Voices from the Luftwaffe: Bob Carruthers
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.
From July to September 1940, the British people watched the Battle of Britain play out in the skies above them, aware that the eventual outcome would decide their fate. From September through to the following May, Hitler attempted to ´´blitz´´ London and other major cities into submission. For a year, the citizens of Britain were effectively front-line soldiers in a battle that united the country against a hated enemy. Despite the terror, destruction, and heavy casualties, the British people survived the onslaught, until May 1941, when Hitler re-directed his attention, and that of the Luftwaffe, to the campaign in Russia. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Simon MacCorkindale. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/000166/bk_rhuk_000166_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.
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.
In 1939 Britain and her allies were completely unprepared for total war. In the spring of 1940, after months of inactivity, the powerful and highly trained German army smashed it´s way through neutral Holland and Belgium and into northern France. The Allies had no choice but to retreat to the costal areas, where the ´Miracle of Dunkirk´ took place. Half a million men were finally evacuated to England. Hitler, anxious to invade Britain, ordered the Luftwaffe to destroy the Royal Air Force. The Battle of Britain started. A climax was reached on September 15th when, following a great raid over London, the RAF shot down 175 raiders. Hitler relentlessly bombed Britain hoping to break the British people. Many were killed or wounded and countless home where destroyed but the British spirit never broke. The British people defied the enemy until May of 1941 when much of the Luftwaffe was moved away to fight on the Russian front. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Timothy West. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/000022/bk_rhuk_000022_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Nazi Germany is entering a dangerous period of its existence and a young German boy, Wolf Kruger, dreams of becoming a fighter ace in the feared Luftwaffe. His parents, however, have higher aspirations for their talented son and are beginning to voice concerns over Hitler and his increasingly frightening megalomania, something which ultimately costs them their lives. Meanwhile, in Great Britain, there is a single voice of reason, standing up to the rise of the Nazis and challenging the appeasement of the British government as they give in, time and again, to Hitler´s demands. Winston Churchill warns against allowing the Fuhrer to get away with too much and urges others to make a stand. Little does Churchill and Kruger realize, but their lives are soon to become inextricably intertwined as the boy grows into a man, and the politician in the wilderness grows into one of the most formidable statesmen of the 20th Century. Packed with history, fighter pilots and intrigue, this is the first book in the fast-paced Epic War series, featuring the intellect and persona of Winston Churchill and a host of other memorable characters, including Madeline, Winston´s headstrong niece who is a match for any man...or fighter pilot. The book has been re-edited. As Winston Churchill might have said in this case, "The author will do the right thing...eventually. And he was kind enough to light my cigar." 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jim Raposa. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/094976/bk_acx0_094976_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.