Wednesday, 15 November 2017

new Classic/Crecy tome - V2: the A-4 rocket from Peenemuende to Redstone

not strictly speaking a Luftwaffe book and not, at the time of writing, in stock at amazon who are showing publication for 20 December, a quick look at the latest Classic/Crecy title.

" ..Just a quick update on my first impressions on the Crecy/Classic V2 book I shared the other day, I'm happy to say I'm very pleased with it, nice informative text as we've come to expect from this great series, perhaps the most impressive part is the many good quality period photos included, many of them full page and rich in detail, also included an array of maps, cutaway diagrams and side profiles etc, and coming in at just under 300 pages they have certainly devoted plenty of print to the subject matter, I'd recommend this title to anyone with even the slightest interest in this area of wartime aviation history..."

 posted by Simon Baker on the Aviation Enthusiast Book Club on FB here

Thursday, 2 November 2017

new Luftwaffe books - " Alarmstart", "Ju 88 Air War Archive", Luftwaffe Gallery, Air War Publications, Osprey etc etc

Lots of super new releases either imminently or expected - look out for some of these.

Peter Taghon's French-language history of Lehrgeschwader 1 - reworked from Taghon's German edition with additional material by Jean-Louis Roba and artwork from Thierry Dekker. Free P&P from the publisher's website until 10 November. Click on the image to go directly to the Lela Presse website.

A brief look at Chris Goss's new Fw-200 book published by Crecy.

" first "open" of the book, looks really good' says James Stewart who took these snapshots..

via Chris Goss

" first photo books for Frontline are now available with the remaining books in the first part of this series following in the next few months. Bit of a departure for me but they wanted to do a series along the lines of what Bryan Philpott did for PSL in the late 1970s The idea of this series is based on Bryan Philpott's BA books from the late 1970s but with decent sized photos and full captions (which was what the 70s books lacked). Photo quality was insisted on. The trouble with many of the early 109 photos is that quality wasn't that brilliant. Feedback from the 109 and He 111 books has been good I should say..."

These two volumes look at the early variants of the Bf 109 and the Ju 88 - with extensive coverage of Battle of Britain units. The captions are mostly very detailed. While some are a good half page in length, others though offer merely a handful of sentences; for example on page 99 of the "Emil" book ; " Major Adolf Galland in his Bf 109 E-4 of JG 26. The nose appears yellow and the aircraft carries the Schlageter shield, his personal Mickey Mouse emblem and the Kommodore's chevron". And for a photo book which will perhaps stand or fall on the quality of the image reproduction, some images are not as clear as others, but doubtless included due to their rarity. Some photos are reproduced over an entire page, others get half a page. Photo selection is interesting - although perhaps less so if you have the author's previous works covering JG 53 for example and/or are familiar with Michael Payne's archive. I was impressed with the page count, which is around 170 for each volume in this series which represents good value for money.

New from Amberley books - "Alarmstart " by Patrick G. Eriksson.

Leon Ventner writes;

"..I'll add another huge thumbs-up for "Alarmstart". I wasn't expecting much when I ordered it, but I was thoroughly impressed when it arrived. Eriksson includes personal accounts provided by 108 Luftwaffe veterans, with ranks ranging from Gefreiter to Oberst. He weaves them into well-researched potted histories of the major campaigns in the West, from Poland to the defence of the Reich in June '44. He also includes some OOBs and interesting analyses in the form of tables and charts that are reminiscent of Williamson Murray's fine work. It's rounded out with a good selection of photos, extensive footnotes, and a bibliography and index. The cherry on top is that two further volumes are planned: one devoted to the Mediterranean and the last year over Germany, and the other covering the Eastern Front, the German victory claims system, and pilot training. I'm very much looking forward to these..."

Erik Mombeek's latest Luftwaffe Gallery is due back from the printers soon. Some page samples can be viewed at Erik's site here. 'New' personal accounts translated by Neil Page (blog author)

Morton Jessen at Air War Publications has released a new eArticle entitled 'wilde Sau und Moskitojagd' compiled by this blog author. Features rare personal accounts with some excellent images from the collection of Jean-Yves Lorant who deserves our gratitude, not only for making this a quite exceptional eArticle for AWP in my humble opinion, but for enabling this publication to go ahead. For just a handful of euros you get rare photos, accounts and some exclusive Hjortsberg artwork. Download the 19-page PDF for your tablet or print it out.

