Dive Bomber & Ground Attack Units of the Luftwaffe Vol 1 Book Review

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Dive Bomber & Ground Attack Units of the Luftwaffe, A Reference Source, Volume 1

By Henry L. de Zeng IV and Douglas G. Stankey

Hardcover in dustjacket, 208 pages, profusely illustrated

Published by Crecy Publishing November 2009

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1906537089

ISBN-13: 978-1906537081

Dimensions: 9.0 x 0.8 x 12.0 inches

This book is billed as a reference source, and it is exactly as it claims.  It is not intended to be a design history or a typical unit diary, although there are elements of both present.  It is organized in the same format as the authors’ previous works on Luftwaffe Bomber Units.

The first chapters are devoted to the development of the dive bomber and ground attack concepts in the German Luftwaffe.  This was promoted by Ernst Udet using two Curtiss F-11C-2 Hawks which were brought to Germany from America, and interest in the dive-bombing concept resulted in the design of the Ju 87 Stuka.  Jabo tactics and bomb loads used against various types of targets during the Second World War are then described.  Factory drawings and detail photographs are presented to familiarize the reader with two of the more important types, the Junkers Ju 87 and Henschel Hs 129.

The remainder of the book consists of individual unit histories.  These are broken down by period or major action, and catalog the activities and losses of the unit.  Specifics of targets and losses are given along with dates.  Sources, both published and unpublished, are given at the end of each chapter.  These sections are well illustrated and captioned.  Unit badges are presented as color artwork, these and other markings are frequently the subjects of the photographs.  There are also short biographies of notable figures presented with their units.

Most of the units in Volume 1 were equipped with the Stuka, although there are a few units which utilized the Henschel Hs 123 biplanes and twin engined Hs 129.  While not a casual read, there is a wealth of information here for the researcher, and it is well worth picking up by the Luftwaffe enthusiast for the photographs and unit badges.

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