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 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.
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.