Joseph Frank - The Axis air forces


Author : Joseph Frank
Title : The Axis air forces Flying in support of the German Luftwafee
Year : 2012

Link download : Joseph_Frank_-_The_Axis_air_forces.zip

Introduction : strange bedfellows. The Luftwaffe fights today on many fronts-from the Arctic Circle to the Bay of Biscay and the North African desert; from far out over the Atlantic Ocean to the Volga. But we are not alone. The skies are illuminated by the different national colors of other peoples who share our epic struggle for the common defense of European civilization. -Hermann Goering, February 2, 79431 Although countless books and magazine articles describe virtually every aspect of German air power in World War II, their millions of readers are mostly unaware that the Luftwaffe fought in concert with a broad variety of foreign air forces across Europe and Asia. Benito Mussolini’s partnership with the Third Reich is well known, but his Regis Aeronautics is usually dismissed as having been too weak and ineffectual for interest. So too, Japan’s contribution to the Axis is popularly understood, although beyond common familiarity with the carrier-based attack on Pearl Harbor; and the Zero fighter plane’s enduring reputation, little is known, even to serious students of the Pacific War, about the Imperial Japanese Army or Naval Air Forces. A general lack of appreciation for their significance stems from the pitifully few books devoted to the air arms of either Fascist Italy or Imperial Japan. Far fewer books even go so far as to mention the contemporaneous air forces of Spain, Vichy France, or Hungary, to say nothing of Slovakia, Thailand, and Manchuria. Nor were the air forces operated by these and other Axis nations the miniscule, insignificant military services readers may assume. Close examination of their histories uncovers a hitherto undisclosed, unsuspected panorama of World War II that throws a whole new light on the conflict. We learn, for example, that the Romanians developed and flew their own interceptor, which capably defended the vital Ploie~ti oil fields against Anglo-American heavybombers. Finnish pilots, invariably outnumbered in the air by their Soviet opponents, ranked among the highest-scoring aces of all time. Far from having been saddled with an obsolete air force, the Italians made the world’s first cross-country jet flight in 1941, and their Macchi Greyhounds and Centaurs bested both British Spitfires and U.S. Mustangs. Contrary to Allied wartime portrayals, not every nation fighting at the side of the Third Reich was headed by a Nazi regime, nor even sympathetic to National Socialism. Croatia, Italy, and Slovakia had Fascist or Fascist-style states aligned with Germany. Hungary went Fascist in late 1944, but had been preceded for most of the war by the regency of an archconservative anti-Fascist, Miklos Horthy. Monarchies reigned over Bulgaria, Romania, Manchuria, and Japan, while an authoritarian republic ruled Thailand. ...

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