The all-metal Junkers Ju 52/3m enjoyed a solid – indeed, revered – reputation amongst its crews and the troops and paratroopers who used and depended on it. For more than ten years, it saw service as a successful military transport, with its distinctive, three-engined design and corrugated metal construction becoming instantly recognisable. It was a mainstay in the Luftwaffe's inventory, first seeing service in the 1930s in bombing and transport operations in the Spanish Civil War, and subsequently during the German invasion of Poland. It then served on every front on which the Luftwaffe was deployed until May 1945. The Junkers served as a stalwart transport, confronting both freezing temperatures and ice, and heat and dust, lifting men, animals, food and supplies vital for German military operations. This, the first of two books on the Ju 52/3m, details its service as a bomber in Spain and in South America, followed by its pivotal role in early war operations during the invasions of Poland and France, the airborne invasion of Crete and the early stages of Operation Barbarossa.
The Bachem Ba 349 Natter was a secretive, vertical take-off, single-seat rocket interceptor intended to offer high-speed defence of key targets. This radical aircraft offered Luftwaffe an inexpensive means with which to intercept and attack Allied heavy bombers using a vertically-launched, semi-expendable machine built of wood and armed with a nose-mounted 'honeycomb' battery of spin-stabilised air-to-air rockets as well as cannon armament. Launched vertically at 36,000ft per minute, the pilot was expected to fly within range of the enemy bombers, fire his rockets at them, ram another bomber, eject and parachute to the ground. Illustrated with contemporary photographs and stunning commissioned artwork, this study examines this inventive yet ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the Luftwaffe to defend against the tide of Allied aircraft that was bombing German cities into the ground.
The German Army of World War II was the first to fully realise the benefits of using airborne troops alongside armoured formations. German Airborne Divisions became an integral part of the blitzkrieg operations that overran much of Western Europe during 1940 and 1941, from the historic raid on the Belgian fortress of Eben-Emael to the pyrrhic victory over British and Commonwealth forces on the island of Crete. This title looks at the creation, evolution, and early operational deployment of the German airborne forces ('Fallschirmtruppe'), through highly detailed orders of battle, TOEs and examinations of crucial aspects such as doctrine, training, command and control, and the concept of vertical envelopment.
A comprehensive directory of the aircraft that saw service during WWII, with over 300 entries covering the fighters, bombers, reconnaissance and strike aircraft, trainers and transports built in some 15 nations around the world. Entries list: country of origin; aircraft type; powerplants; dimensions; weights; armament; performance; operators; production; and history of each featured aircraft. Sftbd., 8 1/2"x 11", 176 pgs., 322 bandw ill.