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[BOOK] Luftwaffe Over Germany - A suprisingly good read?



The Luftwaffe Over Germany
- Defence of the Reich -
by Donald Caldwell & Richard Muller

1 Line :
Well rounded overview of the Daylight air Defence of the German Air Force during WW2.

Best & what -
An enjoyable read, with an excellent mix of facts, quotes, narrative detail & pen portraits of key personalities. There is brief discussion of the strategic situation, references to logistics, manufacturing, strategic command, political interference, the mixed command structures, and internal politics and how they affected the air war.

Good -
Excellent selection of photos, including lots for modellers, plenty of portraits and more casual shots. however this is not a photo book, it's word to picture count is high.

But -
Dry academic read in places, not a page turner. OTOH I did keep reading most days until I finished, worth persevering with.

Disclaimer -
Air operations are my least studied (due to lack of interest) art of war, I am much more a tactical/operational interest in the land/sea war with more interest in logistics, strategy than air ops. Still I found it accessible and interesting.

Lastly -
A quote from very last page

"Do not forget in any presentation of the 1944-1945 Reichsluftverteidigung the circumstances under which we had to fight:
- Against an incredible numerical and technical superiority;
- with inadequately trained personnel (my own total flying time according to my logbook was 310 hours!);
- against an American foe who sometimes exhibited only a modest fighting spirit (in all of my attacks on American bombers I was only fired at on rare occasions - and then only at distances greater than 1 000 meters [1 00 yards!];
- but also against American fighter pilots who had their way with us with tactically skillful maneuvers;
- and at all times with an unprecedented willingness to a sacrifice on the part of the German fighter pilots."

This from a veteran luftwaffe fighter pilot. It placed the human element of the whole book into perfect context in a moving way.
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