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View Full Version : The Luftwaffe War Diaries (by Cajus Bekker)



neural_dream
08-28-2005, 06:06 AM
I wonder, is there any WW2 aviation book equally <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">well-written</span>?

[answer only if you've read it]

dieg777
08-28-2005, 06:27 AM
Many-

here are a few

http://www.airwarfare.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=26

and this book is included here http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

neural_dream
08-28-2005, 06:36 AM
Thanks for the link. I hadn't noticed that in airwarfare.

Most of these books are very useful for research, or to feed our addiction, but i wouldn't suggest them let's say to my wife as <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">good reads</span>. Would you?
(still i haven't read all of them)

dieg777
08-28-2005, 06:42 AM
Well not all - you have to have an interest in the subject to read some, but I think "First Light" or " The sky suspended" or "The big Show " could be read by anyone who appreciate drama, story and narration.

csThor
08-28-2005, 06:50 AM
I have the german edition and my summary is:

1) superficial
2) problematic concerning sources and claims
3) sometimes just plain wrong

The book was a disappointment for me and shouldn't be called "War Diary" but "Superficial Overview on the 2nd World War from the Luftwaffe's Perspective". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

neural_dream
08-28-2005, 06:56 AM
Originally posted by dieg777:
Well not all - you have to have an interest in the subject to read some, but I think "First Light" or " The sky suspended" or "The big Show " could be read by anyone who appreciate drama, story and narration.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Cheers, i'll try find them. And which one did you like most?

neural_dream
08-28-2005, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by csThor:
1) superficial
2) problematic concerning sources and claims
3) sometimes just plain wrong


such as? if you remember of course.

dieg777
08-28-2005, 07:02 AM
First light is my favourite

YOull either love or hate "The sky suspended" but worth reading.

get them through link to amazon on airwarfare.com that way eurosnoopy gets something back for hosting this site.

link to "First light" on this page

http://www.airwarfare.com/Sims/FB/il2_fb.htm

neural_dream
08-28-2005, 07:03 AM
ok

NorrisMcWhirter
08-28-2005, 10:51 AM
First light is good but I'd say The Big Show is better.

Ta,
Norris

csThor
08-28-2005, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by neural_dream:
such as? if you remember of course.

Just two examples:

It claims that a good part of the French and British aircraft in France had been taken out by bombing raids on day 1 of "Case Yellow". Fact is that the Luftwaffe's intelligence department sucked big time and did not even spot a good part of the airfields used by Armee de la Air and RAF. Additionally the majority of the Allied's bomber airfields wasn't attacked at all.

Number two: It fails to recognize the spirited and skillful resistance offered by the dutch and french airforce namely the losses of the german units. The only thing Bekker mentions is the losses suffered by the Ju52 units in the Netherlands, but still attributes most rto dutch AAA.
In short Bekker paints a picture of "Case Yellow" that isn't true - it wasn't a "piece of cake" for the Luftwaffe.

I could go on and the questionable parts would become even more numerous in the parts of the book dealing with the war in the East.

ouston
08-28-2005, 05:55 PM
I would have to say that there are some doubts about the accuracy of Bekker's book. I cannot lay hands on my copy just at the moment but I have a feeling it was published in the 1960s and is therefore not the most up to date analysis. I have looked at "Strategy for defeat. The Luftwaffe 1933-1945" by Williamson Murray, Eagle Editions, 2003. This seems to me to be well argued and supported with a wide range of statistics and explores the internal politics of the Luftwaffe, not in immense detail but certainly adequately.

Of the others books mentioned I found Geoffrey Wellum's "First light" immensely moving, an account by a very brave man who would be the last to admit he had done anything out of the ordinary. Pierre Clostermann's account is something different and takes a longer view -that of a man fighting for home and family under enemy occupation. Again his reaction at the end of the war is very understandable. The realisation of the friends one had lost along the way must have been almost unbearable. Of the three I liked "The sky suspended" least of all, although one cannot doubt the bravery and determination of its author. He seems to be flitting off into philosophical reveries at any opportunity. One striking point is how men came into ones life and then departed again very quickly; death was sudden, often unexpected and frequent.

There are a mass of recollections by British, Commonwealth and American airmen. Two I have enjoyed are "An ace of the Eighth" but Bud Fortier and "Spitfire offensive" by R.W.F. Sampson (Sammy Sampson). These are two very different accounts but well worth a read.

Pip pip
Ouston