Two former wilde Sau pilots of JG 302 and I./NJG 11 describe some of their hair-raising experiences in single-engine fighters at night in the cloud-banked and freezing skies over Germany during the winters of 1943 and 1944. Text and pilot interview translation by Neil Page. Photographs and pilot interviews, Jean-Yves Lorant. Artwork and additional caption commentary by Anders Hjortsberg.

Seen on Osprey's Twitter feed - the first look at a new Forsyth 'Aces' title due before the end of the year.

Available via Tony Holmes at Telford next weekend

...and another quick mention for Claes Sundin's superlative 'Luftwaffe Bombers' profile artwork book, below. Note that this is far more than a book of profiles- there is a decent text providing an historical overview of the Luftwaffe bomber arm along with comprehensive caption information for each distinctive machine illustrated. Contributors include acknowledged colours expert David E. Brown. I received this copy directly from Claes for my own contribution to this volume. Thanks Claes! Check out the reviews and order your copy here

Well Done, Claes! Your "Bomber-Book" arrived Yesterday. What a variety of Camouflage patterns, Great. The colors are awesome. As well all the Details and of Course the "background" information about each plane. Bravo. 

Fritz Braun/Germany

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Dornier Do 217 J Nachtjäger Paul Zorner - "Nächte im Bomberstrom" (296 Verlag)

Leading Nachtjagd ace Paul Zorner in his memoir " Nights in the Bomber Stream " (296 Verlag)  has some choice words for the Dornier Do 217 he flew in NJG 3 -  "ein Klotz" being one of the more polite terms he employs ( a 'brick' ). As he points out his loaded and tanked up Do 217 'fighter' weighed a "large truck heavier" than a fully loaded Junkers Ju 88 and climbed at all of 6 metres/second (IIRC) - at least half the rate of the Ju 88. 

 " Nächte im Bomberstrom " from 296 Verlag - 'Nights in the Bomber Stream'- is an excellent read.  Zorner writes engagingly and very frankly. One of his best 'reports' is his account of his third victory as a night fighter achieved on 19 February 1943 at the controls of a Do 217 - a "tired old cow" that took for ever to climb to altitude and was, as Zorner puts it, "exactly ten times heavier than a He 51 fighter". Zorner never liked the Do 217 - the idea that it could be used as a night fighter he found preposterous. Climbing out over the North Sea that night he was vectored towards a Wellington some twelve km north of the island of Norderney. Approaching the Wellington head on, the two aircraft banked into a 'turning fight' that lasted some twenty minutes as Zorner vainly sought to draw a bead on the British twin, hauling back with all his might on the stick in the turn, even getting the navigator to help him maintain his effort on the control column. In an attempt to achieve an outcome Zorner had to resort to desperate measures - giving the order to dump some 800 kg of fuel in order to lighten the Dornier. Putting in a superhuman effort on the stick he managed to loose off a brief burst which sent the Wellington down. There were no witnesses in the air - the downing was later confirmed by a flak battery. Zorner and crew then had to nurse their 'fighter' home on just one engine some 100m above the waves - a single round the size of a €1 coin had punctured an oil line.

  "...When we landed I went and saw the Kommandeur Lippe-Weissenfeld and told him exactly what I thought of the Do 217..."

Zorner never flew the aircraft again at night.

The penultimate chapter of Zorner's memoir covers the period from October 44 to May 45 as Kommandeur II./NJG 100, one of his last log entries being the flight into Novy Dvor on 15 October 44 at the controls of Ju 88 G-6 C9+HD. His Gruppe was in Hungary from October 44 before falling back to Wiener Neustadt in mid-March 1945.. Zorner states that

 '..what was left of the Gruppe II./NJG 100 had fallen back as far as they could go and most of our equipment and aircraft had been left behind..'

