something you will read through page-by-page, paragraph-by-paragraph.
In terms of balance this book is slanted towards the actual war in the air, and defences against it like radar, rather than the effects on the civilian population, but the clue is in the title!
The only other book I have come across containing similar information is "This Time of Crisis" by Andrew Jeffrey, which has a chapter on the air attacks on the west of Scotland.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected WW2 topic brought to light 25 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this very welcome volume, Les Taylor throws light on a neglected subject. Much of the information, though it has appeared elsewhere, deserves to be much better known, such as story of the Luftwaffe's last ever attack - attempted on 21 April 1945 by KG 26 against shipping off north-east Scotland. The narrative is complemented by tables, including a comprehensive list of air raids on Scotland and a list of most of the Luftwaffe's losses. Many of the well-selected photographs appear to be previously unpublished. Minor quibbles are over the hyphenation of German aircraft designations (e.g. He-111 instead of He 111) and `Shetland Fighter Flight' rather than Fighter Flight, Shetlands and Fighter Flight, Sumburgh. It would have been useful to have had referenced sources in the text but there is an index and a bibliography. Surprisingly, the author does not seem to have refered to primary sources. Whilst I suspect the author may not be responsible for the fanciful cover art, which superimposes a Fw 200 Condor over the Forth Railway Bridge, he is to be congratulated on his work, which represents excellent value for money and is a `must have' for anyone interested in Scottish, British or simply WW2 history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scotland at war 2 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On 16 October 1939 I was walking home from school when a number of bombers flew over(later identified as German) on their way to bomb the Forth Bridge and later that month my father took me to see the downed Humbie Heinkel.Exciting times. Both these episodes are well documented by the author.
This is a very important book as it describes are listed and a chronology in 8 chaptersin detail the problems Scotland had with German bombers from 1939-45. All the 89 locatios that were hit (some many times)are listed and a chronology in 8 chapters gives the details.
Lists of casualties and German plane losses are given.
One small note is needed-on page 119 the area of Edinburgh bombed on 18 July 1940 was Marchmont,I know becsuse I was there.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars North-West of Scotland 15 May 2011
Although the book attempts to give a nationwide coverage of enemy air activity, I was both surprised and disappointed that bombing attacks on convoys near the Butt of Lewis were totally ignored.

As other reviewers indicated, the Fw Condor 200 that is illustrated on the front cover operated almost exclusively on the other side of Scotland. Operating individually over the north-western approaches, they attacked many ships in the Atlantic, off the Hebrides, and these episodes are skimmed over while some U boat attacks on the east coast are given to us in fine detail.

The book is, however, a most welcome addition to book shelves as it is the first real effort to cover air warfare in Scotland beyond individual theatres of action, such as the Clydebank blitz. The author has not had many other books to follow like those written about actions in the south of England and has had to rely, one must imagine, largely on his own research.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on Overlooked Subject 2 Sep 2010
Fascinating book which gives a long awaited insight into Luftwaffe operations over Scotland. As someone with close connections to the North-East, I was particularly interested in and grateful for the detail about the extraordinary number of raids on the east coast, even if the majority were tip and run.

If anything, I wish the publishers could have been brave enough to go for an expanded volume with more detail on the Luftwaffe and RAF units involved but this book is nevertheless extremely welcome as it is, containing much information new to me. How about the last Luftwaffe attack of the war actually being on Scotland? Sometimes I detected the author hinting perhaps a little too strongly at conspiracy theories re peace talks etc. but that is a very minor quibble.

I also suspect an overenthusiastic publisher decided to have the front cover image of the FW200 over the Forth (now that would have resulted in an intriguing dogfight!)and the back cover blurb also makes some pretty sweeping claims re the book's content but I still award this 5 stars for being the best reference work to date and as such an invaluable and extremely readable addition to any WW2 aviation enthusiast's library, particularly a Scottish one!

So Mr Taylor, time for a follow up on the RAF over Scotland?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
What a fantastic book. Well researched, well written.
For me a very personal aspect too, in that I have now discovered the details of the German raid which bombed my dad's... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian Steven
3.0 out of 5 stars A neglected subject
A welcome book about the rarely covered subject of German bombing raids over Scotland, and a lot of research has gone into this book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by G. M. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Luftwaffe over Scotland: A History of German Air Attacks on Scotland
Comprehensive, detailed and well-related to WW11 events overall. Some events described were told to me as a child by my family.
Published 21 months ago by Mike Blair
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting history
A well written and interesting book. Gives a lot of insight into the various raids over Scotland during World War 2. This book covers a lot of little known facts and detail. Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Vital research but with unnecessary undertones.
It is often said; "To the victor go the spoils" but what is more often overlooked is that same victor's ability to write history in the way he wished it really had happened rather... Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by Ned Middleton
5.0 out of 5 stars A real insight
I found this book to be well researched and a real insightful comprehensive investigation of what went on over Scotland during the Second World War. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2010 by Photosbygeorge
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