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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the last Luftwaffe Osprey Aces title
Although much of the content of LUFTWAFFE VIERMOT ACES 1942-45 has been covered in other Osprey titles there is some interesting new material for Osprey Aces fans here. And while this must be the last of Osprey's Luftwaffe aces titles, this is the first Osprey Aces book to include details of less well known units such as JG 4 and the ZG heavy fighter Gruppen. Formed in...
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by N. Page

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another not very readable book from Osprey
I was mad buying another Osprey title, I bought FW190 Aces of the Eastern Front, which was informative but not very well written. I thought that 'Luftwaffe Viermot Aces' could be no worse but I was wrong - page 10 describing the B17 having - 'a remotely controlled ventral turret, fitted with periscope sight to be used by a gunner in a prone position' never heard of the...
Published on 10 April 2012 by Mr. M. Showell


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the last Luftwaffe Osprey Aces title, 12 Dec 2011
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N. Page (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
Although much of the content of LUFTWAFFE VIERMOT ACES 1942-45 has been covered in other Osprey titles there is some interesting new material for Osprey Aces fans here. And while this must be the last of Osprey's Luftwaffe aces titles, this is the first Osprey Aces book to include details of less well known units such as JG 4 and the ZG heavy fighter Gruppen. Formed in 1942 to defend the petroleum fields of the Reich's Rumanian ally, JG 4 saw its first major combat action over the refineries of Ploesti during Operation Tidal Wave on 1 August 1943 - the cover illustration depicts 28-victory JG 4 ace Fw. Albert Palm in his `Yellow 6' downing a 44th BG B-24 during Tidal Wave on 1 August 1943. Refineries and oil were to take on a vital importance given the Reich's ever increasing fuel requirements the longer the conflict went on.

Robert Forsyth's well-written text opens unusually with a look at the first Allied four-engine bomber raids mounted over Europe - RAF Stirling and Halifax bombers sent to attack Kriegsmarine battleships in the ports of Brittany as early as July 1941 (see also Osprey Elite 'JG 2'). Although the first USAAF bomber missions, launched in mid-August 1942, were tentative affairs, the Luftwaffe would soon face the challenge of going into combat against ever-increasing numbers of heavily-armed B-17s and B-24s. In response to this growing threat, the Luftwaffe formed new fighter units and brought back battle-hardened units from other fronts to protect Germany's western borders - III./JG 3 was just one such Gruppe. Equipped with the Bf 109 G-6 mounting underwing cannon and led by Kommandeur Hauptmann Walter Dahl, III./JG 3 arrived from Russia and settled in at Munster on the western German border. Virtually their first action following their return to Germany after two years in Russia occurred on 17 August 1943 - the combined Schweinfurt Regensburg mission, the famous raid on the ball-bearing and Messerschmitt production plants. (see also Osprey 'Bf 109 aces of the Western Front') In total some 370 bombers set out on this first major USAAF daylight raid on Germany. The result was a disaster for the Americans - escorted only as far as the German border by P-47 Thunderbolts and RAF Spitfires, the Jagdgruppen launched wave after wave of attacks - some 60 B-17 fortresses were shot down, only some 135 managing to return to friendly territory undamaged ! ( As Regensburg was only 40 miles from the Czech border the 4th Bombardment Wing flew on to bases in North Africa ). Yet while the raid resulted in heavy losses for the fledging 8th Air Force bomber fleet, Schweinfurt-Regensburg proved to be an early high water mark in the Defence of the Reich. The defenders already recognised their shortcomings in equipment and tactics. The American four engine bombers - Viermots in German jargon - operated close to the limits of the high altitude performance of the Bf 109 and Fw 190 fighters, and with their 40 metre wingspans the B-17s and B-24s were tough opponents, filling the Luftwaffe fighter's gun sights while they were still some way out of range and putting up a powerful defensive crossfire when in their combat 'boxes'. The favoured tactic of the German fighters was the head-on pass, yet with combined closing speeds of nearly 700 mph the conventional frontal attack was fraught with risk and required above average piloting skills. A firing pass from the rear was even riskier, leaving the attacking fighter exposed to the bomber boxes defensive fire power for a longer period.

