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Aces of the Luftwaffe: The Jagdfliegern and Their Tactics of World War II Hardcover – 30 Sep 2014

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books (30 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848326890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848326897
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,931,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

PETER JACOBS joined the RAF in 1977 and served as an air defence navigator on the F4 Phantom and Tornado F3, and completed staff tours at HQ 11 Group, HQ Strike Command and the MoD. Peter has written several history books including Stay the Distance: The Life and Times of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham.

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Format: Hardcover
..Interest in the subject of Luftwaffe "aces" appears never-ending which is probably why Pen and Sword imprint Frontline has recently added this volume from ex-RAF Phantom and Tornado F3 air defence navigator Peter Jacobs to their roster - the latest to chronicle the life and times of the Luftwaffe's fighter pilots in action. A 2014 Frontline Books release, Jacobs' 'Aces of the Luftwaffe' is a comprehensive and reasonably informative summary of all those bemedalled Jagdflieger on all fronts. Jacobs has apparently written on RAF subjects, so with that sort of background you would expect him to have a keen understanding of air warfare and his descriptions of air combat are well done. However neither the cover nor the title quite convey what this book actually deals with. Mostly it is a pretty dry - if not to say occasionally dull - history of the Luftwaffe in combat from its furtive foundation in March 1935 to its demise with the German collapse in 1945. It focuses only intermittently on the careers and individual experiences of the top German fighter aces - there are no biographies- preferring to concentrate almost entirely on the broad historical context.

I failed to find any discussion in Jacob's book of how the German Experten amassed their incredible individual tallies of aerial victories. He records - as if we didn't already know - that 15 Luftwaffe fighter pilots achieved over 200 kills, with the 22 year old Erich Hartmann shooting down 352 enemy aircraft and surviving the war! Amazing - and he remains the most successful fighter pilot of all time. A further 91 Experten scored over 100 kills. By comparison the top British ace scored 47 and the top US ace 40. . Jacobs does not directly answer why this was so.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Luftwaffe in Action! 30 Dec. 2014
By Mike O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Interest in Hitler's Luftwaffe seems never-ending. English author Peter Jacobs is the latest to chronicle the life and times of the Luftwaffe's fighter pilots in action. A 2014 Frontline Books release, Jacobs' ACES OF THE LUFTWAFFE is a comprehensive, informative summary of THE JAGDFLIEGER IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

Since the Luftwaffe was active on all fronts, Jacobs' book looks at GAF ops campaign by campaign with chapters on 'Battle for Britain,' 'Invasion in the East,' 'Air War at Night,' 'Final Defence of the Reich' and so on. He interweaves information on successful pilots, tactics, formations, etc. in a general overview of, for instance, ops in North Africa and the Middle East from 1941 to 1943. Exploits of notable Experten like Molders, Galland, Hartmann, Graf, Lent and Marseille and top-notch units like JG 52, JG 26, JG 54 and NJG 3 are recounted.

There are two photo inserts in the book with pix of pilots, Bf 109s, FW 190s, etc. along with several helpful indexes.

I have mixed reactions to Jacobs' book. I've been reading about the Jagdflieger and their aircraft for 50+ years so there's not a lot that's new in the book for me. However, for those seeking a comprehensive account of Germany's fighter pilots in action, ACES OF THE LUFTWAFFE should fit the bill. Recommended.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for History Students of German WII Fighter pilots 18 May 2015
By James Garfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Jacobs is a British man who writes with a marvelous clarity about a particular era of world history known as the German Luftwaffe. He begins where the Luftwaffe began, in the Spanish Civil War, where the young pilots who would go on to become German Aces got their beginning. Peter continues through the early heyday of German advances-- Poland, France, Africa... and how it suffered through the blunders of the German High Command. Jacobs does not appear to dwell excessively on the overall strategies of WWII, yet at the end of the book you will have learned more about the whole thing we call WWII, than you might have been aware.

One interesting point to note: Allied pilots got to go home after a fixed number of combat missions. The German pilots did not have this luxury. They were in it for the duration-- for them it was either victory, or die trying. As a result, entry to the Luftwaffe "ace" club STARTED at about 100 victories, and for many of these pilots, went on to 200 and higher.

The book is equipped with several pages of historical photos, showing the principal Luftwaffe aces and their aircraft. This book should be required reading for any serious student of history, especially those with an interest in WWII German aerial combat.
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