Last Days of the Luftwaffe: German Luftwaffe Combat Units 1944-1945

Last Days of the Luftwaffe: German Luftwaffe Combat Units 1944-1945

by Manfred Griehl


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The end of the Second World War in Europe was an epoch of complete social, cultural and technological upheaval. In the realm of military and aviation history this period was revolutionary. The eclipse of the piston-engine, and the introduction of electronic detection equipment, rockets and airborne weapons in previously unknown quantities changed the face of the air war and paved the way for post-war developments in aviation technology.

Many details of this crucial phase of the war remained hidden for many years in top-secret files, but in this fascinating new history Manfred Griehl makes use of recently declassified sources, alongside his own vast collection of photographs, to provide a fresh look at the story of the Luftwaffe.

Among the many aspects he covers are the new models of Bf 109 and Fw 190; the Me 262 jet plane; the establishment of He 162 squadrons; Stukas and Fw 190 fighter-bomber operations on the Eastern Front; Me 262 Blitzbombers in the West, the recruitment of 1928-born Hitler Youth into the two hundred glider schools; the increasing importance of remote-controlled air-to-air rockets; and the development of heavy bombs, remote-controlled bombs, ‘atom bombs’ and Germany's chemical and bacteriological arsenal.

Packed full of fascinating revelations – such as the existence of the real-life Luftwaffe kamikaze squadron – this meticulously researched and fully illustrated book will be of interest to historian and enthusiast alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848325111
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 05/17/2009
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Manfred Griehl is a respected historian with a unique photographic archive, specializing in Luftwaffe operations of World War II. His books include German Bombers over Russia and German Elite Pathfinders.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 On the Road to the Abyss 7

Chapter 2 Fighters with Propellers Yesterday's Aircraft 18

Chapter 3 New Hope Jet Fighters 39

Chapter 4 The 'People's Fighter' For the Defence of the Reich 66

Chapter 5 Jabos and Blitzbombers 82

Chapter 6 Cannon Fodder Aviator Training for Special Purposes 112

Chapter 7 The Waffen-SS Get Involved 125

Chapter 8 Midget Aircraft and Local Fighters 144

Chapter 9 Self-Sacrifice Operations Freiheit and Bienenstock 171

Chapter 10 Mistel Over the Eastern Front 189

Chapter 11 Last Trump of the Air Defence Flak Rockets 202

Chapter 12 Weakpoint Night Fighters? 223

Chapter 13 Wrecked Dreams Miracle Weapons 241

Chapter 14 Plans for a New Luftwaffe 248

Chapter 15 The Final Account 253

Index 258

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