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The Luftwaffe: A History Paperback – August 2, 2013
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About the Author
John Killen was born at Seaton Carew, Durham, in 1925. After army service in Palestine and Cyprus he took up an industrial appointment in Ghana and later returned to England to enter engineering. He is also the author of A Hstory of Marine Aviation, 1911-68.
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While no means an exhaustive history of the Luftwaffe, Killen's book is an excellent introductory history. It moves right along from the flying aces of WWI, the rebuilding of the German air arm after the Versailles Treaty through to the end of WW II. While told from a British view, Killen is even-handed in his appraisal of the adversaries strategies and key figures.
As with all aspects of the German Wehrmacht, The success of the Luftwaffe was fatally compromised by Hitler's military amateurism and impatience, and an intoxication with tactical Blitzkrieg tactics over more sober strategic considerations. The most startling thing I learned was the insistence by Goering and Odet (the Luftwaffe's chief technical guru) on having every plane in the Luftwaffe, even a planned strategic bomber, being capable of acting as dive bombers!