12 November 2018

Alarmstart East - The German Fighter Pilot's Experience on the Eastern Front 1941-1945

Patrick Eriksson has been an associate member of the German Fighter Pilot Veteran's Association since 1974. This membership gave him the opportunity to record the experiences of members of the Luftwaffe first-hand, before it was too late. This volume, the second in the Alarmstart series, provides detailed coverage of the experience of Luftwaffe fighter pilots on the Eastern Front from 1941-45 in their own words.

The campaign in the East is broken down into sections (detailed below), which contain accounts of personal experiences, including opinions of Russian pilots, planes and tactics. The list of German veterans whose experiences are recounted stretches over three pages, and includes men who served in many different Jagdgeschwader. The extensive notes on each chapter, and the six pages of bibliography, websites and archive references are evidence of the research that has gone into this book. 

The author assumes a degree of knowledge of the Luftwaffe and their structure, and the lengthy chapter on the Victory Claims Debate might not be to everyone's interest, however if you have a passion for finding out more on the Luftwaffe experience on the Eastern Front - this book should definitely be worth considering. It also has some unique additional information which added another aspect to the coverage, such as details of the ships damaged by the Russian airforce in Libau harbour, during the evacuation of Kurland in December 1944.

Table of contents:
  • Training to be a Fighter Pilot
  • Character of the Russian War
  • Air War on an Epic Scale - Statistics
  • Operation Barbarossa and the Russian Winter Offensive (22 June 1941 - February 1942)
  • 1942: New Offensives by the Wehrmacht; Stalingrad
  • 1943: Year of Decision, the Tide Turns; Kuban and Kursk
  • Endless Retreats; the Bagration Debacle (January - August 1944)
  • Late 1944 - 1945: The End of the Campaign in the East
  • The Startkladde of 7/JG 51: Understanding German Fighter Tactics and High Claims in the East
  • The Victory Claims Debate
  • Conclusions 
Available from:
Amberley Publishing

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