The Third Reich´s Luftwaffe began World War II with significant advantages over other European air forces, playing a critical role in the German war machine´s swift, powerful advance. By war´s end, however, the Luftwaffe had been decimated by combat losses and crippled by poor decisions at the highest levels of military decision-making, and it proved unable to challenge Allied air superiority despite a last-minute upsurge in German aircraft production. Given its unique strengths and distinctive weaknesses by the personal quirks of the men who developed it, the Luftwaffe initially overwhelmed the more conservative, outdated military aviation of other countries. Its leaders embraced such concepts as the dive-bomber, which proved both utterly devastating and extremely useful for supporting the sweeping, powerful movements of Blitzkrieg, while other martial establishments rejected dive-bombers as impractical or even impossible. Though the superb fighting qualities of highly trained and motivated German soldiers, and the Third Reich´s technological superiority in tank and weapon design, also had crucial roles to play, the Luftwaffe represented the key element making the successes of all other branches possible. While the Luftwaffe enjoyed air superiority, the combat fortunes of the Third Reich continued to ride high. When control of the air passed decisively to the Allies, Germany´s hopes of victory began accelerating into a spiral of defeat. The Luftwaffe: The History of Nazi Germany´s Air Force during World War II looks at the role the German air force played during the war, from its origins to its near demise. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Michael Gilboe. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/036138/bk_acx0_036138_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.
The Painter is one woman’s remembrance of the days of her youth, spent in Bielefeld under the bombs of the Allied Air Forces in the final months of the war in Europe. After writing Until the Night, I had been looking for a way to start telling the other stories of the Bombing War in Europe. Until the Night was about the men in the bombers over Germany in the winter of 1943 to ´44; The Painter is about the experience of ordinary Germans under the bombs in the last winter of the war. The Painter is the first of a series of companion audiobooks to Until the Night in the Bomber War series. Future audiobooks will include prequels or sequels to Until the Night, but The Painter stands alone, unconnected other than in time and theme by the tragedy of that, thankfully, past age. History is history, but for it to ´´live´´, it needs to be experienced through the eyes and ears of ´´people´´, and it was not until I heard ´´The Painter´´, a beautifully elegiac song penned by Hannah Martin and performed in a concert by the duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, that I discovered a way to speak to the nightmare of the closing months of the war in Europe. In her song, Hannah Martin encapsulates the stories told to her by her grandmother about her life as a young woman growing up in Bielefeld. In the terrible ´´big picture´´ of the bombing war, Bielefeld suffered less than many places in Germany. In the UK, we recall the trial by fire of Coventry in 1940; that city has become a leitmotif of the British experience of the blitz even though other towns and cities were as badly hit by the Luftwaffe. Bielefeld, a much smaller city than Coventry, its population swollen by slave labourers, suffered at least as many civilian casualties between September 1944 and VE-Day in April 1945. Although it was never subjected to a major ´´area bombing´´ raid by the RAF, the US Army Air Force repeatedly attack 1. Language: English. Narrator: Lesley Parkin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/117156/bk_acx0_117156_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In this engaging audiobook, we see how an 18-year-old miner shoveling ore from deep in the ground in Utah suddenly found himself, only two years later, 30,000 feet in the air over Nazi Germany, piloting a Flying Fortress in the first wave of America´s air counteroffensive in Europe. Like thousands of other young Americans, Ray Brim was plucked by the US Army to be a combat flyer and was quickly pitted against the hardened veterans of the Luftwaffe. Brim turned out to have a natural knack for flying, however, and was assigned to the select squadron developing lead Pathfinder techniques while experimenting with radar. He was among the first to test the teeth of the Luftwaffe´s defenses, and once those techniques had been honed, thousands of other bomber crews would follow into the maelstrom, from which 80,000 never returned. Pathfinder Pioneer gives us vivid insights into the genesis of the American air campaign, told with the humor, attention to detail, and humility that captures the heart and soul of our Greatest Generation. 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Pruden. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/008032/bk_tant_008032_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.
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.
An unabridged reading of this original novel featuring the Seventh Doctor, as played on TV by Sylvester McCoy, and Ace in an encounter with the Cybermen. The Blitz is at its height. As the Luftwaffe bomb London, Cody McBridge, expat American private eye, sees a sinister silver sphere crash-land. He glimpses something emerging from within. The military dismiss his account of events - the sphere must be a new German secret weapon that has malfunctioned. What else could it be? Arriving amid the chaos, the Doctor and Ace embark on a trail that brings them face to face with hidden Nazi agents and some very old enemies.... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Nicholas Briggs, Sophie Aldred. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/002471/bk_rhuk_002471_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Winter´s Revenge is the second full length Guy Winter mystery. It is set in England in the Second World War at the time of the Battle of Britain and the beginning of the devastating night Blitz of London in September 1940. London reels under the onset of the Blitz as every night hundreds of Luftwaffe bombers unload their cargoes of death over the beleaguered city. On the ground as the new brutal realities of the war are brought home to every citizen, the Ripper continues his rampage and the last secrets of Guy Winter´s life are stripped away. As the bombs fall the mystery man unravels one mystery after another, knowing that sooner rather than later he must confront his deadliest foe. This time it is not just Guy Winter´s life and loyalties that are under the microscope. Under the Luftwaffe´s reign of terror the past mistakes of friends and enemies alike suddenly come home to roost, but Guy Winter never stops hunting his man. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Melanie Fraser. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/074846/bk_acx0_074846_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.