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The German Aces Speak

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ISBN: 978-0-7603-4115-5
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The German Aces Speak Colin Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis 978-0-7603-4115-5 memoir

Full Title: The German Aces Speak: World War II Through the Eyes of Four of the Luftwaffe's Most Important Commanders

Growing up, although aerial combat was not front-center in my mind (the Japanese warships took that spot), like most boys, fighters and fighter pilots were something of a magnet. Fast forward a few decades and a bit more understanding of WW2 in general, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Colin Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis' The German Aces Speak. Heaton had interviewed many German pilots over the course of the past 20 or 30 years, and many of his interviews appeared in various magazines and periodicals. With this title, the authors combined and edited their interviews with Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck into a collection that presented their views and experiences of the war.

Common across the four men's experiences was the fact that they served the country and not politics. A few of them openly defied the less-than-logical orders of Hermann Göring, while others expressed in this book their love-hate relationship with Adolf Hitler, who was undoubtedly responsible for leading Germany into ruin but was also an ally of sorts of the fighter command. I have also treasured the four men's reminiscences of those who were lost, especially those of Hans-Joachim Marseille, whose heroics and antics would all remain in my mind for some time to come. From a more technical stand point, I particularly enjoyed Galland's detailed description of the history of the development of the Me 262 jet fighters. At the end of the book, as an appendix, the authors included an extensive (about 100 pages!) list of German pilots who had scored victories in the Spanish Civil War and the European War; I really wanted to make a note of this section because it could be a very valuable tool for those researching this topic. Finally, it was also interesting to learn that these men had, after the war, established friendships with Allied veterans whose experiences were so similar to their own, but yet they were under orders to kill each other; one such friendship that stood out to me was one struck up between Galland and James Finnegan, the latter of which shot down Galland in combat and nearly killed him.

The German Aces Speak was undoubtedly a gem. WW2DB visitors interested in the air war over Europe as well as those who enjoyed memoirs should make a note to check out this book some time down the road.



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More on The German Aces Speak
Related People:
» Falck, Wolfgang
» Galland, Adolf
» Göring, Hermann
» Krupinski, Walter
» Marseille, Hans-Joachim
» Neumann, Eduard

Related Aircraft:
» Bf 109
» Bf 110
» Me 262 Schwalbe



Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF