Luftwaffe in Africa Book Review

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Luftwaffe in Africa, 1941-1943

By Jean-Louis Roba

Paperback, 128 pages, heavily illustrated, index

Published by Casemate, November 2019

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1612007457

ISBN-13: 978-1-61200-7458

Product Dimensions: 7.0 x 0.5 x 10.0 inches

Germany was drawn into the war in North Africa by Mussolini’s ambitions.  Italy had little to gain by conquering the region; Germany even less so.  For the German Army and particularly the Luftwaffe North Africa did little more than provide an ever-increasing drain on assets which could have been better used in the Soviet Union.  Once the influx of American men and material began to be felt the Axis cause was beyond redemption.

This volume provides a good overview of the progression of the campaign in North Africa from the Luftwaffe perspective.  There were quite a large number of units committed over time but Germany was never able to achieve the concentration of force necessary to achieve her goals, attempts to supply the Africa Korps by air transport proving particularly costly.  Roba does a good job of tracking the constant redeployments, and describes the results of the major air actions as the campaign progressed.  Also included is the commitment of the Luftwaffe’s Fallschrimjäger.  The LRDG attacks of Luftwaffe airfields are mentioned as well but only briefly.  In the last third of the book there are several first-hand accounts from pilots which are interesting, although one from Arman Köhler’s diary appears to have been inadvertently omitted.

There are quite a number of photographs reproduced in this book, many of which were new to me.  They include some original color examples which are presented well and are generally well captioned.  There are also fifteen very nicely done color profiles, but these have only the briefest of descriptions.

Overall a nice presentation and a quick read.  A few first-hand accounts in the beginning of the book would have been welcome, but this book provides a good overview of the campaign.

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6 thoughts on “Luftwaffe in Africa Book Review

  1. Just finished Rick Atkinson;s first book in The Liberation Trilogy, An Army at Dawn…it tracks The North African Campaign from the landings at Torch to the final Battle of Tunisia. The Luftwaffe’s dominance in North Africa (up until the Battle of Kasserine Pass) is talked about in great detail.

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  2. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the review! I like the way the page designer has put the quotes/accounts in a different color – perhaps this is where you think there is an account ‘missing’ as it hasn’t been ‘highlighted’ like the others. My own titles in this series are now due in August….cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Neil, I’m looking forward to getting your books, and I noticed your mention for helping on this one! The missing quote is set up at the bottom of page 91, likely got omitted during the edit.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ..you’re right! kudos to you because no-one caught it on the proof-reading. Here’s the missing text;

    Lt. Armin Köhler of I./JG 77 noted in a diary entry dated 3 November;

    “We have to evacuate Bir el Abd. Nine British tanks have made it to within six kilometres of the airfield. We get to Quoteifya. But this is turning into hell. Continuous air attacks by eighteen or twenty-four four-engine bombers and other fighter bombers have put our nerves on edge. We can’t even take off because of the bomb shrapnel on the runway…”

    I’ve had nightmares about text being omitted. Happens when you go over your word count I guess – that’s when the designers and editors get the ‘knives’ out !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Neil. It is very difficult to proof read a text you have written or are familiar with (as I have demonstrated on this blog repeatedly). Doubly so if sidebars and photographs are being edited in during the production. I suspected the quote was “on the cutting room floor” so thanks for providing it!

      Liked by 2 people

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