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Luftwaffe: Birth, Life and Death of an Air Force - Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II, Weapons Book No. 10 by  Alfred Price - Paperback - First Edition - 1970 - from Bruce McLeod and Biblio.com

Luftwaffe: Birth, Life and Death of an Air Force - Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II, Weapons Book No. 10

by Price, Alfred

Condition: See description


NY: Ballantine Books, 1970 NEAR-FINE First Edition, Stated 1st Printing, 160 pages, 5.5" by 8.25". Clean, tight, unmarked, never fully opened, appears unread. - Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II, Weapons Book No. 10. Introduction by Adolf Galland. Author was RAF pilot of jet bombers, more than 2700 flying hours. "From triumphant partner in the opening Blitzkreig campaigns in the war to the last futile efforts to stem the inexorable Allied advance, the Luftwaffe waged a savage but honorable war against an enemy who eventually had overwhelming and irresistible forces." Well-illustrated book includes air battles over Britain, France, Balkans, Mediterranean and Russia.. Soft Cover.


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On Jun 11 2009, fighting ignorance said:
  "Within no time I finished reading A. J. Barker's book on Midway Campaign.However for reasons which will be explained later I was not happy reading it.To be fair ,author has given a good account of Japanese strategy prelude to attack on Midway.Further the book is lavishly illustrted and carries some stunningly good maps.

But certain factors which dictated the outcome of the campaign have not been properly documented.For instance ,US naval intelligence peneterated Japanese naval ciphers..Thus the full extent and scope of Japanese plan to invade Midway were known to War Department in Washington before Japanese fleet sailed from the inland sea. Barker mentions this fact but fleetingly. Author could have fleshed this out by adding more information for documentation to this effect is availaible in abundance.

Of particular interest is the role of' chance or hazard' which helped Americans truimph at Midway.What was that? After the battle opened admiral Nagumo's sudden change in position left the Americans baffled.Nagumo warned by scouting aircraft changed course at 9.05 am from north east to south east . When dive bombers from carrier Hornet arrived at indicated position they found the sea empty.Similiar scene greeted Hornet's torpedo bombers when they too reached the target area. However finding funnel smoke at the edge of the horizon ,torpedo bomber squadron turned around to investigate.

Meanwhile dive bomber squadron from carrier Enterprise was also searching for Nagumo's fleet .It's Cdr Clarence McClusky had a hunch and decided to extend search farther westward.He soon saw the wake of Japanese destroyer seeking to rejoin mother fleet. Cdr Mc Clusky then toook another decision which was to shadow the vessel.

Now this decision was fraught with risks for the fuel guage of his plane was running low . Had his decision been wrong,he would have fallen into the sea and perished.McClusky's bold act ,daring made American victory poossible.For the Japanese vessel unwittingly guided his squadron to Nagumo's fleet.

Here the question arises how did this come about? Fact goes that an American submarine cut across the path of Nagumo's fleet.Destroyer Arashi seeing this gave a chase . It dropped depth charges which submarine managed to evade. After a futile attack the Japanese vessel was quickly steaming into position of screening mother fleet.The wake it left astern was picked up by McClusky's dive bomber squadron.

The above events which had a crucial bearing on the campaign finds no mention in Barker's book.Disappointing,a serious lacuna, for I was hoping to read it. For the Japanese everything went wrong in Midway.Admiral Yamamoto was counting on surprise but it was his turn to be surprised.Japanese admirals thought Americans to react in a predictable manner.But sudden appearance of American fleet in Nagumo's flank derailed Japanese plans.Japnese thinking can be attributed to overconfidence.Bevy of easy victories ranging from Pearl Harbor to Indian Ocean result of which nation was gripped by'victory fever' conditioning it to underestimate her opponents. Defeat at Midway served as a retribution."

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