378 pages - 1997 - New
This beautiful book, which was written by a well - documented military historian, tells the story of what would become the infamous German air force : the Luftwaffe.
|Book cover finish
||First edition, Original edition ( O.E. or Or.E )
|Number of pages
||15 x 23 x 2 cm
||James S. Corum
||University Press of Kansas
From 1939 to the winter of 1941, the German military won a series of victories rarely equaled in the annals of war. Poland, Norway, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Denmark, and Greece all fell victim to the armed forces of the Third Reich. In the summer and fall of 1941, the U.S.S.R. came close to total defeat at the hands of the Wehrmacht, losing millions of soldiers on the battlefield and witnessing the occupation of a large portion of Russia and the Ukraine. The German air force, the Luftwaffe, played a central role in this remarkable string of victories. During the first two years of the Second World War, the German military experienced only one major setback at the hands of the Royal Air Force, when the Luftwaffe attempted to gain superiority in the air over Britain. On the other hand, the rapid conquest of Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Greece would have been impossible without the superb performance of the Luftwaffe.
The Luftwaffe was an integral part of the modern doctrine of maneuver warfare that was used so effectively by the German military in the early years of the Second World War and which was eventually learned by the Allied powers and used against the Germans in the latter years of the war. The Luftwaffe demonstrated to the world what a joint air / ground campaign could accomplish. In some cases, the success of the Luftwaffe can be attributed to simply overwhelming the opponent by sheer weight of numbers and superior technology - witness the campaigns in Poland, Yugoslavia, and Greece. However, in other very successful air campaigns, the Luftwaffe's margin of superiority in numbers and technology was fairly slim - witness the campaign against two major modern air powers, Britain and France, in the spring of 1940.
Even after the Luftwaffe lost the production battle and by 1942 fought outnumbered on all fronts, it remained a formidable enemy able to hold air superiority in the east until 1944 and able to successfully defend Germany against the American daylight bomber offensive until the spring of 1944. The Luftwaffe was able to hold its own even after it lost the qualitative advantage it held early in the war and had to face Allied aircraft that were often faster, better - armed, and more capable.