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Review: The rise and fall of the Luftwaffe / Hauptman Hermann

September 2, 2013

As a military history buff, I really should have enjoyed this book, but unfortunately I did not. It’s short comings were just too great.

luftwaffe capThe blurb reads “Can it really be true that in 1941 insiders knew the Luftwaffe was a spent force and a failed organization? This remarkable, but little-known book, first published in 1943, argues how pure incompetence in planning and strategy left the Luftwaffe hopelessly stretched and exposed. The Nazi regime designed its airforce for blitzkrieg, and blitzkrieg alone. During the invasion of Poland, 2,500 aircraft were lost on account of a failure to produce any spare parts. When long campaigns set in Russia, North Africa and Western Europe, the collapse of the Luftwaffe became inevitable. Crammed full of fascinating detail, this prescient book shows how German efficiency was fatally paralyzed by the dead-hand of the corrupt Nazi Party. Herman Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe, was chiefly responsible; his wholesale thefts to fund a lavish lifestyle add particular colour to this picture of woeful neglect”.

To me, this book has the feeling of one of those literacy fakes that have turned up during history. It feels like it’s a bit anti-German (understandable I suppose considering it was written in 1942/43) and it reads like a political agenda not a historical / social record.

The other thing that irritated me was the use of the word “now”.  Remembering that this book is a 2012 edition of a 1943 book, the over use of the word  ‘now’ made it difficult to follow if the statement referred to a time pre 1942/1943 or after the Second World War.

So that is my opinion of this book but I invite discussion and correction if your opinion is different. Feel free to disagree with a logical augment and I might change my mind!

– Darren Russell


From → Non-Fiction, Review

  1. Hello. I just found your blog. fantastic collection of unique world war two history. thank you very much for sharing !
    If you are interested, I am now uploading my private collection of 24,000 never before seen Kodachrome color photos from World War Wwo on my new site Maybe they are interesting for you ? Best wishes. Ian


    • Thanks Ian. We have a good library user (Darren) who does some very good blog posts for us. Thanks for that link. looks very interesting. – Natalie


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