Fw 190 Defence of the Reich Aces (Aircraft of the Aces)
This title is the natural conclusion to the collection of titles chronicling the exploits of the fighter pilots of the German Luftwaffe of World War 2 that has been part of - and contributed in some small measure to the success of - Osprey's long running Aircraft of the Aces series. Since the first appearance of Aircraft of the Aces 2 back in 1994, a further ten titles by various authors have been published on German fighters and their pilots. Together, these provide a comprehensive and unique overview of all the famous names (together with some lesser-known ones) who flew fighters 'for the other side' during the war . . . all, that is, except for one final category - those who were operationally on the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in the defense of their own homeland during the later stages of the conflict from mid 1942 to May 1945.
There has not been a work in either English or German - to the writer's knowledge - that deals specifically with this particular subject. Combining a selection of previously unpublished black and white photographs and color profiles, it admirably fulfills two roles - standing on its own, it provides something entirely new for the aviation historian and/or modeler, while as part of Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces collection, it closes the one remaining gap in the coverage of the Luftwaffe's World War 2 fighter pilots and their frontline operations.
Luftwaffe Viermot Killers: Nice Idea...Needs More Pages!
By Michael OConnor "Wordsmith" - February 22, 2011
Author-illustrator John Weal wraps up his coverage of Luftwaffe Defence of the Reich aces with this 2010 Osprey release, covering those FW 190 pilots who downed five or more 'furniture vans' (B-17s/B-24s) in the course of air defense ops beginning in January 1943. Over 50 such pilots including such luminaries as Heinz Bar, 'Gulle' Oesau and Hans Ehlers made ace against the American bombers, 26 of them paying for that distinction with their lives.
The Focke Wulf 190, with its heavy cannon armament and sturdy construction, was much better suited in the role of bomber destroyer than its Bf 109 stablemate. As borne out in Weal's book, time and again, FW 190 pilots like Gunther Specht, Hans Pancritius and Alwin Doppler were able to savage the formations of unescorted 8th and 15th AF formations in 1943 and early 1944. However, when American escort fighters, especially P-51s, began appearing, the 'happy times' for the Butcher Bird pilots came to an end. Veteran pilots like Erwin... read more
Defence of the Reich
By Travellingpaisa - July 19, 2011
With FW190 Defence of the Reich Aces, John Weal has attempted to cover an immense subject covering the largest aerial battles the world has seen. I agree with previous reviews that although Mr Weal has done a good job, many more pages would be required to adequately cover the 3 years of this titanic struggle. I however did notice the lack of mention of the premier anti-viermot unit, JG300, which included many viermot victors including Walter Dahl and Konrad 'Pitt' Bauer (He of the legendary battle with 8 Mustangs alone in his outclassed Sturmbok during which he destroyed 3 of his foe, which surely is worth mentioning! Not to mention his viermot victories) Also those who fought, and in a surprising number of instances, were very successful against the Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Lightning has received little mention. Men like Wilhelm Steinmann, Heinz Baer, Wilhelm Hoffman, Hans Dortenmann and Adolf Glunz, amongst others, were in this later class. The surprise exception to this is the... read more
Fw 190 Defense of the Reich Aces
By S. Douglas - April 8, 2011
I find it most unfortunate John Weal, mostly, ignored the experten Georg-Peter Eder when he wrote this book. Also the cover falsely gives the expectation the reader will see and read a lot about the Fw-190D-9, which even though it was flown in 1944 and 1945 is hardly even mentioned in this book and with no color plates at all. Adolf Galland, flying in the 'Dora 9' approached a bomber box and was chased down to the deck by a P-38, which almost killed him, but again no mention of this or much about Georg-Peter Eder, who was a top bomber killer, jet 'ace' and bomber attack innovator.
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