The Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe is a superb historical account of the US Army Air Force’s campaign against Germany and its allies in World War II, with a specific focus on its efforts at marginalizing – if not totally destroying - the German Luftwaffe. In compiling the research for his book, Mr. Stout did a great job of mixing the personal accounts of those who were there with existing official records to tell the tale how the Luftwaffe was defeated. He provides good detail on the airplanes flown by both the Allies and the Axis powers, to include subjective commentary by the men who flew them in combat. As my father was a P-51 pilot in WWII, I found this book especially interesting.
This book is very well written. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading military or aviation historical nonfiction.
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (2011)
At the outset of World War II the Army Air Corps numbered only 45,000 men and a few thousand aircraft—hardly enough to defend the United States, let alone defeat Germany's Luftwaffe, the world’s most formidable air force. Yet by the war’s end the Luftwaffe had been crushed, and the U.S. Army Air Forces, successor to the Air Corps, had delivered the decisive blows. The "Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe" tells the story of that striking transformation, one of the marvels of modern warfare, while simultaneously thrusting the reader into whirling, heart-pounding accounts of aerial combat.
The Allies couldn't defeat Hitler's Third Reich without destroying its industry and taking its territory. But before they could do either, they had to neutralize the Luftwaffe, whose state-of-the-art aircraft and battle-seasoned pilots stood ready to batter any attackers. Great Britain's Royal Air Force was only barely holding the line and the might of America was needed to turn the tide. Almost from scratch, the United States built an air force of more than two million men. Thanks to the visionary leadership of Henry “Hap” Arnold, Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, Ira Eaker, James Doolittle, and others, the USAAF assembled a well-trained and superbly-equipped force unlike any ever fielded. And thanks to the brave Americans who crewed, maintained and supported the aircraft, the USAAF annihilated the Luftwaffe as it pounded targets deep inside Germany and elsewhere.
A stirring tribute to these men as well as an engaging history, The Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe vividly describes World War II in the skies above Europe. At the same time it captures the personalities of the men who won it, whether on the ground or in the sky. Stout—a career fighter pilot—brings to this work what few other writers can: The perspective of an airman who knows firsthand the confusion of air combat and the terror of being fired upon.
Jay A. Stout, a retired U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot with twenty years of service, flew thirty-seven combat missions during Operation DESERT STORM and is now a senior aviation analyst for a leading defense corporation. His previous books include Hornets over Kuwait, Fortress Ploesti, Hammer from Above and Slaughter at Goliad.