The Luftwaffe, honed in the Spanish Civil War, played a vital part in Germany's 'Blitzkrieg' victories in 1939-41. Badly overstretched by war on three fronts in 1942-44, it was crippled by an incompetent commander-in-chief, the losses among experienced aircrew, and shortage of fuel. In 1944-45 it faced a final battle of attrition in skies ruled by the Allies as the Eastern and Western pincers closed on the Reich; but until the very end the dwindling band of veteran pilots among them the greatest 'aces' the world has ever known presented a potent threat. This fact-packed review of Luftwaffe uniforms and flying kit is illustrated with rare personal photos, insignia charts, and two dozen meticulously detailed colour figures.
Read an extract of Luftwaffe Air & Ground Crew 1939–45