The Luftwaffe War Diaries by Cajus BECKER

By Cajus BECKER

This is often either the one and definitive account of the increase and fall of a vital arm of the German army desktop from the 1st blitzkreig on Poland during the conflict of england to the ultimate determined stand over Germany. Bekker has drawn on respectable German documents and collections, wrestle journals and private papers of prime officials and lots more and plenty different fabric unavailable open air Germany. the result's an astonishingly shiny account of a conflict of wits and know-how that inexorably tilted keep an eye on of the skies clear of the 3rd Reich. by the point the 1st jet warring parties - the ME 262 - have been designed neither the pilots to guy them, nor the to cause them to, nor the oil fields to gas them have been on hand. The bombers and combatants of the Allies commanded the skies of the Reich. this is often the tale from the German facet of ways the main strong air strength in Europe used to be lowered to impotence in six years. It throws a lot new mild at the moment global struggle. the teachings and techniques of the warfare within the air stay to this present day an issue of massive controversy.

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Not indeed 7,000 aircraft, not even 4,000, but still 897 "bombcarriers", and about the same number of long and shortrange fighters and reconnaissance machines. It is also true that the crews were well acquainted with their targets, of which they carried remarkably detailed maps. But the great blow was never launched not, at least, at the appointed hour early in the morning of September 1st. It was stifled by fog. In it one could see the pattern the war was to follow. For months the great operation had been planned ahead.

Jeschonnek knew weU that if victory could not be gained by force of numbers, only planning and tactics could make up the deficiency. In other words the available strength should not be scattered, with a Gruppe here and a squadron there (which was precisely what was happening at the mo- BLITZKRIEG ON POLAND 17 ment). The Luftwaffe's main point of effort must be defined and its strength concentrated, if not against a single target, then against a definite group of similar targets. After much discussion the command staff had drawn up an order of precedence for Luftwaffe operations.

Was ground visibility sufläcient? Could the enemy be pin-pointed from the air? What type of aircraft was best suited for the attack: bomb- dive-bombers or "battle-planes"? Such were the questions they could decide. ers, But on the morning of September system was not were picked at random. Stukas of I/StG 76 under Captain Walther Sigel went off early to attack the Wielun defences; a Gruppe of yet in operation. The 1st this "battle-planes' " targets StG 77 was sent by 2nd Air Division against the line of emplacements at Lublinitz 23.

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