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Zemke's Wolfpack: The 56th Fighter Group in World War II Paperback – October, 1992

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks Intl (October 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879386223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879386221
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,494,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The author has done a good job of providing a very detailed account of the flying/fighting history of the 56th FG in WWII. This book is loaded with actual combat accounts from the pilots and general discriptions of daily sorties...actually, that's primarily all the book is. If you're looking for something on Zemke himself, this probably isn't the book for you. The author takes a more general approach, detailing each kill of this historical fighter group and never really concentrating on any one pilot to any substantive degree. The author also provides a detailed Appendix with, among other things, a complete breakdown of the kills of the 56th (including planes destroyed, buy who, and on what day). Thus it serves as both a good "read" generally as well as a handy reference source. The only complaint I have with the book is that the writing is somewhat cumbersome in that it reads like a reference manual at times.
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Format: Paperback
A wonderful look into Hub Zemke's life. One of the topaces of World War II for the Americans, was the commanderof the 56th Fighter Group, which was the most successful of the war. There are a lot of details here that make this book one of the best. Hub is a quiet and reserved man, and this book isin't here to toot his horn. Its here to give us a look into how the war was fought in the skies of Europe, where all you have is your wingman, and whats left in your ammo cans. Great book!
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good book, but author William Hess makes one mistake: in the beginning, the American pilots are learning how to fight their inexperience in aerial gunnery and air combat; the next moment, the German pilots seem to be stupid and begin falling like flies from the sky under the guns of the 56th!!! This lead us to a point: we will never know how the outcome of the air battles over Germany would be, if the numbers were more or less equal on each side. Another thing missing in the Apendix is the number of missions flown by each pilot in the Group (at least the aces listed) and the total of casualties and prisoners of war. The good point is, as always, the reports from the pilots theirselves.
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By A Customer on October 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book seemed to me nothing more than a scrap collection of combat reports thrown together. The author gives no indication about what happened behind the 56's curtains. He tells no intersting tales which got into the unit's folclore. It is coldly written, and doesn't even bothered to check the enemy side. Bad job!
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Format: Paperback
This book is not intended to be a biography of Zemke's WWII career and it is not. Nor is it meant to be a novel - styled account of ETO fighter pilots. It is meant to be the unit history of the 56th fighter group of the 8th Air Force (as one might surmise from the sub-title). As such, it is an excellent resource.

Compiled from mission debriefing reports and eyewitness interviews, the book is what you should expect from a unit history - a day-to-day account of actions in which the group was involved including accounting for every kill and loss. This is a perfect resource for anyone who wants to know who fought with the 56th, the quantity and types of aircraft they damaged or destroyed and their war-time fates. It is a perfect mix of story - telling and pertinent data as far as I'm concerned.

On top of that the book is loaded with photos of the pilots and aircraft of the group. Many aircraft appear in multiple photos (a boon to the modeler or aviation illustrator) including close-ups of the nose art on many of the ships.

If you are looking for a romantic look at the life of a World War II fighter pilot, this is not the book for you. If, however, you are interested in hard dates, factual information about enemy encounters and the general operational history of the 56th, this is an excellent resource.
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