JG 26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe

Donald L. Caldwell, Author, Adolf Galland, Foreword by Crown Publishers $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57039-5
Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 26, the German elite fighter unit, was more feared by the Allies than any other Luftwaffe group. Based on extensive archival research in Europe, personal combat diaries and interviews with more than 50 surviving pilots, Caldwell here assembles a superb day-to-day chronicle of JG26 operations, from its first air victory in 1939 to its final combat patrol in 1945. For the first two years of the war it was an even match between the Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs; but--as the author reveals in meticulous detail--the scales tipped in favor of the Allies in 1943 with the arrival of the Eighth U.S. Air Force and its peerless P-51 Mustang. In his first book, Caldwell, a research chemist, describes how the German pilots' morale remained high even after it was obvious to all but the youngest and most naive that the war was lost.seems obvious? The ultimate recommendation comes from Adolf Galland, legendary Messerschmitt pilot and commanding officer of Fighter Wing 26, who in the foreword calls JG26 ``a profound book, written in full fairness.'' Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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