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Do 335

Dive Bomber and Ground Attack Units of the Luftwaffe 1933-45 Volume 2 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2013 Title Dive Bomber and Ground Attack Units of the Luftwaffe 1933-45 Volume 2
Author Henry L. de Zeng IV and Douglas G. Stankey Publisher Classic Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 9781906537098
Format 400 pages, hardbound MSRP (GBP) £55.00

Review

This heavily illustrated, annotated account proceeds, unit-by-unit, through over 50 Luftwaffe formations – Stuka, ground-attack, night-harassment, staff, specialist and anti-armor.

Contents begin with prefatory remarks and notes on "conventions used in this book" – titles, measurements, "mini-histories", notations, names, dates and commanders.  And a helpful glossary and overview of unit nomenclature and organization follow.

With rare exceptions, CLASSIC's coverage courses from 1943 through war's end in 1945.  And text traverses all Nazi German dive-bombing and ground-attack assets – Ju 87s, Fw 190s, Hs 129s and, surprisingly, Bf 110s, Fw 190 Ds, Hs 123 Bs and assorted second-line types.

I especially enjoyed details of Nachtschlachtgruppen (NSGr) and their antecedents.  With motley medleys of sundry senescent machines – like Ar 66s, Go 145s, Fw 58s, He 46s, and even C.R.42s and Fokker C-VEs – they've always remained personal favorites.  Rash, last-ditch Luftwaffe Panzerjägerstaffeln with Panzerfäuste-armed Bücker Bü 181s proved equally engaging.  CLASSIC never disappoints!

Biographies of key personalities – including notables like the legendary Hans-Ulrich Rudel – season this superb study.  Dozens of black-and-white and color photos further flavor CLASSIC's fulsome feast.  Archival, unpublished and published sources salt chapter endnotes.

A concluding "treatise" also summarizes Luftwaffe ground-attack operations.  Appendices recap unit codes and armament details.  And five full indices complete contents.

What a spectacular volume!  This exhaustive effort belongs in the libraries of all WWII aviation aficionados.  I loved it.

Robustly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Ian Allan Publishing for this review sample!

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