The defenders tested any number of expedients as they sought ways of knocking down significant numbers of bombers in order to bring a halt to the offensive as detailed in this account. In August 1943 the WGr 21 was first introduced. This 21cm diameter air-to-air rocket was equipped with a time fuse and fired into the bomber formations to break up flying cohesion and the integrity of the 'boxes', thus exposing individual B-17s to fighter attack. The primary units toting these sorts of weapons were the heavy fighter or 'destroyer' Gruppen. Forsyth devotes a chapter to the heavy fighters of ZG 1, 26 and 76 including mini-bios of ZG aces such as Egon Albrecht and Peter Jenne -both of whom later converted onto single-seat fighters and were promptly KIA. Yet while German fighter armament was being upgraded to provide the punch to knock down the bombers, the impact on manoeuvrability meant that the attacking 109s, 190s, Bf 110s and Me 410s, now laden with heavy weapons, were increasingly to become prey for high performance and agile USAAF escort fighters. The Luftwaffe gradually lost air superiority over its own territory. Forsyth's text goes on to deal with other innovations introduced in German air defence - the Sturmgruppen (see also Osprey Elite 'The Sturmgruppen', 'Fw 190 aces of the Western Front'), which adopted ramming as a combat tactic and the first Luftwaffe jet units (see also this author's Osprey Elite 'JG 7' and 'JV 44'.

During the summer and autumn of 1944 the American strategic daylight bombing offensive against the Reich was at its height. The air battles waged in the skies of Germany over this three-month period were some of the largest and most savage in the history of aerial warfare. By war's end, over 110 Luftwaffe pilots had claimed 10 or more Viermot kills. One Geschwader in particular was at the forefront of Reichs defence - JG 300. For the first time in the Osprey Aces series aces, JG 300 aces such as Ernst Hirschfeld, Peter Jenne and Konrad Bauer are all covered in this volume, which is a fitting tribute to these less-well known Luftwaffe aces. And while this volume loses a 'star' for coverage of events already well detailed in other Osprey volumes, I would still rate this book as essential for Luftwaffe 'fans' - the superlative and highly realistic profile artwork by Jim Laurier -including for the first time both port and starboard side views of the same aircraft- is worth the price of admission alone!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality as always, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
A fine publication on the missions flown by (mostly) young and brave Luftwaffe pilots in the aftermath of the aerial campaign to submit Germany to its eventual surrender in the face of overwhelming Allied air superiority. Courageous yet futile as the outcome of the war was just a short time away. Nevertheless for both historian and modeller a good book. Recommend.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 22 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
This follows the usual Osprey format and I do enjoy reading them. It is a concise history of the operations against the day light 4 engined bombers as they started to hit targets deep in to occupied Europe. It certainly gives you enough information and gives you ideas to use if your are building model planes from this era.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another not very readable book from Osprey, 10 April 2012
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This review is from: Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
I was mad buying another Osprey title, I bought FW190 Aces of the Eastern Front, which was informative but not very well written. I thought that 'Luftwaffe Viermot Aces' could be no worse but I was wrong - page 10 describing the B17 having - 'a remotely controlled ventral turret, fitted with periscope sight to be used by a gunner in a prone position' never heard of the ball turret described like that before!
Accurate or otherwise the book is a fairly random list of Aces and their exploits under general chapter headings, little personal information or insights into the fighting and the weapons used; and too much crossing over of information. It would have been far better to give the whole account of one 'Ace' and then move onto the next rather than try and shoehorn the accounts into random chapter headings - 'big week' and Berlin, Stormbirds, etc.
Must try Harder!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A present., 2 Dec 2012
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Mrs. Jennifer O. Sellek "jaybo" (swindon U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces) (Paperback)
It's for my husband for Christmas. He chose it, I know nothing about the contents but he will be happy to receive it.
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Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces)
Luftwaffe Viermot Aces 1942-45 (Aircraft of the Aces) by Robert Forsyth (Paperback - 20 Nov 2011)
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