The Life and Death of the Luftwaffe: General Werner Baumbach
The much-anticipated sequel to The German Aces Speak gives voice to four more of WWII´s most noteworthy German pilots. When The German Aces Speak was published in 2011, Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine welcomed Colin Heaton´s and Anne-Marie Lewis´ masterful command of interview-based narrative, writing, ´´[W]hat might have been numbing recitations of dogfights are instead vivid descriptions of life as a warrior during World War II.” Indeed, it is this unexpected perspective, brought to life by the authors´ neutrality and thoughtful research, that illuminates a side of war largely hidden from the American public: the experience of the German Luftwaffe pilot. In The German Aces Speak II, Heaton and Lewis paint a picture of the war through the eyes of four more of Germany´s most significant pilots - Johannes Steinhoff, Erich Alfred Hartmann, Guther Rall, and Dieter Hrabak - put together from numerous interviews personally conducted by Heaton from the 1980s through the 2000s. The four ex-Luftwaffe fighter aces bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their off-duty lives, their lives after the war, and perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler. Together, the memories of the events captured in The German Aces Speak II continue one of today´s most unique World War II series, unearthing a facet of the war that has gone widely overlooked for the American public. 1. Language: English. Narrator: P.J. Ochlan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/012369/bk_tant_012369_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Few perspectives epitomize the sheer drama and sacrifice of combat more perfectly than those of the fighter pilots of World War II. As romanticized as any soldier in history, the World War II fighter pilot was viewed as larger than life: a dashing soul waging war amongst the clouds. In the 65-plus years since the Allied victory, stories of these pilots´ heroics have never been in short supply. But what about their adversaries - the highly skilled German aviators who pushed the Allies to the very brink of defeat? Of all of the Luftwaffe´s fighter aces, the stories of Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck shine particularly bright. In The German Aces Speak, for the first time in any book, these four prominent and influential Luftwaffe fighter pilots reminisce candidly about their service in World War II. Personally interviewed by author and military historian Colin Heaton, they bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their lives, and, perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler. 1. Language: English. Narrator: P.J. Ochlan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/008625/bk_tant_008625_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
´´The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world except in the abodes of the guilty goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unweakened by their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill, August 21, 1940. At the end of August 2012, BBC ran a report about the commemoration of a young man who had been killed more than 70 years earlier. ´´A Battle of Britain pilot who was killed when his Spitfire crashed following a dogfight in the skies above Kent has been honored. Flying Officer Oswald St John ‘Ossie’ Pigg lost his life in the crash at Elvey Farm on 1 September 1940. The 22-year-old had been involved in an aerial fight with a Messerschmitt. A plaque was unveiled near the site by his niece Stephanie Haigh and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight carried out a flypast on Thursday.” Just 12 days before Pigg’s death, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had already immortalized the men of the Royal Air Force with one of the West’s most famous war-time quotes. But the sentiment and gratitude Churchill expressed back in 1940 is very much alive today. The sacrifice made by ´´The Few”, the British and Allied fighter pilots who won the Battle of Britain in 1940, remains close to the hearts of the British public, and the piece by the BBC is typical of the national sentiment manifested in air shows, museums, TV programs, and books. Even as the last of ´´The Few” pass on, it seems unlikely that the legend they helped to create will be forgotten anytime soon. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/113343/bk_acx0_113343_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Secret Life of Fighter Command:The Men and Women Who Beat the Luftwaffe Sinclair McKay
In many ways Charles Lindbergh represented the best and worst of America during the first half of the 20th century. Lindbergh became famous for being an aviation pioneer whose solo flight across the Atlantic captured the imagination of an entire world, yet he was an isolationist who wanted to keep American freedoms safe for Americans and no one else. Lindbergh was the quintessential family man, yet he fathered illegitimate children and suffered an unspeakable tragedy that became known as the crime of the century. Lindbergh embodied some of his era´s greatest virtues and harbored some of its worst prejudices. Lindbergh was a 25-year-old US Air Mail pilot who was probably best known for two crashes before shooting to fame with his nonstop flight across the Atlantic from New York City to Paris on May 20-21, 1927. Lindbergh was Time magazine´s first Man of the Year in 1927, and he used his newfound fame to promote the development of commercial flight and become a spokesman and symbol for advances in aviation. Tragically, Lindbergh was the subject of front-page headlines in 1932 when his infant son, Charles, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in the ´´crime of the century´´. After going into voluntary exile in Europe, Lindbergh found himself embroiled in scandals as he toured German (and Luftwaffe) aviation systems and took isolationist stances, at times making comments that were tinged with anti-Semitism and in favor of eugenics. After Pearl Harbor, Lindbergh was rejected from serving in the armed forces, likely because President Roosevelt thought he was a Nazi sympathizer. But Lindbergh worked his way through administrative and technical positions to give himself the opportunity to fly about 50 combat missions in the Pacific, impressing his colleagues with his flying abilities and technical know-how. After World War II, as Lindbergh began to fade from the spotlight, he took up a number of causes, writing books and supporting ... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tom Lennon. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/034949/bk_acx0_034949_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The author of A Fall of Marigolds journeys from the present day to World War II England, as two sisters are separated by the chaos of wartime. She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one—because it was all she really wanted to see Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden--one that will test her convictions and her heart. 1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old, Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister, Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage. Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Alana Kerr Collins. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hove/001270/bk_hove_001270_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The first British major success of World War II was when the Royal Navy forced the preying pocket battleship, Graf Spee, to scuttle at sea. Hitler had ordered a blockade of the British Isles and for some months German U-boats and warships caused havoc among allied merchant shipping carrying vital supplies. In 1941, the one sided battle of the Atlantic became more even when the Royal Navy started moving ships in convoy with escorts using radar and information from British scientists who had cracked the Kreigsmarine version of the Enigma Code captured by the Royal Navy. The perils of the Atlantic were only equalled by the convoys on the run to northern Russia. Sub-zero temperatures, pack ice and appalling weather conditions plus the menacing Luftwaffe and the German Navy based in Norway, made it one of the most hazardous actions of the entire war. Meanwhile, in the air, bomber planes of the RAF and U.S. air force were incessantly bombarding German industries and cities. Casualties on the ground were devastating and the life expectancy of the aircrew was alarmingly short. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Timothy West. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/000021/bk_rhuk_000021_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.