I Flew for the Fuhrer Paperback – 19 Jan 2012
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About the Author
Richard Overy is Professor in History at the University of Exeter.
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Top Customer Reviews
Knoke joined the Luftwaffe just prior to the outbreak of war having spent his formative years during the Nazi era prior to the war. Knoke describes his flight training in detail and it is obvious that, even with the numerous accidents that did occur, the Luftwaffe training regime of the 1938-40 period provided this intake of pilots a much better chance of survival than the late war training was able to – with much reduced hours and hundreds of Allied fighters waiting to pounce. For the most part, the book describes Knoke’s operational flying from early sweeps over the Channel in late 1940 to early 1941 then operation Barbarossa to the defence of the Reich which takes up the majority of the story. Knoke was credited with 33 kills – mostly US bombers.
I did not find Knoke to be a sympathetic character, knowing that in the early post war years his politics remained sympathetic to Nazi policies despite protestations within the book that the Nazi Leaders had ‘betrayed the German people’ - a commonly used excuse for complicity of many German soldiers after the war. Knoke describes the invasion of Poland as a liberation of the German minority from wanton massacres – whilst it is possible that he believed this at the time it should not have been repeated in 1953 when the book was written even if the book was based on Knoke’s diaries. Similarly the invasion of the USSR is represented as a defensive battle to protect Western Civilisation from Bolshevism and visceral hatred of the Russian troops shines through.Read more ›
Despite being on the other side it is impossible not to respect this man.
Not all Germans were Nazis, this one was, but it is still hard not to respect what he did for his country.
A fascinating but ultimately tragic story.
See also Norbert Hanning and Heinz Rudel's stories which make similar points.
It must have been a fearsome sight to see this pilot fly straight ahead firing head on .
It doesn't sanitise the arial combat of WW II as is so much the case, and as memories and survivors go its healthy to see the story of the other side.
Das Boot was the same.
homeland from American and British heavy bombing. His staunch support of the Nazi Party never
wavered to the end.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An amazing insight of the war from the "other side" Whatever side they were on, they were all someones son.Published 4 months ago by Edward R Vollans
Arrived today, Christmas present. Good price and came earlier than expected so really good.Published 8 months ago by Emma
Amazing real life story as told from an air ace from the other side of the fence during world war two, very good.Published 12 months ago by PETER D FRENCH
Intensely interesting and engrossing...written as a diary. A wonderful man... never mind on whose side he fought!Published 23 months ago by Mrs. G. A. Chesney-Green
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