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Old 27th June 2013, 22:10
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
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Larry Hickey
Status Update for the "Eagles Over Europe" Research and Publication Project


Concerning our efforts to create the definitive history of the first 16-months of the air war in Europe, members of the "Eagles Over Europe Working Group" (EoE WG) have continued to steadily churn away on maps, profiles, artwork, translations, photo acquisitions, research and writing. Major headway has been achieved since my last posting on all of those fronts. By the end of the summer several of the major parts of the effort will be finished or nearly so. No publication dates yet announced, but by then we should have an idea of when the first parts of the project will start coming to publication.

By the end of the August we expect to have finished a complete translation into English from German of the many thousands of pages (7000 or so ?) of the Heinrich Weiss manuscript on Luftwaffe operations in the West from the beginning of the war through 31.12.40. Just received 11.11.40 yesterday--18 single-spaced typewritten pages long. That means that we've completed translating all the Weiss material for 437 days of the war, with only 50 left to go for our project period. Completed are the PW (Phoney War), SC (Scandinavian Campaign), WC/FC (Western Campaign/French Campaign), BoB (Battle of Britian) and we are now working on The Blitz. Some of the more complex days during the WC and BoB are up to 75-pages long for a single day, and that is mainly for only the German side.

A dilemma that I face is what to do with the Weiss material for the first six months of 1941, for which I also own the copyright, but which I will probably not live long enough to translate and publish, given the current commitments to the project (I'm 69-years old). The end of 1940 remains our project cut off date.

Besides translations from German to English, we've also translated a number of the key source materials and books from French into English, and that process is continuing. These pertain to the PW and WC/FC.

Since the Weiss manuscript does not include material on the Polish Campaign of Sept., 1939, and there has never been a highly detailed and complete history of the Polish Air Force published, we've recently finished compiling a 1200+page (single-spaced, typewritten) history in English that is by-far the most detailed day-by-day account of every unit in the Polish Air Force during the campaign. This is based upon all known documentation on the subject, including the voluminous records in the Sikorski Institute archive in London. This proved to be a much larger task than I'd expected. This material will be woven together with a similar history in English of the German side, that, again, encompasses all known information sources on every unit that participated--KTBs from several levels, FB, Diaries, personal records and accounts, accident reports, etc., etc.

Our photo DB is now approaching 50,000 images, about 3/4 of which apply to the EoE Project. Over 200 5-view aircraft color profiles have been finished--the finest ever created, mainly on the Bf109, Bf110, Ju87 and Ju88. Besides illustrating the a/c markings and insignia for the main chronological text, I'm planning to do two additional publications, one of the Allied side and one for the Luftwaffe covering the careers of the major Aces and pilots during the period. For the Luftwaffe, my plan is to do color profile 5-views of all the period a/c for each of the Knight's Cross winners. We have about 1/3 of these done for the 33 x Bf109 pilots we're planning on doing, and they include anything from 2 to 9 different aircraft or representations of significant markings changes per pilot during the 1939-40 period.

Our copyrighted map bases for every country involved have been created with all cities and towns, roads, railways, rivers, bridges and major terrain features, and we'll soon have the daily front-line movements for the PC, SC and WC/FC overlain on a base map for every day of the 16-month period from 1 Sept 39 to 31 Dec 40. Then we will begin completing the actual day-to-day operations overlays, Polish Campaign first, to the maps, with close ups of various specific areas. Our maps are fully scalable. We've got prototype copies of some of these finished, and they are going to go a long way to making very complex operations understandable to the reader. One thing we hope to portray is the actual location (as much as can be known) for each a/c loss on both sides. Relating these to the tracks of the air attacks, defense responses, and the daily front line movement on the ground, where relevant, should be invaluable information for air historians.

Complete revisions have been completed or nearly completed of the Luftwaffe and British a/c and crew loss/damage and casualty data bases that far surpass anything ever previously available. Revisions continue on those DB on almost a daily basis, including the first and middle names of every British airman involved--something that sounds so simple but turns out to be a huge task. Every German/Italian loss also has full name, rank and crew position, and we've added this info to all the British losses as well. The most definitive data base on Polish a/c and crewmen losses/damages/casualties is being finalized, and again, this far surpasses anything ever before published, and includes full ranks, crew names and crew positions. Great progress has been made in recent years in pinpointing the exact crash sites for a/c losses during the PC, and this has been incorporated into our research.

So, we continue to create the various components for the project, and we still have much to do. The participation of anyone who has information or skills to contribute continues to be most welcome. Up to now about 75 people in 14 different countries have helped us, many on an almost a daily basis. The EoE Project has truly become a community-wide effort. It continues to be more that a full-time job on my part coordinating and assimilating all of this effort, and I apologize for my sometimes slowness in answering emails. I operate in an almost constant state of total overwhelm.

I'm hoping to make another trip to Europe in the fall (I live in Colorado, near Denver, in the west-central USA) and I hope to see many of you again on that trip. This time I will be bringing my wife Sue, who has insisted on being part of the next "working" trip. She has never visited Europe and won't be left out this time around. I hope to actually take some vacation time off with her during that visit.

And so it continues.


Larry Hickey
EoE Project Coordinator
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
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