Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1939-42 Book Review
|Date of Review||July 2020||Title||Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1939-42|
|Format||128 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$24.95|
Neil Page explores the human face of WWII aerial combat in Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1939-42 – first in a two-volume set in the “Casemate Illustrated” range.
After an introduction with timeline, coverage chronologically covers all major Luftwaffe campaigns through 1942:
- The Polish Campaign and the Phoney [sic: “Phony”] War
- The Campaign in the West, 1940
- Over England, 1940
- Waiting for Barbarossa, 1941
- Barbarossa, 1941
- Africa, 1941
- On the English Channel, 1941
- Over the USSR, 1941
- In the West, 1942
- The Mediterranean, 1942
Personnel and unit deployments, action accounts, victory claims, and aircraft usage dominate text. Sidebars and biographical notes augment coverage. And a helpful glossary, selected bibliography, and index conclude contents.
Period color and B&W photos, profile art, archival reproductions, chronologies, and portrait shots illustrate the effort.
But some aircraft identifications appear suspect.
I highly doubt, for instance, that Luftwaffe pilots commenced their WWII victory claims with “four PZL 24s” the first day of combat. France never called Hawk 75s “P-36s” – a US designation. And what exactly is an “SB-3”?
Some conclusions remain debatable, too.
I suspect, for instance, that many historians would disagree that “it is perhaps clear that the Battle of Britain was not the close-run thing of British propaganda”.
Still, this remains a handy, 128-page handbook on early-WWII Luftwaffe aces. Make it your launchpad for further study of this seminal subject.
With thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review copy!