This book is the remarkable story of the meteoric rise and precipitous fall of one of history's great air forces, as told by one of its most decorated and honored officers, Colonel Werner Baumbach. A combat pilot who braved enemy fighters and AA fire to dive-bomb targets in virtually every German theater of the Second World War, Baumbach was also a superb organizer and keen strategist who was named the Luftwaffe's Commander of the Bombers well before his thirtieth birthday.
Baumbach was a key figure, not merely in the aerial campaigns over England, Russia, the Mediterranean and the Arctic, but in the fateful decision-making that shaped Germany's desperate struggle against the combined forces of England, America, and the Soviet Union. In The Life and Death of the Luftwaffe he gives a detailed, frank, inside account of Germany's air war, seen from the top: Hitler as leader and strategist; the strengths and weaknesses of such Luftwaffe leaders as Göring, Milch, Udet, Jeschonnek, and Galland; the great controversies over strategy and tactics, fighters vs. bombers, that helped decide the war.
All of the Luftwaffe's celebrated campaigns are here: the blitzkriegs against Poland, France and the Low Countries; the Battle of Britain; the massive invasion of Russia and the hard-fought retreat; the air wars over the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Mediterranean; and the desperate defense of Germany against the merciless attacks of British and American bombers.
Baumbach tells of the visionary German weapons, many of which he tested himself, which laid the basis for modern war in the air - and in outer space: jet fighters, rockets, guided missiles, and the forerunners of today's "smart" bombs. He gives fascinating details of Luftwaffe plans which just missed being acted on: trans-Atlantic raids on New York City and the Panama Canal, the training of Germany's own kamikaze (suicide pilots), and the incredible scheme for piggy-backing fighters and bombers to guide the unmanned bombers in on enemy targets, with devastating effect.
Baumbach, Germany's first recipient of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, has neglected no aspect of Germany's air war - strategy, tactics, production, research and development - in this classic study of one of the world's most celebrated and feared fighting forces. The Life and Death of the Luftwaffe is required reading for all students of the German air force in World War II, and for everyone with an interest in war and warriors.
Customers please note: Like all our books not specifically marked as used, these are new, never-before-read copies. However, we (Scriptorium) got these books from a supplier who had them in storage for quite some time, as a result of which they acquired a kind of "library smell" - not musty but not roses either. This has been taken into account in the price, but readers who are bothered by this kind of thing should take note!
(224 pages, 16.5 x 24 cm, hardcover with dust jacket, some b/w photos.)
The Blond Knight of Germany