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
Table of Contents
Rebirth of the air force · Organisation ·Summary of campaigns · Uniforms: service & parade dress - insignia of rank, branch, trade - extra clothing & effects - summer & winter working dress - tropical uniforms · Flying clothing - summer & winter helmets, flight suits, jackets, trousers, boots, gloves · Flight equipment: parachutes - seat, back & chest types · Life preservers, kapok & inflatable · Rafts, flare pistols, dye markers, compasses