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.
Wilhelm Johnen flew his first operational mission in July 1941, having completed his blind-flying training. In his first couple of years he brought down two enemy planes. The tally went up rapidly once the air war was escalated in spring 1943, when Air Marshal Arthur Harris of the RAF Bomber Command began the campaign dubbed the Battle of the Ruhr. During this phrase of the war Johnen´s successes were achieved against a 710-strong force of bombers. Johnen´s further successes during Harris´s subsequent Berlin offensive led to his promotion as Staffelkapitan (squadron leader) of Nachtjagdgeschwader and a move to Mainz. During a sortie from there, his Bf 110 was hit by return fire and he was forced to land in Switzerland. He and his crew were interned by the authorities. The Germans were deeply worried about leaving a sophisticatedly equipped night fighter and its important air crew in the hands of a foreign government, even if it was a neutral one. After negotiations involving Göring, the prisoners were released. Johnen´s unit moved to Hungary and by October 1944, his score was standing at 33 aerial kills. His final one came in March the following year, once Johnen had moved back to Germany. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Steven Crossley. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/011158/bk_tant_011158_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
As Hitler proceeded with his invasion plans, code-named Operation Sealion, he knew that the RAF must not be allowed to threaten the invading forces as they crossed the Channel. It was clear that they would have to be brought to battle and defeated. Still hopeful of a settlement, Hitler believed that a sustained aerial attack, coupled with a U-Boat blockade, might bring Britain to the negotiating table. The Luftwaffe´s specific aim was to win superiority by luring Fighter Command into the air and wiping it out. But Fighter Command, with its pilots, aircraft, and carefully considered systems of control, was waiting. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Simon MacCorkindale. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/000165/bk_rhuk_000165_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
To Command the Sky is a scholarly record of the fight for domination of the skies over Western Europe during World War II. It also explains the technical details of the tactics used to defeat the Luftwaffe. This book is important for serious students of World War II or military aviation. The book is published by The University of Alabama Press. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Patrick Ross. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/038288/bk_acx0_038288_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A soldier´s first duty is to obey, otherwise you might as well do away with soldiering. (Kesselring) Albert Kesselring holds a strange place in the history of World War II. A commander in the Luftwaffe, he is remembered as much for the skill with which he oversaw the German armies as for his mastery of the air fleets. Called ´´Uncle Albert´´ by many of his men and ´´Smiling Albert´´ by the Allies, he was widely respected by men on both sides of the war and loved by many of his troops, yet he was responsible for massacres in occupied Italy for which he was condemned to death during the post-war trials. Ultimately, his sentence was commuted to one of life imprisonment, making him one of the few top Nazi leaders to pen memoirs after the war, but it goes without saying that Kesselring´s time was marked by controversy. Kesselring had the skills of a politician and a diplomat, as well as those of a soldier, which carried his career through both World War I and World War II, and during the Second World War, he served in almost every theater of the fighting in Europe. He was undoubtedly a gifted commander, but one who served at a time when the German military was tainted with the evils of Nazism. Who was Albert Kesselring, and what made this seemingly contradictory man tick? Field Marshal Albert Kesselring: The Life and Legacy of Nazi Germany´s Most Popular Commander analyzes the life and career of the controversial military leader. You will learn about Kesselring like never before. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/097325/bk_acx0_097325_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Hell Above Earth tells an unforgettable story of two World War II American bomber pilots who forged an unexpected but enduring bond in the flak-filled skies over Nazi Germany. But there´s a twist: one of them was related to the head of the Luftwaffe, Reich Marshal Herman Goering, and the other had secret orders from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to kill him if anything went wrong during their missions. A heart-wrenching Greatest Generation buddy story, an adrenaline-filled account of aerial combat, and a work of popular history, Hell Above Earth centers around the author´s discovery of a half-century old secret that has far-reaching and deeply personal repercussions for the pilots, and profound consequences for the FBI and the ´´Mighty´´ Eighth Air Force. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Pete Larkin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/002452/bk_tant_002452_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
After the fall of France in May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force was miraculously evacuated from Dunkirk. Britain now stood alone to face Hitler’s inevitable invasion attempt. For the German Army to be landed across the Channel, Hitler needed mastery of the skies – the RAF would have to be broken – so every day, throughout the summer, German bombers pounded the RAF air bases in the southern counties. Greatly outnumbered by the Luftwaffe, the pilots of RAF Fighter Command scrambled as many as five times a day, and civilians watched skies criss-crossed with the contrails from the constant dogfights between Spitfires and Me-109s. Britain’s very freedom depended on the outcome of that summer’s battle. Britain’s air defences were badly battered and nearly broken, but against all odds, ‘The Few’, as they came to be known, bought Britain’s freedom – many with their lives. These are the personal accounts of the pilots who fought and survived that battle. We will not see their like again. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tim Pigott-Smith, David Shaw-Parker, Patience Tomlinson, Gareth Armstrong, Sam Kelly. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/000648/bk_rhuk_000648_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.