An online database
of WORLD WAR II
books and information
on the Web since 1995
New & forthcoming
Books by subjects
Goss, Chris. The Luftwaffe's Blitz: The Inside Story, November 1940 - May 1941. Manchester, UK: Crecy Publishing Ltd, 2010
Chris Goss does not write the splashiest or best-selling books ever to hit the shelves, but readers can rely on him to provide thoughtful, interesting material about whatever topic he tackles. That's exactly the case in his latest effort, a relatively brief but quite appealing and useful look at Luftwaffe bomber operations over the UK between the end of the Battle of Britain and the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, by which time most of the bomber units had transferred to the east.
I have no particular memories of individual operations. They were all quite routine, like running a bus service. The London flak defences put on a great showat night the exploding shells gave the place the appearance of bubbling pea soup; but very few of our aircraft were hitI myself never collected so much as a shell fragment. On rare occasions one of my crew might catch sight of a British night-fighter but it seems they never saw us and we were never attacked. During our return flights, the radio operator would often tune in his receiver to a music programme, to provide some relief from the monotony.
On the other hand, a substantial number of the aviators interviewed by Goss seem to have survived the conflict because they were lucky enoughalthough it might not have seemed like good fortune at the timeto be downed over England and captured safe and sound early in the war.
Surprised by so many hits, the Heinkel caught fire. Both engines were hitthey stopped at once. The oil temperature shot up and speed fell. I lost height quickly. I had no means of defence as I was completely occupied with the plane. Through the intercom I heard screaming and groaning of both my comrades, Bordfunker Steiger and Bordmechaniker Weisse, who seemed to be badly wounded. My left hand on the throttle and my left ankle were both woundedthey were outside the safety of the armour plate. My back and seat were protected by an 8mm armour plate. I felt only a slight blowI had no pain. My Beobachter seemed to be unhurt. I saw no possibility of bringing the plane downjumping by parachute was the only possible way of hanging on to life. I gave Dussel the order to crawl back, to lift up the escape hatch and, after preparing their parachutes, to throw both comrades out. Whether they were dead or wounded I could not ascertainit was the only way of giving them a chance of life. The Beobachter came back and said he could not reach them as the walkway was already on fire. I gave the order 'Ready to jump!'#151;Dussel immediately jumped out through the side hatch. He must, as I later thought, have jumped without his parachute as everything happened so fast....
Goss continues to alternate his notes about the campaign and the memories of the airmen throughout the three chapters comprising the heart of his book. This is neither a blow-by-blow chronology nor a treatise on technology and tactics, but the author does an excellent job of tracing the overall progress of the air war over Britain while illustrating the action with memorable first-hand accounts from Luftwaffe cockpits. He also includes a fine collection of black and white photographs.
Reviewed 30 January 2011
|We don't buy, stock, publish, or sell books or anything else.
NEWS BOOKS AUTHORS PUBLISHERS SELF-PUBLISHERS BOOKSELLERS.
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Copyright © 1995-2013 Bill Stone|