Since the end of WW II, it seems that occurred an epidemy of books written about the Luftwaffe, mainly by American / British writers, with bombastic titles like " Rise and Fall of The Luftwaffe", "History of the Luftwaffe"..etc... FOrget all about them. Cajus Bekker's book is the best ever written about the subject and comes from a remarkable neutral point of view, considering the fact the writer is a German. In only one volume, he sets up the reader in the real demands placed upon the Luftwaffe even before the War, and shows the way that the German publicity machine worked over their initial sucesses. HE also describes all kinds of combat squadrons, including bomber, dive-bombers and reccon, without talking only about the fighter pilots, differently from so many books. Great! A War Aviation fan must have this one!!
A very interesting book that offers excellent insight into the German strategy in all aspects of the Luftwaffe's battle's during WWII. This book cover's the whole spectrum of Luftwaffe units; from the classic fighter and bomber squadron's, to the Paratroop Division's, to the 88mm Flak units accompanying the Wehrmacht, to the Armored/Mechanized units like the Hermann Goring Division. The Luftwaffe War Diaries is a well balanced book that discusses strategic planning of the war at the highest level, including production planning, but also has many highly interesting tales of personal heroism and gallantry. A must read for any historian.
I do not agree with author's defence of Rotterdam raid, but otherwsie this is first-class, even allowing for it dating from 1960s. Each chapter is a solid and factually evidenced yet concise analysis of a campaign--and not only a narrative. The technological and organisational details are precise and (of course) accurate but not wearying. It is still the best single book on the subject of its length. Presumably translated from German--if so VERY well--relaxed and fluent without being cheaply colloquial.
Along with General Adolf Galland's "The first and the last", this is indeed the best book about the Luftwaffe airwar. Each operation is described in detail and well illustrated with maps and diagrams. This is surely an excellent reference book for aviation historians and students.
The book is partisan to the German side but nevertheless gives a good overview of the Luftwaffe throughout WWII. It highlights the effectiveness of British radar and the lack of a German heavy bomber in the Battle of Britain + the serious lack of trained pilots towards the end of the war. Bekker also accepts the decisive role of the long range Mustang in engaging German fighters over Germany. He covers the technological triumph and lost opportunity of the ME 262 jet and has some good sections on the successful use of anti-tank aircraft and night-fighter operations.