The Kreigsmarines Carrier Fleets and their Aircraft in WW2
This book is pure fiction about what might have been if Germany had got a carrier fleet going. Having said that the rest is pure fact. Why ? - well the author has managed to write a book that is very well researched and very believable. If you can suspend your memories of what WW2 was really like then you will find yourself very quickly submerged in a real world of carrier war .
The author uses a variety of devices to convey the feel of
real missions as flown by the carrier pilots whilst providing a
historical perspective to
the developing action. Some of the missions are very realistically
plotted , the boredom of long flying boat patrols is well covered with
the few minutes of furious combat breaking the monotony. Another story
covers ground support missions around Stalingrad, attacks on Gibraltar,
CAP's, sub hunting etc. Just about any mission that carrier based
aircraft and their land based supports could cover is in this book.
What particularly impressed me about the book was the realistic treatment of these missions, the Germans do not always win with both sides taking casualties in their battles. A couple of stories are vaguely reminiscent of Midway and associated engagements but transposed to Atlantic weather and geographical conbstraints. For anyone who has built a Me 109 T then this book will really whet your appetite as it describes combat missions usuing this plane as well as it's inevitable succesors.
The book is slighly smaller than A4 size with 120 pages of which 8 are side views of aicraft that could have been used. Each of the 20 stories ends with a historical footnote and bibliography which show the throughness the author has devoted to the topic.As well 7 appendices are included with organisational charts, naval ranks, carrier classes etc. I managed to read this book in just 2 sittings which is a miracle for me. I found myself quickly sucked into the stories and wanting to know how the story was going to develop.
An indication of the book's usefulness is provided by the fact that a friend wanted a different scheme for the Ju 87 he was working on and I pulled one straight from this book, which he then used. That sort of inspiration is hard to find.
I thoroughly recommend this book for any Luftwaffe or USN enthusiasts, here is carrier warfare as it could have been fought by the Germans. Get out your Mastercard or Visa and go for it.
Review copy courtesy of the author. I would have bought it anyway as I loved his previous book on "The Alternative Luftwaffe" which I was one of the first to purchase as soon as I heard of it. This can also be obtained from John at his email address.
If you would like to read some extracts from the book go to
the following extract.
Listed below, are some scans of the alternate cover and two of
the color profiles included in this book.