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Spitfire on My Tail: A View from the Other Side [Hardcover]

Ulrich Steinhilper , Peter Osborne , Carol Osborne , etc.
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.95
Price: 17.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1872836003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1872836003
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Spitfire on My Tail Ulrich describes his 150 grueling missions as a fighter pilot par excellence, until being shot down and captured over England in October 1940. Full description

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There were just eight of us, the total defence for the bomber force. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Interesting 14 July 2009
As the author states, there's not much written from the other side in the war in the air in WW2. This fills in some historical gaps with a clearly written and un-glorified manner. I have read much about the RAF in the Battle of Britain and to be honest have actually had little interest in the dastardly huns on the other side. I guess that was a little remiss and I understand quite a bit more of the Luftwaffe having read this. It certainly won't make you feel sympathetic, but it puts a human face on their hardships and terrors. Did you know that the Luftwaffe suffered from Channel Fever and an astonishing level of unexplained mechanical failure during the Battle of Britain. The image of the hardened German fighter pilot is somewhat at odds with the reality of men who started to question their ability to win and the knowledge of in many of their eyes, certain death at the hands of the RAF. I was also under the impression that the Luftwaffe was much better prepared than they were - seems as if the RAF whilst certainly worse off had many parrallels with the German air force with lack of equipment and untrained men.

If you are an officianardo of aircraft history in battle then this book is one of the more interesting, informative and entertaining that you wil find. It's certainly a good addtion to my library.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights 13 Sep 2010
As a german I read the book to learn more about the young mens mind back then in the 3rd Reich, and about how aircombat was like. The book fulfilled both wishes. For example I like the description of the authors social background, like beeing mobbed by wealthier people in the little city. What I miss are some words about his decision to really kill people. But maybe it was just normal back then, when you were trained to kill. I like that he mentions weak points and mistakes of the Luftwaffe, like neglecting the radio communications, or flying in a way they can be easily intercepted by the Britans. I can recommend the book as an authentic, unique insight into the authors life and the circumstances of becoming a figther-pilot back then. The book is free from heroisation (what you often find in other books about figther-pilots).
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A well-written and detailed description of the authors young life and rise into the Luftwaffe and an interesting insight into the thinking in pre-war Germany and the conditions in the army at that time. A must for anyone interested in WWII or the Battle of Britain but a very good read simply for the human interest and adventure as well.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting view of the other side. 14 Nov 2006
I, too, was very impressed by this book. The author's integrity and honesty shine through as do his achievements at a very young age. I find it remarkable how very much his story is like the stories of the young RAF pilots on the English side of the Channel. An excellent read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spitfire on my Tail 29 July 2010
An excellent book, telling the story of the most important batlle of WWII from the other side. My father was a bomber command piloy during WWII and I grew up with his views and the views offered or portrayed by films and the popular media. The book gives an excellent historic build up to WWII and helps one to understand that the Treaty of Versailles made WWII inevitable.

The formation and the build up of the Luftwaffe is covered in detail and I was suprised to discover that the Germans were not as organised as one is generalyy lead to believe, particularly in terms of communications.

This is not just a book for the historian, but for the aviation enthusiast as well as well as for those who enjoy a bibliography. For me it shows that the young men of Germany were no different to the young men on the other side. Both were sent off to war by people in power and gave their young precious lives tragically just the same.

One of the most enjoyable books that I have ever read. Thank you Ulrich!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome View from the Other Side 24 Oct 2010
By Gee Dee
A lot has been written about the Battle of Britain from the British point of view and this book helps restore the balance and hopefully will impart a little understanding along the way.

The book is subtitled `A View from the Other Side', and is precisely that. If like myself you have read, watched and listened to views and stories from the Battle of Britain this year you may have wondered what drove the more level headed Germans (not the Nazis) to make war on so many of their neighbours. This book should begin to clear some of the fog and also make you realise that they are not necessarily the well organised, forward thinking, rule making automatons that some people imagine. In fact, it would appear that they are actually quite British in their behaviour and given the same conditions we may well have reacted in a similar manner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and interesting. 28 Feb 2013
By TimG
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this shortly after reading Galland's 'The First and the Last' and found it an excellent companion book, written in a far more personally engaging manner and bringing a high degree of humanity into the equation. As a British reader I find it often tempting to demonise past national enemies and this book did a good job of being honest about failings but also giving the sense that had I been in the same position I might have done the same thing. I haven't yet re-read it but I will definitely be keeping this on my bookshelf to re-read in future. It's not easy cheerful reading but it is very good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected from the title
Essentially this is the personal story of the life of a young Luftwaffe pilot from his childhood through to his capture in October 1940 after having been shot down over southern... Read more
Published 8 months ago by JohnSK
5.0 out of 5 stars Spitfire on my Tail
My husband is the reader of this book. He is thoroughly enjoying this one - very interesting from the other side.
Published 9 months ago by Dorothy Jean Sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars Spitfire on My Tail
This is extremely interesting as it gives a real insight into the lives of the young Luftwaffe pilots. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. P. H. Gallienne
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended
Great insight into the politics of ground level Luftwaffe personnel and how things really were. Herr Steinhilper has highlighted the terrible cost of war and the mistakes made by... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
This is just what I wanted thank you very much was very good I was very pleased thanks once again
Published 11 months ago by linda harris
5.0 out of 5 stars How to leave your audience wanting more ~
This story starts slowly - probably as slow as the small town country life experienced by its author. Read more
Published 12 months ago by R. A. Fallows
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable account
A very well written and valuable account of life in the Luftwaffe just before and during the opening phases of WW2. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dr Ricardo Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars bob 5
Another account from the German perpective rather than just all RAF , and modern day authors which opens up a different view
Published 15 months ago by Stuffy'Nick'
5.0 out of 5 stars It was an eye opener to hear how the Germans viewed our fighting...
This is the first written account of the German Luuftwaffe that I have read and I enjoyed it immensley for its insight into the German psyche and reaction to our fighters.
Published 15 months ago by Mr. R. J. Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book
Excellent book a refreshingly different perspective of the Battle of Britain. Ulrich's intelligence and humanity comes through strongly, the build up to his BoB experiences in the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. Alan Cartwright
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