Luftwaffe Special Weapons 1942-45

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22 October 2021
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Luftwaffe Special Weapons Luftwaffe Special Weapons
BY ROBERT FORSYTH

By 1943 Germany was engaged in war across multiple fronts while simultaneously being hammered at home by massed bomber formations. The Luftwaffe was therefore urged to come up with ever more creative and deadly weapons to make up for its falling numbers of available fighters.

This book is the result of many years worth of research by the author, and conversations with German fighter aces and engineers in the 1990s. It starts with increasing the armour of Bf109s so they could successfully attack swarms of American bombers and quickly moved on to fitting ever larger cannons that could punch through the armour of a T-34. Further chapters cover air-to-air weapons, air-to-ground weapons, anti-shipping weapons, radical measures and finally, and most desperately, using aircraft as weapons themselves.

It’s not a dry, technical exercise, although there’s plenty of the details to keep enthusiasts happy, it’s usually placed in context and has comments from either the pilots using the weapons, or the reports from the US Air Force on the receiving end. There are plenty of photos as well as the illustrations and blueprints. The most fascinating parts are towards the end, with guided missiles and advanced jet fighters that were years ahead of their time, but by that point the war was almost over. It’s a detailed and superbly produced book.

  • Osprey Publishing
  • ISBN 978-1-4728-3982-4
  • 276 pages. Hardback. £35

 

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