Luftwaffe Fighter Ace: From the Eastern Front to the

Luftwaffe Fighter Ace: From the Eastern Front to the Defence of the Homeland By his own, modest, admission Norbert Hannig was a Frontflieger, or operational pilot, who really did nothing special during World War Two He was just, he says, one of the many rank and file pilots fighting for his country and not for the Fuhrer But his wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the war not often covered in the English language primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet UnionNorbert started flying during high school on gliders and joined the German Air Force as volunteer and officer cadet, one of the midwar generation of Luftwaffe fighter pilots He began operations with JG on the eastern Leningrad front in Marchinitially he flew Messerschmitt Bf s before transitioning to the Focke Wulf FWAfter a year s fighting, he was ordered back to Germany as a flight instructor to oppose the bomber streams of the AAF and RAF Returning to Russia at the end of , he became a Staffel CO and claimed many aircraft shot down In Aprilhe converted to the first jet fighter, the Me , in south Germany, and flew his last missions with this aircraft Also serving with JV whose CO was Adolf Galland , Norbert Hannig finished the war withvictories from thanmissions Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivityJohn Weal s skillful translation ensures that the fluid descriptive style of the author is preserved Thankfully, also, Norbert was a keen photographer who shot a profusion of images, all previously unpublished, many of which appear in this important book Norbert Hannig went from service in the Jungvolk an organization similar to the Boy Scouts to the Luftwaffe in the latter part of 1940 Following completion of training, he was posted early in 1943 to Jagdgeschwader 54 the Green Hearts Wing on the Eastern Front, which boasted aces of the caliber of Otto Kittel with 267 victories, the 4th ranking ace in history and Emil Bully Lang Hannig flew both the ME 109 and Focke Wulf 190 in combat, scoring 42 victories Shortly before the end of Norbert Hannig went from service in the Jungvolk an organization similar to the Boy Scouts to the Luftwaffe in the latter part of 1940 Following completion of training, he was posted early in 1943 to Jagdgeschwader 54 the Green Hearts Wing on the Eastern Front, which boasted aces of the caliber of Otto Kittel with 267 victories, the 4th ranking ace in history and Emil Bully Lang Hannig flew both the ME 109 and Focke Wulf 190 in combat, scoring 42 victories Shortly before the end of the war, he was posted to the West, where, after completing a conversion course in the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter, he served with Jagdverband 44 the Squadron of Experts under the command of Adolf Galland Hannig s account of his experiences as a Luftwaffe Jagdflieger fighter pilot on the Eastern Front from 1943 45 provides an interesting insight into the experiences of one of the mid war Luftwaffe pilots From his flight training experiences and subsequent posting to the Green Hearts Fighter Wing in Russia, the book is easy to read The narrative flows and is not at all boring You get a sense of the man himself and the effects of the daily grind of operations over an ever changing front For any reader who is keenly interested in reading about the lives of obscure Second World War aces, this book will make a welcome addition to your library HIGHLY RECOMMENDED A very good memoir of a Luftwaffe pilot and his experiences.The fact that he recounts from the moment he became interested in flying to the chaos at the end of the war, helps to set his memoir above many others in similar topics.His retelling of being a member of the famous Jagdgeschwader 54, the adventures he partook in, the close calls,the losses, the promotions, really helps an interested person really look at the individuals who served His personal accounts of aerial combat from the early d A very good memoir of a Luftwaffe pilot and his experiences.The fact that he recounts from the moment he became interested in flying to the chaos at the end of the war, helps to set his memoir above many others in similar topics.His retelling of being a member of the famous Jagdgeschwader 54, the adventures he partook in, the close calls,the losses, the promotions, really helps an interested person really look at the individuals who served His personal accounts of aerial combat from the early days of the war in the Soviet Union to the end when the scales had tipped are rivetting His telling of becoming an instructor for 6 months for replacements is a good tale as so much myth has developed over pilots just fighting till they die The downside is his chapters are long and some times the story seems to ramble But this can be ignored by the wealth of material contained within This individual wasn t an ardent Nazi but a young boy who wanted to serve his country He fell in love and travelled across the occupied zones to reunite His telling of the actions of the Soviets is an eye opener to many They are not all the barbarian, who rape and pillage all they see, as so often portrayed though our media but they are humans who have feelings like us While some did commit such atrocities, not all were cut from this cloth.A book worth reading for any fan of World War Two history, Fighter combat and the Eastern Front For the World War Two aviation enthusiast, this is an interesting and informative biography, recounted in a straightforward style Hannig was a youngster who joined and trained as a pilot well after WW2 began, and the insights into glider training then all the stages of pilot training to the Bf 109 and ultimately the FW 190 were fascinating Living a charmed life, bouncing through some scrapes with skill, bravado and great luck, Hannig survived years on the Eastern front and recounts meetings wi For the World War Two aviation enthusiast, this is an interesting and informative biography, recounted in a straightforward style Hannig was a youngster who joined and trained as a pilot well after WW2 began, and the insights into glider training then all the stages of pilot training to the Bf 109 and ultimately the FW 190 were fascinating Living a charmed life, bouncing through some scrapes with skill, bravado and great luck, Hannig survived years on the Eastern front and recounts meetings with Novotny and Lang In the final months he trained and piloted the Me 262 The post war surrender months are recounted in detail as well As a minor ace with 44 victories in over 200 missions, working a stint as an instructor, his life reveals much about the Luftwaffe in WW2

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