The Luftwaffe's Blitz, The inside story - November 1940 - May 1941

Published: March 2nd, 2011     
Front cover
Front cover
Author: Chris Goss
Reviewed by: Perry Downen - IPMS# 44000
ISBN #: 978-0-85979-148-9
Other Publication Information: Hardcover; 6 x 9.25"; 209 pages; 150 photos
Price: $36.95
Product / Stock #: AD148
Product provided by: Specialty Press

This is the latest book from Chris Goss published by Crecy Publishing covering the air war between England and Germany. Gross has written several books on this subject some of which include: The Luftwaffe Bombers' Battle of Britain, The Luftwaffe Fighters' Battle of Britain, and Brothers in Arms.

The Luftwaffe's Blitzis a hardback book measuring 6-1/4" X 9-1/2" and contains 264 pages. It comes in a high quality, semi-gloss paper cover. The book contains many never before published black and white periodphotographs. Each photograph is accompanied by a block of text explaining the action or activity seen.

Adolf Hitler gave a speech on September 4, 1940 in which he announced that the Luftwaffe would respond to England's nightly raids on Germany by bombing English cities into oblivion. On September 7, 1940, the Luftwaffe's tactics changed when London and other cities became the target of German bombers. What became known as the Blitz had begun and the Battle of Britain was underway. Eight months later on May 10, 1941, the German air war changed again and the Blitz ended.

Many books have been written about the Battle of Britain and the Blitz and several movies have been produced documenting the British struggle for survival. However, much of it has been from the British perspective. What makes The Luftwaffe's Blitz interesting is that it tells the story from the German perspective in a unique way. Gross uses the first-hand accounts from over 30 German aircrew members who participated in the Blitz along with many previously unpublished photographs. Many of the accounts are graphic as the pilots, observers, gunners, etc. describe the horror of being shot down or loosing fellow crewmembers or friends. It is easy to see that the German aircrews experienced the same fears, anxieties, and apprehensions that the British aircrews experienced in this battle.

Sample page

Sample page

Sample page

The structure of the book begins with what can be called the preliminaries. These are the Acknowledgements, Glossary, Forward, Introduction and Prologue. The Glossary is very helpful with its translations of German terms and abbreviations. I used is frequently.

Following the preliminaries are three chapters that break the November to May Blitz into three segments. An Epilogue and Conclusion follow the three chapters.

There are five appendices that supplement the body of the text nicely. The first is a Dramatis Personae or a list of the main characters in the book and their fate. Appendix 2 is the Luftwaffe Bomber Order of Battle listing the various units' home base. Appendix 3 lists known dates, targets, and units involved in the raids. Appendix 4 is Luftlotte 3's detailed report of the November 15 raid on Coventry in which 568 civilians were killed. Finally, Appendix 5 contains reconnaissance photographs and maps of several targeted British cities.

I found this book a fascinating and easyread. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The material is logically presented in chronological order. For the modeler, many details can be gleaned from the Ju88, Do17, and He111 photographs. For example, notice the rough application of camouflage in the picture of the He111 above. For the student of history, this book contains some excellent reference material. If you have $36.95 to spend on a book, I highly recommended you purchase this book. You will not regret it.

My sincere thanks go to Specialty Press for providing this wonderful book and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

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