- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Amber Books Ltd; Reprint edition (31 Aug. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1904687628
- ISBN-13: 978-1904687627
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2 x 24.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 798,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Luftwaffe Squadrons: 1939-45 (The Essential Aircraft Identification Guide) Hardcover – Illustrated, 31 Aug 2010
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About the Author
Chris Bishop was a prolific military historian who wrote and contributed to numerous military publications during a career spanning over 25 years. His books include SS: Hitler's Foreign Divisions, Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions and Panzergrenadier Divisions. He died in 2008.
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Top Customer Reviews
Something other than side views of the same a/c in different squadron markings would be good!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While I'm not sorry I purchased it, it is NOT comprehensive in any way. This book is more of a VERY general overview of Luftwaffe operations during the different periods of World War 2. The various sections show some artwork of different aircraft used by different squadrons along with captions telling the briefest information about each. But only select squadrons are mentioned.
The general text is more in the way of background about what was happening during the time period of that section of the book. In some cases, this text is almost totally unrelated to Luftwaffe operations, instead describing the operations of the army.
The one thing I did like about the book was the way it broke down the different time periods on the airwar. This helped to put into context the changing role of the Luftwaffe, the resultant change in aircraft production requirements, and the Luftwaffe's ultimate demise.
As a resource book it's lacking but it looks pretty, and it's easy to read a section or two each night before falling asleep. In spite of its flaws I'll keep my copy.
I was disappointed not to find this so desired insight. Here and there are tables of units, which bear sometimes a relation to the chapter. The battle of Britain lists two different total number of aicraft per type, but no single insight in the many formations at that time.
More serious is that the book has too many omissions about important Luftwaffe sett backs or losses. If fails to portray the grevious losses of the Luftwaffe suffered in the opening days of Operation Barbarossa, nor are the formations listet of those days and those which flew in as reinforcements during the battle of Moscow.
That the Luftwaffe lost so many transports (Ju52'S) over Norway, The Netherlands around The Hague, Crete near Maleme, Demyansk, Tunesia is not clear from the text.
I miss the feeling of those intense air battles fought over Stalingrad, the so succesful bombing raids of Von Richthofen to stop the many Soviet attacks north of Stalingrad, the fierce air-battles over the Kuban, Karelia, Leningrad, Sevastopol, Kursk. The German offensive near Jassy in the spring of 1944 with large air support (!) and the lack of air support which doomed Army Group Centre in 1944. The remarkable succesful German air attacks on the Soviet supply lines to the Oder in 1945.
As a good history book it fails to portray this essential stuff and virtually no proper organization tables.
On page 184 the losses of the Luftwaffe are not pitted agianst those of the Allies. The German "Jagdwaffe" lost 7000 fighter pilots and 17.000 fighters in WWII shot down by enemy aircraft and anti aircraft guns. The other losses were due to all kind of damage (ground strafing, accidents).
To the 70.000 men lost in combat is unclear if these also contain losses by the 22 Luftwaffe field divisions, the 9 parachute divisions, ground personel, the many captured on teh East FRont.
Interesting enough the reader is informed of the many "not returned" German pilots crash landing behind Soviet lines. These were in almost all cases brutally killed by these "Allies". Another NOT proper adressed feature of the war.
What IS nice (but not balanced) are the aircraft drawings. Data near the drawings is not always usefull or correct. So 2 Stars for this part!
Bishop divides his coverage into "The Early Years/First Battles," "The Mediterranean Theatre," "War on the Eastern Front," "Maritime Operations," etc. Each chapter covers the action chronologically and includes various profiles with accompanying specs sheets, tables of organizations, commanders/locations of various units, etc.
However individual staffel are rarely mentioned, attention usually being given to wings, gruppen, etc. Also, all too often, Bishop gets caught up in describing the ground action, leaving little space for air ops. Then too, some of the profiles are showing their age, several being quite garish in color.
So, while the book is a visual treat for Luftwaffe fans, it fails far short as history. Had Bishop kept his focus on GAF operations, the misleading title might have been brushed off and the book adjudged a winner. As it stands, I'd rate it a missed opportunity. Given the price, I feel LUFTWAFFE SQUADRONS is an optional purchase.