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Old 5th July 2005, 02:11
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Book and research suggestions

Hi all..

I am an Australian and am new to this field and was wondering if people out there could throw a few book titles at me that might help me get into researching the Luftwaffe. The down side is I only speak English, which I am trying to rectify.

My interest is with the Luftwaffe in the first half of the war in Europe (to about mid 1943). Mostly Western Europe and to a lesser extent Eastern Europe/Russia so if people could throw a few book suggestions my way, perhaps even some ideas on areas of research, I would be most appreciative. Being only new to this I don't want to pick something and find it is beyond my current abilities so if people can throw a few topics out there I would be most appreciative, also.

I do have a university degree so research in that sense isn't a big deal, but I don't want to ruin any future fun and knowledge by hitting the big/hard topics straight off.

Sorry if this is not appropriate, but I look forward to your responses.

Thanks

Newbie
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Old 5th July 2005, 02:36
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Re: Book and research suggestions

Welcome to a fellow Aussie.

I would suggest James Corum's The Luftwaffe: Creating the Operational Air War, 1918-1940 as a necessary. ISBN 0-7006-0836-2

This book is a must for anyone wanting to work with, let alone understand, the Luftwaffe as it provides an understanding of how and why the Luftwaffe developed the way it did and the external influences that helped create what the world saw in 1939 (Udet and the dive-bomber, WW1 experiences, Wever, etc).

As a General overview, try also Cajus Bekker: The Luftwaffe War Diaries, ISBN 0-306-80604-5. If you are after specifics then this is not really the book you're after.


I'm guessing you are not after the more general overviews of the Luftwaffe and want to get stuck into some of the more nitty gritty stuff so Bekker's work won't be much help beyond a vague starting point on whatever you choose to work on. Unfortunately you didn't mention the level of knowledge you have on the Luftwaffe and Second World War which would have been helpful for people to gauge the types of books and research ideas they suggest. I personally am assumming you have an understanding of Luftwaffe structure and the course of the air war in the time frame you mention.

It's hard to say exactly what and where you should go. I found E.R.Hooton's works (Phoenix Triumphant and Eagle in Flames) both useful (dealing with the period 1918-mid 1940 and mid-1940- end fo 1944 respectively [ISBNs: 1-86019-964-X and 1-86019-995-X respectively]).

I think perhaps the best thing to do would be to let us know just what your level of competancy in the field and where you want to go with it before anyone can offer a serious suggestion for you.

All the best

Adam
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Old 5th July 2005, 03:25
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Re: Book and research suggestions

Sorry, I should have been more helpful as you rightly point out, Adam.


Yes I do have a decent understanding of the overall situation of not only the war but the Luftwaffe and it's politics and policies (I have got and read both books you suggested). What I was after was more books on specifics. I have Don Caldwell JG 26 War Diaries and Chris Gross Bloody Biscay and it's that sort of thing I'm after: specifics.

As for what I want to research perhaps certain types of operations though not necessarily confined to one geschwader or gruppe (perhaps even staffel). I don't want to rehash things that have already been done so any pointers for the new guy would be appreciated.

Sorry if I'm trying peoples' patience.
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Old 5th July 2005, 08:24
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Re: Book and research suggestions

This is rapidly becoming a Mug's game. You have to decide where your interests lie, and no one can do that for you. Are you interested in fighter ops, bombers, recce a/c? Perhaps you will find the life of one a/c, or a/c type, of interest and wish to follow it, and it's development and changes. If you look at the catalogs of any major book dealer, you will find a world of subjects that have interested others -- too many to recount here. So, just look and read until you find a subject, or aspect of a subject, that interests you, and begin delving into it.
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Old 5th July 2005, 23:23
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Re: Book and research suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie
As for what I want to research perhaps certain types of operations though not necessarily confined to one geschwader or gruppe (perhaps even staffel). I don't want to rehash things that have already been done so any pointers for the new guy would be appreciated.
As you probably know, unit histories on Lw fighter units and bomber units, and general Lw books, abound. If you want to pursue some original research, I would suggest tackling the reconnaissance units. I don't think any substantial work has been done on these units, so it might be a rewarding challenge for you to get your teeth into. Just my thought on what you may wish to tackle.

Regards,

John Vasco
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Old 6th July 2005, 00:21
Del Davis Del Davis is offline
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Re: Book and research suggestions- Recon Units

John,

Actually Dave Wadman has a forthcoming book about recon units although he has neither revealed the publisher nor the timing of publication.
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