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The Me 262 Stormbird: From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It Hardcover – May 27, 2012
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"…as operational history, the book is both informative and strongly recommended." - Air Power History
"This is both an intensely factual book about the famed Messerschmitt and a love story. The love story comes in from the authors' obvious fascination with the short-lived Stormbird . . . Even if you're an Me-262 expert, you're certain to find much that is new here. It's particularly interesting to read how various German pilots learned to use it in combat . . . If all this sounds intriguing, this is certainly the book for you." - Aviation History
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Top Customer Reviews
Me 262 Stormbird is in need of serious editing. Gramatical errors, such as "The U.S. 1st Air Division headed toward Berlin and were attacked" are rife and information is repeated in the text. Basic facts about the Luftwaffe are, it seems, not known by the authors and, thus, one reads comments such as "the He 177 was never produced in large numbers and was rarely flown in combat operations" and "few [Messerschmitt 323s] were built and it was rarely used".
There are also numerous errors, unsubstantiated claims and significant omissions in respect of the history of the Me 262. Though believed by some, it is known to be a myth that the unit JV 44 "had most of its members wearing the Knight's Cross". It is claimed that "III./JG-7 and KG-51 ... destroyed hundreds of aircraft and tanks" while operating against the Soviet forces. Such a supposed fact is one of the only references to KG-51 and other units using the Me 262 receive even less mention such as KG(J) 54 and EJG 2.
Particularly bothersome is the perpetuation of the noble knights of the fatherland mythology; JV 44, led by Adolf Galland, is described as a "kommando of stars led by their patron saint, a defrocked lieutenant general". Such writing reduces the skill and the dedication of the pilots to pathetic stereotype. Most disagreeable of all is hokum about benevolence of Nazi party members who, along with Luftwaffe pilots "played a role in the future of world peace" ... such are the last words of the book!Read more ›
Various books on the Me 262 story have been published over the years, the best being Smith and Creek's ME 262 four-volume set published by Ian Allan/Classic Publications. Heaton's book is almost an oral history of the aircraft, the author utilizing extensive excerpts from interviews, combat reports, etc. from numerous Luftwaffe and Allied pilots and commanders. Reminiscences from Adolf Galland, Walter Krupinski, Johannes Steinhoff, Wolfgang Schenck, Georg-Peter Eder, Klaus Neumann, Erich Hohagen and other GAF personnel are included along with their Allied counterparts including Jimmy Doolittle, Robin Olds, etc. If anything the book seems over-stuffed with commentary. A little pruning of repetitive information would have helped.
In any case, THE ME 262 STORMBIRD is a wide-ranging, informative and entertaining 'from-the-cockpit' summary of Willi Messerschmitt's swept-wing wonder. Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first part of the book about the development of the ME 262 was interesting as were the first couple 1st person accounts of the pilots who flew and fought against them. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Virginia Yank
First class story of the 262 told by the pilots who flew it or fought against it.If you're a pilot or just interested this book is a great read.Published 2 months ago by Richard Whittington
some good information, but lots of extraneous comments by the individuals that flew it.Published 9 months ago by Gordon E. Hadlow
Very good book including many first hand accounts of combat with the me-262Published 11 months ago by David Wakil
I thoughthis book was fantastyic. The comments the pilots made who were actually in combat was amazing.Published 17 months ago by Tom Berry
Deep enough, well written.
I would like to have had more discussion about the technical aspects of it and understanding of the pilot's dilemmas of fighting a war that was... Read more
Tough read. Interesting but a bunch of conflicts retold from different view points. Half the book is a list of the history of individual battles and aircraft.Published on October 29, 2013 by Roadrider
I didn't know much about ME 262 and it's role in the 2-nd WW. I had heard only rumours before. This book gave me more than I expected. Both educational and enjoyable.Published on March 27, 2013 by mzeina