Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1943-45

...from Casemate UK

Title: Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe, 1943-1945
Author: Neil Page
Publisher: Casemate Books
ISBN: 978-1-61200-879-0

A second book on the subject of Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe from Casemate Illustrated, and this one picks up the story to take it from 1943 through to the end of the war in 1945. A 128-page soft-cover book.
It breaks the story down into a chronological sequence, looking at all of the different theatres of the war where they were involved. The end of 1942, leading into 1943 saw significant changes of fortune for the German fighter pilots, in the Mediterranean, on the Eastern Front, and in the West as American/Allied bomber fleets presented an ever greater threat. After an initial timeline & Introduction, the rest is broken down into 9 chapters, covering the USSR, the West & the Reich and the Mediterranean all in 1943, before The West & the Reich, Normandy & the Invasion, Defence of the Reich, The East and the Mediterranean, all in 1944 before the final section looking at 1945. The story is very well illustrated, not only with an interesting collection of archive images, but with many extracts from diaries and reports written by many of the featured pilots. Some flew an amazing number of missions and their numbers of kills exceeding 100 or 200 in a good number of cases. Of course as the war went on, and despite their experience, so many of those pilots were lost in combat. As the war went on though, it did get to a point where some would actually desert, and head for an allied airbase where they could surrender, while others even chose to take their own lives. Still a few did survive the war and they are included as well. The aircraft we see are mainly Me 109s and Fw190s, in their later versions. Add some neat colour artwork profiles and explanation of the many hurdles the Luftwaffe had to cope with as the war took an ever greater toll are all included.
An ideal companion to the earlier title which covers the early years of the war, though this one provides a very good look at how these pilots had to cope with adversity, each in their own way. An excellent read.
Thanks to Casemate UK for our review copy.