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The Sky My Kingdom: Memoirs of the Famous German World War II Test-pilot (Greenhill Military Paperback) [Paperback]

Hanna Reitsch , L. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books; New edition edition (28 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853672629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853672620
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book by Reitsch Hanna

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow ! 11 April 2000
Format:Paperback
It is really nice to not only hear how the "enemy" overcome design and developement problems during WW2, but from a Woman, in what was a mans world. I have waited years for this book to be available in English, and boy was it worth it.
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By Val
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent read:- Well written, and gives an excellent insight into the life and career of Hanna Reitsch, up to the end of the second world war.

A pioneering test pilot who perhaps did not receieve the recognition that she deserved outside of Germany.

The fact that she was deeply patriotic may have had something to do with this, and must not be confused with the NAZI views, and political ideologies at that time.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book on Pure Flying 9 April 1998
By Dennis Burnside burn@cybertours.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Autobiography of Hanna Reitsch, exceptional glider and military test pilot during the Third Reich. Though the text is sketchy - Hanna even neglects to tell us when she was born, there are fine passages which give the reader a intimate idea of what it is like to fly. Hanna also provides some insight into why Hitler rose to power, interesting comments on Himmler, and rational for her advocation of suicide missions - the Morganthau Plan being one incentive. She left much out but it remains fine reading. B/W photos.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars top female pilot 7 Mar 2010
By Bryan Odriscoll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Third Reich is often portrayed as a place where women were confined to essentially producing and rearing children. What is often forgotten is how popular Hitler and the National Socialists were with the women of Germany. It is true that most women chose to become mothers and homemakers and that was because that choice was extolled and rewarded to an extent rarely seen in any society before or since. However, any independent-minded and confident woman could, and often did, become successful in their own right in their chosen field. Leni Riefenstahl is probably the most famous but Hanna Reitsch was almost as well known through her exploits. Unlike in today's feminist, politically-correct environment where many women are given unfair advantage over their male competitors in virtually all fields Hanna Reitsch was a genuinely skilled pilot every bit the equal of her male comrades. She completed many firsts for aviation, for example, flying a helicopter, and faced real, life-threatening dangers in the amazing experiments carried out by the Luftwaffe during those desperate times. That she had great physical courage was proved over many times. Flying into a shattered Berlin in April 1945 would have tested the bravest pilot to the limit. Yes, there are gaps in the story of her life. It is a fairly short work after all. She probably did not want to think too much of what had been lost (for example, her family committed suicide at the war's end) and she was under suspicion by the conquerors because of her refusal to condem Hitler or National Socialism.
The book is a useful addition to our knowledge of the period and to the developmnet of aviation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Advance Our Understanding of Nazi-ism 3 Dec 2013
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Germany, a small though pugnacious country, was a mess during the European depression. How so many talented individuals developed is astounding. Why they dedicated their lives to the Nazi cancer is told elsewhere. This book does not help explain.
I look at it simply as a saga of a woman who did useful work in the sailplane industry, then powerplanes. She was aided by a supportive home and influential friends who nurtured her skills. While other women remained under the thumb of oppressive fathers and men in their lives, she flew free (not without breaking some occasional taboos in countries she visited). Testing civilian gliders must have been a rewarding job.
Then she transitioned to test pilot for military projects as they were adding dive-brakes (standard on gliders) to bombers. Her background was useful in programs for those like rocket interceptors that were delayed by engine development delays- first test flights were made as gliders. And one of those tests resulted in her injury. But after recovery, she continued to fly as a civilian for the Luftwaffe. That she persisted with the regime defies understanding.
When U.S. armies overran Kitzbuhl she became a U.S. prisoner:
' Then I was loaded on to a jeep and taken on a nine-hour journey, at a furious speed and over atrocious roads, to an internment camp. There I was put into a cell about the size of a railway sleeping compartment, completely bare except for a straw mattress on the floor, with one barred window, denuded of glass, through which the cold October air streamed in unhindered.
Was that the America that I had known and loved? I could not think so, for the face I saw was hardened in hate.
Some time later, after I had been moved to the Alaska Internee Camp in Oberursel, an American General came to see me, and he was different-frank, open-heartened and kind, like the Americans I remembered. Later I got to know his wife, a grey-haired woman with beautiful, clear features-- she, too, had the victor's mentality of 1945.
Through my own experience in Germany, I had seen how official propaganda had not only perverted the truth, but blinded people to a sense of their own guilt. Talking with the General and his wife, I now realised that this applied no less to the victors. Neither of them was petty-minded or vindictive, like the Americans who guarded and interrogated me, but I could see that even they had been affected by anti-German propaganda, sincere and generous as they were. So perhaps it was not American brutality that was responsible for my sufferings as a prisoner, but the self-inflicted blindness of nations at war.
After a time, I was moved to an internment camp in Onerursel and from there, in October 1946 after fifteen months' captivity, I was finally released.'
I wonder if, were the roles reversed, could she do the same?
Interesting pictures of her taken before and during the war.
See also: From Nazi Test Pilot to Hitler's Bunker, Last Hope of the Luftwaffe: Me 163, He 162, Me 262 (Mini Topcolors), and flight testing German designs: Wings of the Luftwaffe: Flying the Captured German Aircraft of World War II.
5.0 out of 5 stars One very tough woman. 24 May 2014
By Alte Adler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A classic book first published in English in the 50's as "Flying is My Life", it is a true example of what one person can achieve if they apply all their effort to a goal. I only wish the book were twice as long as I'm sure there are many more details of her life that she left out due to lack of space.
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