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By Werner Baumbach

Outstanding saga of the increase and fall of 1 of history's nice air forces, as advised via one among its so much adorned and venerated officials, Werner Baumbach. A key determine within the aerial campaigns over England, Russia, the Mediterranean, and the Arctic, Baumbach turned head of the Luftwaffe's Bomber Command sooner than his 30th birthday. In existence and dying he provides an in depth, frank, inside of account of Germany's air struggle, obvious from the pinnacle: Hitler as chief and strategist; tests of such Luftwaffe leaders as Göring, Milch, Udet, Jeschonnek, and Galland; and the good controversies over strategies and method that helped make a decision the struggle.

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Example text

Himself a child of the people, he knew better than anyone else how to awaken the thoughts and feelings Hitler, slumbering in the hearts of the masses, put them into words and make them political power by translating those words into deeds. Yet his military ideas, in which he often revealed genius, were land-bound, born of the experience and memories of the First World War. Just as politically he followed the maxims of Machiavelli—like all other national states in modern times —so his strategic ideas were to prove equally Continental.

All other long-range programmes are to be examined again. Of special importance is it to concentrate on the vital items in the armament programme, as we in the Luftwaffe have done by renouncing the development of individual types. This embargo on further work on individual types was based on a narrow interpretation of an economy demand of the Quartermaster-General (Air) of the 7th February, 1940: The shortage of aluminium and other non-ferrous metals forces me to the following conclusion: I consider it absolutely necessary that in the immediate future deliveries of the main types in use on the — The Life and Death of the Luftwaffe 36 must be maintained at the highest posis my view that a reduction of the deliveries of aircraft for employment behind the front, such as training aircraft, which can be replaced by converted fighters or 'destroyers', can be accepted for the immediate future.

In additon to the unfulfilled requirements in Germany there was another factor, the incalculable factor of luck, which was necessary for a victorious conclusion to the war. As one of the most striking examples of luck in the Second World War the case of the Allied bomber fleets may be cited. The American four-engined B17 Flying priority by no means the last word in aircraft conJudged by ordinary standards of aeronautic development it was long out-of-date when it appeared over Germany. Even the American technique of daylight mass attack at relatively low altitudes and speeds must be re- Fortress was struction.

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