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The German Aces Speak: World War II Through the Eyes of Four of the Luftwaffe's Most Important Commanders [Kindle Edition]

Colin D. Heaton , Anne-Marie Lewis , Jon Guttman , Brig. Gen. Robin Olds USAF (Ret.) , Oberleutnant Kurt Schulze , Brig. Gen. Robin Olds
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For the first time, four German WWII pilots share their side of the story.
Few perspectives epitomize the sheer drama and sacrifice of combat more perfectly than those of the fighter pilots of World War II. As romanticized as any soldier in history, the WWII fighter pilot was viewed as larger than life: a dashing soul waging war amongst the clouds. In the sixty-five-plus years since the Allied victory, stories of these pilots’ heroics have never been in short supply. But what about their adversaries—the highly skilled German aviators who pushed the Allies to the very brink of defeat?
Of all of the Luftwaffe’s fighter aces, the stories of Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck shine particularly bright. In The German Aces Speak, for the first time in any book, these four prominent and influential Luftwaffe fighter pilots reminisce candidly about their service in World War II. Personally interviewed by author and military historian Colin Heaton, they bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their lives, and, perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler. From thrilling air battles to conflicts on the ground with their own commanders, the aces’ memories disclose a side of World War II that has gone largely unseen by the American public: the experience of the German pilot.

Editorial Reviews


"The four German pilots who speak from their graves through this book—Galland, Walter Krupinski, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck—are voices that remain unheard in their homeland. Through the beautifully edited text of co-authors Heaton and Lewis, they speak honorably. What must have been a series of extensive interviews with each man has been rendered in seamless conversational language, and what might have been numbing recitations of dogfights are instead vivid descriptions of life as a warrior during World War II." - Air & Space Smithsonian

"Of all the Luftwaffe's fighter aces, the stories of Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann and Wolfgang Falck shine particularly bright. For the first time in any book these four prominent and influential Luftwaffe fighter pilots reminisce candidly about their service in World War II." - Military Review

From the Inside Flap

Walter Krupinski: 197 victories; Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves; German Cross in Gold; Wound Badge in Gold
Adolf Galland: 104 victories; Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds; Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds; German Cross in Gold
Eduard Neumann: 13 victories; Iron Cross Second and First Class; Spanish Cross; German Cross in Gold
Wolfgang Falck: 8 victories; Knight’s Cross
These four prominent and influential Luftwaffe fighter pilots reminisce candidly about their service in World War II in The German Aces Speak. Although all were decorated by the Third Reich for their exemplary performance, this is not to say they followed the Nazi Party without question—indeed, none of them were card-carrying National Socialists. Between their duty to serve their country in war and the erratic and immoral leadership of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring, these men elected to follow their own code of honor in combat. Although true to their oaths as German warriors, in the end they felt they and their countrymen had been betrayed by Hitler and the Nazis.
Colin Heaton personally interviewed these air combat leaders, aces all, gathering their unique perspective on World War II and the Nazi leadership. From thrilling air battles to battles on the ground with their own commanders, these stories bring the past to life in the aces’ own words.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1975 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 076034115X
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; First edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OXS3N8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,620 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Luftwaffe! January 25, 2012
As the number of World War II veterans steadily dwindles, it's heartening to see books like THE GERMAN ACES SPEAK being published. A 2011 Zenith Press release, Colin Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis' book provides an unvarnished, you-are-there look at Luftwaffe air ops as lived by Adolf Galland, Wolfgang Falck, Walter Krupinski and Eduard Neumann.

Of the four, Galland is the best known. His life-story has been told many times over. Falck's efforts to create a German night-fighter force have been well documented. Both he and Galland penned books as well. Neumann and Krupinski's exploits haven't been as widely publicized so I was happy to see them featured. Krupinski personified the long-serving, steadily-scoring Jagdflieger who provided the backbone for Luftwaffe fighter units. Likewise, Neumann exemplified the insightful, resourceful and widely-respected Geschwader commander.

All four men come alive in THE GERMAN ACES SPEAK. The reminiscences are fulsome, thoughtful and honest. Exciting accounts of air combat intermix with frustrating battles with the Luftwaffe's worst enemy, its own commander Herman Goering! What I found most fascinating were the insights provided by all four men into other Luftwaffe officers such as Goering, Hans-Joachim Marseille, Wolfram von Richthofen and Erich Hartmann not to mention Adolf Hitler.

