Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1939-42
...from Casemate Publishers
Title: Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe, 1939-1942
Author: Neil Page
Publisher: Casemate Books
Another in the Casemate Illustrated series, a 128-page soft-cover book. Highly illustrated with archive images that feature both the individual pilots and their aircraft along with plenty of excellent colour artwork profiles.
Organised in a chronological sequence the book covers from an Introduction that sets the scene of how the German air arm celebrated their high scoring fighter pilots, their 'aces' and how just prior to WW2 the young pilots of the new Luftwaffe learnt their trade flying/fighting in the Spanish Civil War. That experience served them well in the early campaigns over Poland and then with the Blitzkrieg campaign in Western Europe. Then of course there is the period of the Battle of Britain followed by the build-up to the invasion of Russia, along with involvement in Africa while still covering the English Channel on 1941. Moving on to 1942 there is more combat in the Mediterranean, in Russia and still in the West of course. Luftwaffe pilots racked up huge number of operational missions, and particularly in the fighting on the Eastern Front, notched up some large scores which exceeded 100 in many cases. Some of the pilots names are well known, such as Molders, Galland and Marseille. Added to these are many more even if they are not so well known. One that surprised me was a reserve pilot in JG 77 in 1941, no other than SS-Gruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich though once Hitler found out he was flying combat missions he was ordered to stop.
Some fascinating material that I am sure will interest WW2 aviation historians along with modellers who will find plenty of references and photos which will tempt them into a new model or two.
Thanks to Casemate for our review copy.