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‘Birds of Prey’
Out of the Ashes: The Warplanes of World War II: Legendary Combat Aircraft—The Germans
This 10 act documentary begins with the rise of German air power in WWI and ends with the blitz into Poland and France in WWII. Enough geek aspects of commercial plane manufacture are included to satisfy the pure air power nerd.
The thing that struck me the most starkly—and this seems to be the case anytime I read or view something on 1920s and 30s geopolitics and or military evolution, is that only a complete moron could have looked at the world in 1919 and failed to predict a second Great War more terrible than the first. On the other hand, hindsight is more accurate and many of those who survived the Great War and rose to positions of power afterward may not have been able to conceptualize doing it again. On the third hand, there were those who survived it only to become obsessed with doing it better.
I found the information in Iron Annie, on the Junkers JU-88, which I tended to squander when playing Battle over Britain, very informative in terms of the politics and logistics the Germans faced in building a war time air war capacity in peace time under the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty.
I was most intrigued by In the Shadows, the discussion of Zeppelin warfare and by the Condor Legion, in which the future belligerents of WWII used Spain as a proving ground during the Spanish Civil War, just bombing Spanish civilians in an attempt to measure the capacity of air power to terrorize populations. The fact that Russian and German pilots were shooting each other down over Spain while Russian and Germans tankers were training together in Russia, is just mind blowing.
Overall, the most astonishing geek fact was that some ridiculous number of German ME-109 s [ I know, Uncle Bernie, that the two official letters were not ME, but something I can’t remember, so please, remind me.] were destroyed on takeoff and landing because the landing gear was fixed and propped up the nose at such a high angle.
Books by James LaFond
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grasspunkAugust 6, 2016 9:25 AM UTC

Bf 109

There's a para in there on the switch to Me for later aircraft models.