He describes his final successful sortie flown on the night of 5/6 March with four Ju 88s. With the Americans just kilometres from the field on 4 May 1945, orders came through for the Gruppe to fly to Prag-Gbell. Because of thick fog shrouding the field Zorner describes briefing his pilots on various plans of action - none of the twelve remaining pilots would be forced to make a Blindstart . In the end eleven aircraft managed to get airborne - including Zorner's W7+AC - reaching Prague on their last drops of fuel. Prague of course fell to the Russians. Zorner describes how on news of the capitulation on 9 May he and his men drove westwards to meet the Americans. As commanding officer the Americans would allow Zorner safe passage further westwards but not his men ..he therefore chose to stay with them, herded with thousands of German servicemen into an improvised field camp with no rations for a number of days. However at this point the US forces moved back allowing the Russians to take over the camp - the Russians then marched the officers back into eastern Germany and captivity...

All posts covering Luftwaffe memoirs on this blog -  which include in some instances rare translated accounts  - can be found at this link

The leading publisher of Luftwaffe memoirs is 296 Verlag established by former Microsoft Germany honcho Kurt Braatz. See all my 296 Verlag blog posts at the following link

Friday, 6 October 2017

new profile book from Claes Sundin - book no. 7 Luftwaffe bombers

..the latest book from Claes Sundin is now available to order from the artist's web site. Profile book no. 7 covers the history of the Luftwaffe Kampfgeschwader in profile and text. The artist has been aided with some expert commentary on colour schemes and markings from David E. Brown.

Speaking to the Luftwaffe blog, Claes stated ;

 " ..My work on this book as both an artist and a writer has without doubt been my biggest ever undertaking...I have created for the reader 124 stunning profiles of nine different types of bombers used by the Luftwaffe Kampfgeschwader. To this I have also included an abundance of other illustrations in an interesting and appealing layout. I have also written a chapter about the German Bomber Arm and its history, achievements and finally its demise..."

Looks superb Claes, and extremely reasonably priced! Go to Claes' site here for more details and ordering info.  Note the superlative jacket illustration, indicating that some of the artworks have explored the ''recently" discovered 'marine camouflage' incorporating RLM Dunkelblau 83..

Stuka! - ebay photo find #225

more neat and clear Stuka pics via Manuel Rauh's ebay sales here

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Stuka! - ebay photo find #224

a selection of Stuka variants via Marco at koelsch333 Ebay sales here

Friday, 29 September 2017

Another huge Ebay win for a blog supporter - more Henschel Hs 123, Fw 189, Arado Ar 96 ebay photo finds #223

Move down the page for a super selection of HS 123 images currently on offer

I'm writing this as another huge ebay win is secured by a well-known archivist, historian and 'Luftwaffe blog' supporter - no, not the pic above although this too was a recent win! I am referring to the very late war  taxiing Bf 109 K-4 and which sold for something over 1200 Euros. The 'ghost' of Sudek13 strikes again! Of course people like David Weiss will doubtless post it on their sites after the usual attempts to mask the 'copyright' protection  - resulting in an ugly, heavily pixelated and mediocre copy.  Such efforts simply fail to compare with the original. Once again that which is rare is dear and that won't change tomorrow.  The winner of the photo, reporting exclusively to 'FalkeEins-the Luftwaffe blog' said;

".. I'm over the moon at this win, all the more so since the seller sent the pages from the original photographers diary which indicates to within a few days the date the image was captured and of course the unit to which the machine in question was assigned - totally unhoped for and an absolutely sensational acquisition for my archive.."

Unfortunately elsewhere on ebay there are still plenty of unscrupulous sellers copying photos offered for sale, making repros and attempting to sell them on like a certain "Mimosa61" who has recently offered the SKG 10 Fw 190 (above) sold by Michael Meyer only three weeks previously!

Some current ebay sales from reliable sellers. Courtesy Manuel and Darius....

Manuel Rauh's current offers are here

Below; Hs 123 in action during the Polish campaign courtesy Darius Werner here

Below, Bf 110 C/D displaying ZG 52 emblem