THE GERMAN ACES SPEAK tops off at 354 pages. Almost 100 pages of that is given over to a list of Luftwaffe pilots who scored kills in WW II and the Spanish Civil War, the list running from one kill to 352. Frankly, I would have preferred that the authors used those pages to present one or two additional accounts by other GAF aces.

Having said that, THE GERMAN ACES SPEAK is an exciting, informative and evocative chronicle of four brave, talented men and the war they experienced some 70-odd years ago. Recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
"THE GERMAN ACES SPEAK" (which I finished reading a short time ago) is one of the best books of its kind that I've yet read. Each of the 4 former Luftwaffe fighter pilots who were interviewed had served in a variety of commands, both combat and administrative, throughout the Second World War. And in the case of both Adolf Galland and Eduard Neumann, both also served as combat pilots with the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War. [The Condor Legion was a German military unit which supported the Nationalist forces of General Francisco Franco in its fight against the Spanish Republican government. Franco triumphed in March 1939 and ruled Spain til his death in 1975.]

The perspectives the 4 men (Walter Krupinski, Galland, Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck) provide the reader on their military experiences and their insights (in particular, those of Galland - who served as the Luftwaffe's General of Fighters from November 1941 to January 1945 --- and Falck, who was one of the figures instrumental in the establishment and organization of the Luftwaffe's night-fighter arm) gained from direct dealings with the Third Reich's political leaders (Hitler and Goering) are revealing and amply demonstrate how a dictatorship can go awry (due to hubris and its own misdeeds) under wartime pressures.

Each of the 4 men survived the war, maintained their links with aviation (in both the civilian and/or military spheres) or went into business, and strove in their own respective ways to promote peace and understanding between former enemies. Sadly, Krupinski, Galland, Neumann, and Falck are no longer with us. But through this book, the reader can gain a deep understanding and appreciation of the challenges these men faced in war and peace.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent November 29, 2011
It is not often we get to hear the story of "the other side" in a war. But this is an excellent read as told by four former Luftwaffe officers. I found the book well written and the stories clearly told with a very human element. Such courage, and insight into the lives of those we know of but have no idea what they were like. I am sorry I have not heard these stories before, and with out this type of book, they could be lost.
I think this is a must read for any one and like my self a WWII buff.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall good May 10, 2012
By ranjeet
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Was pretty satisfied with what the four aces had to say especially concluding that they were just doing their jobs & no one cared a damn about their heroics in their own nation. However, General Erwin Rommel's son was a successful politician mainly due to the fan following of his father-of course could be an exception. Also wish others like Hartmann, Saburo Sakai, Rudel & still others could have been included. Lastly, Krupinski says that Hartmann spent 10 years as Soviet captive but does not say why-it was because just like when he refused to join Galland's M-262 the world's first jet squadron & later could have easily escaped to the West but did no want to leave his unit behind under the Soviets while he alone escaped to the West-what a character-such humans are of the rare species! Did enjoy the bit where he clowned with Fuher's hat & commented-he's got a big head for a short man!
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very, very short story September 6, 2012
By Brad
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although the book, excuse me, the collections of magazine articles that were compiled into making this book do offer some insight of this era of our history from their perspective. I was very disappointed when I finished the book, an ebook, when the progress indicator was at 26%. The remaining book is comprised of various and random facts and information in the format of an organizational chart. This should be made clear before purchase. If you see it in the 0.99 range then that would be a good value for your money, otherwise you will be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic ' loved every page ' just shows how good ...
Absolutely fantastic ' loved every page ' just shows the struggles these brave men faced every day and the courage it took to fly against overwhelming odds ..
Published 6 days ago by Lisa Wolak
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting. Couldn't put it down
The war wasn't just one war. It was many wars. It was many wars as each person experienced it differently and from their own perspective. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Maria Victoria P. Penaflor
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Ok reading but I prefer firsthand accounts as to just a retelling of what happened.
Published 22 days ago by James Adkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good stories and interviews
Published 1 month ago by frank kerssens
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the "other side"
Excellent book on the "other side". Looking at the great war through the eyes of great aviators, their feelings about the war and their leaders. It was a very good read
Published 2 months ago by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good over view and addition to their memoirs
Published 3 months ago by bored
5.0 out of 5 stars great
prompt delivery, great book
Published 3 months ago by HMLTM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Product was delivered as advertised and in the time frame as promised.
Published 4 months ago by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 5 months ago by Triathlon King of Pain
4.0 out of 5 stars I was surprised at how their finest pilots were treated and how little...
This book ,while rather dry was also very informative on what German pilots knew about the people they flew with and what they thought of the Brits and the US pilots and a bit... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Frank A Stanek
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