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Old 06-05-2007, 04:55 PM   #1
STEED
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Here is one book I recommend reading.

The Last Year of the Luftwaffe May 1944 to May 1945

By Alfred Price

ISBN 1-85409-113-1

If there is one book anyone can recommend post it here.
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Last edited by STEED; 06-06-2007 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:34 PM   #2
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Here's one of my favourites

First Light by Geoffrey Wellum ISBN 0-141-00814-8

Brilliant story of a fighter pilot in WWII

Also I'd reccomend "I could never be so lucky again" by Genral James H "Jimmy" Doolittle ISBN 0-553-29725-2 A truly incredible read
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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Since most people seem to prefer prop planes, here's a few good ones on that subject:

Wing Leader - By James 'Johnnie' Johnson (great book, covers most of the RAF European air war from the tail-end of the Battle of Britain to the Armistice and features some unrivalled descriptions of dogfights and fighter tactics operations, if you want to know what being on a fighter sweep in a spitfire was like, this is the book that will tell you. A great read and a must for any combat sim fan.)

Spitfire on my Tail - By Ulrich Steinhilper (another good book and intersting in that it is not written by an Me-109 'Ace' but just a run-of-the-mill average squadron pilot. Lots of detailed descriptions of training, squadron duties, ops, and of course, what it was like to be shot down over England. Recommended.)

JG 26 Top Guns of the Luftwaffe - By Donald L Caldwell (Good study of the most famous Luftwaffe squadron throughout WW2 and some details of flyers in the Spanish Civil War. Also features a foreward by Adolf Galland. A good general history.)

The Red Baron Combat Wing: Jagdgeschwader Richthofen in Battle - By Peter Kilduff (one of several very good books on the Baron by Kilduff. This one looks at more detailed aspects of the squadron's tactics than most other books about old Manfred. If this is your interest, also check out 'Der Rotte Kampflieger', by Von Richthofen himself (partly 'ghost written') although the hand of the wartime censor is evident in this book, it does give you a genuine feel for Richthofen the man, and is a great read (English title: The Red air Fighter.)

Fighting the Flying Circus - By Eddie Rickenbacker (A great autobiography, detailing the Escadrille Lafayette in WW1 and the later US Aero Squadrons of WW1, lots of great descriptions of combat.)

Flying Fury: Five years in the Royal Flying Corps - By James McCudden (A great read about the combat life of one of the Great War's best pilots.)

King of Air Fighters - By Ira Jones (An absolutely 'must have' book that is a biography of Edward 'Mick' Mannock VC who was (probably) WW1's genuine highest-scoring pilot (despite never actually receiving the accolade). Somewhat anti-German in its sentiment owing to the fact that Ira Jones was also a WW1 ace and the book was written for a hungry WW2 audience, it is nevertheless an interesting read.)

The Luftwaffe Fighters' Battle of Britain -By Chris Goss (A book of anecdotes from German pilots (both bomber and fighter) detailing their BoB exploits. Lots of cool info and a mine of info for modern day aviation archeologists.)

Theres a few to get you started, I could mention more since my bookshelves are groaning under the weight of books on this subject, but got some work to do.

Happy reading - Chock

Last edited by Chock; 06-05-2007 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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Robert L. Scott's God is My Co-Pilot. Good, just keep in mind it was written during the war with propaganda purposes.

Peter Townsends Duel of Eagles. One of my all time favorites, about the Battle of Britain. Gives background info as well as Townsend's narrative, which is pretty engrossing to say the least.

For present day, of course Keith Rosenkranz's Vipers in the Storm. The diary of a Gulf War F-16 pilot.

Robert Wilcox's Black Aces High tells the story of the VF-41 Black Aces (an F-14 squadron) during Operation Allied Force over Kosovo. Also good stuff.

Douglas Wallers Air Warriors. I liked it a lot, chronicles USN pilot training.

As for fiction, might be my favorite book EVER. A must read if you haven't is James Salter's The Hunters. It follows an F-86 pilot's tour in Korea. It's by a good novelist who write fiction primarily, and is beautifully written. Salter himself was an F-86 pilot in Korea, scoring one MiG-15 kill, and much of the main character is certainly autobiographical. So if you haven't read this, do so. Now. Go. It's a short, easy read.

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Old 06-05-2007, 09:43 PM   #5
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A must-read is Aircraft Down! Evading Capture in WWII Europe, by Philip D. Caine. The main focus isn't the actual flying, but what happened AFTER pilots were shot down. Each chapter chronicles the evasion experience of a seperate pilot, and it is truly amazing to read of the many ordeals they went through to reach England again; none of them could have done so without the help of the French, Belgian, Greek, and Italian underground systems.

A book that I haven't read, but was suggested by a Pole in the Subsim Polish Language Forum is called A Question of Honor The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of WWII, by Lynne Olson and Stanley W. Cloud. It is about 5 pilots of the Polish 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain -- many people have said that without the 303, the BoB could not have been won. It looks like a great read, here's the website: http://www.questionofhonor.com/index1.htm
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
As for fiction, might be my favorite book EVER. A must read if you haven't is James Salter's The Hunters. It follows an F-86 pilot's tour in Korea. It's by a good novelist who write fiction primarily, and is beautifully written. Salter himself was an F-86 pilot in Korea, scoring one MiG-15 kill, and much of the main character is certainly autobiographical. So if you haven't read this, do so. Now. Go. It's a short, easy read.
Agree with this, a great book. Incidentally, James Salter was a pen name, real name (Captain) James Horowitz and his book The Hunters was also made into a 1958 movie of the same name which starred Robert Mitchum, the movie is pretty decent too.
If I remember rightly, Horowitz flew an F-86 which he named named 'Slow Boat to China'.

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:51 PM   #7
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I personally did not like the movie. Too ridiculous for me. Crash landing the F-86 to save his buddy, come on! Deviated from the book too much.

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When the range was 5,500 yards the target hoisted a flag signal, both he and the escort turned toward at high speed, the "Q" ship uncovered his guns and the first salvo was a straddle. BATFISH bent on four and started executing the well known maneuver of getting the hell out...

Fifth war patrol, USS BATFISH
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:57 AM   #8
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Yup, that's true, it does deviate, but on the plus side, it has some great aerial shots of aircraft, and I thought the crash landing in that movie looked pretty convincing. And there are recorded instances of people doing that sort of thing.

In fact, there is an instance of that in one of the books I recommended up on the post above, where in Johnnie Johnson's book, Wing Leader, he relates the story of one of the squadron pilots bailing out over the English Channel in just such a fashion. The pilot in question could see that his flight leader was in the water, wounded, and consequently could not get into his liferaft, so he too bailed out in order to help him. Sadly, in that case, both pilots were never heard from again.

So stuff like that really did happen, and you can understand them putting it into movie adaptations of books to make them more dramatic, even if it is a bit 'Hollywood'.

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