Title: Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe: The U.S. Army Air Forces Against Germany in World War II
Author: Jay Stout
Genre: Military, Air Force
Reviewer: Bob Doerr
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0811706591
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.