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HotelBushranger
05-18-2007, 10:57 PM
By Johannes Steinhoff. I saw this in a bookstore a couple of days ago, and impulse-bought it. Steinhoff was a damn good fighter pilot, but unfortunately a good author he ain't, and I haven't been able to pick it up again.

Anybody else have similar/opposing opinions?

ultraHun
05-19-2007, 12:12 AM
I am afraid this is the english translation. The german edition titles "Die Strasse von Messina" and is a very fluent read, but for one thing: he never provides a name for one of the *many* commanding generals (Galland, Kesselring, ...) and then you tend to mix them up.

The book is just not a WWII book. You were looking for thrilling air-to-air combat? It has some, but this always comes as a tale of what exactly not do then.

It is moreover a series of short stories that illustrate his views on military leadership, security politics and what makes up a good military in a western society.

It is a good read for anyone interested in Luftwaffe history, but not of WWII but the cold war era when he became its commanding general.

elephant_il2
05-19-2007, 01:14 AM
I've read the book too and I wasn't satisfied with the translation. Comparing to interviews of the man I've read in the past and I'm not reffering to action itself but all the small details, names, metric system, gave to me a too americanised sence.

Ratsack
05-19-2007, 06:38 AM
I tend to agree that the translations aren't all that flash. However, the concepts carry through alright, and his thinking is generally pretty good. He makes a lot of gritty and interesting observations on how to run (or perhaps how not to run) an air war.

However, in my view quite a few of the problems of readability are because of structure. That is not the translation's fault. It's a consequence of how he wrote, and as he said himself:

'A man who is not a professional author ought not, it seems to me, to write a book unless he feels irresistibly compelled to do so. Why, then, did I have to write this book?'

That said, I would read anything he wrote. Not for the style, but for the content.

cheers,
Ratsack

[EDIT]: To the thread starter, you may like to re-spell your thread title before the Augsburg karma police show up to lynch you.

JG14_Josf
05-19-2007, 07:59 AM
I thought is was an interesting book worth reading; as good as any personal biography of wartime experience.

I have a dear friend who's father was a tail gunner, not an author, and his book is just as good, not the best fiction, an honest account.

Steinhoff produced another book called Voices from the Third Reich.

That is another book worth reading. It isn't fiction. It won't make the best seller's list. It also reads like an honest account from my view; like a journal. I can be wrong.