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Old 18th May 2011, 19:54
Robert Forsyth's Avatar
Robert Forsyth Robert Forsyth is offline
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Robert Forsyth
Memoirs of Luftwaffe General 'For Kaiser and Hitler'

Of interest to members of this board will be our new book ‘For Kaiser and Hitler: From Military Aviator to High Command – The Memoirs of Luftwaffe General Alfred Mahncke 1910-1945’. As far as I am aware, these memoirs are the first from a former General of the Luftwaffe to be published in the English language since those of Kesselring in 1953.

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Mahncke joined the fledgling Luftwaffe in 1935, and from his position as Reichluftsportführer witnessed at first-hand the politics and personalities involved in re-building German air power. Later he was Kommodore of KG 152. He describes, vividly, his role in the emergence of the new Luftwaffe as leader of various Luftgaustab and the subsequent deployment to Russia in June 1941, culminating in the drive into the Caucasus and Crimea and the advance on the Volga. Mahncke was deeply involved in Luftwaffe operations at Stalingrad and later in the Kuban in 1943; he served as commander of Luftgaustab z.b.V. 21 within Luftflotte 4; as commander of 15. Luftwaffen-Felddivision; Kommandeur of Fliegerdivision Donez and as acting commander of I. Fliegerkorps within Luftflotte 2. He then moved to Italy, where he co-ordinated the German air defence of Sicily ahead of the defence and retreat through the Italian mainland throughout 1943 and 1944 where he served as Kommandierender General des Luftgau-Kommando Süd, Stellvertreter des Luftflottenchefs, Luftflotte 2 (Deputy to Chief of Air Fleet 2) and then as Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber im Luftgau Italien. He finally served as commander Luftwaffen-Auffangstab Nord in November 1944.

Mahncke met and worked with Göring, Udet, Milch, Kesselring, Jeschonnek, von Richthofen and many other senior commanders of the Luftwaffe and German armed forces. He describes their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their vision – or lack of it.

The memoirs have been translated by Mahncke’s son with whom I have worked directly on this project and who has made available some wonderful photos and documents from his father’s career. Naturally, I am biased, but I have taken it on because I thought it was a superbly written account. It is quite unique and very absorbing.


Format: Hardback – 352 pages
Size: 230 x 150 mm
Illustrations: 97 photographs (b/w ), plus facsimiles and 4 maps
ISBN: 978-0-9555977-4-9
Price: £25.00

We have a small special offer running until 1 August and you can also register to be kept informed of future plans.

With best regards,

Robert Forsyth

For Tattered Flag Press
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Old 19th May 2011, 00:14
Morten Jessen Morten Jessen is offline
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Re: Memoirs of Luftwaffe General 'For Kaiser and Hitler'

Dear Robert,
Just ordered my copy and looking forward to read it - always nice with new topics and new material :-) I have no doubt that it will be an interesting and educational read.

Looking forward to see future titles from your new venture!

All the best
Morten Jessen
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Old 28th June 2011, 00:11
Morten Jessen Morten Jessen is offline
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Re: Memoirs of Luftwaffe General 'For Kaiser and Hitler'

Hi all,

A short while ago I bought the new book Robert mentions above about Alfred Mahncke and had my expectations set for something good and maybe a little different. Expectations were fully met and very positively in every aspect. Here are my thoughts on the book…

What makes this book interesting and different from many of the Luftwaffe books currently coming out, is that it gives a unique insight into the life and thoughts of a General der Flieger. This book lands in between the books (autobiographies and others) handling the “top brass” such as Kesselring, Richthofen, Göring etc. and the pilot accounts.

A good example from the book on some of the thoughts he has is from his diary: “On 3 October 1942 I wrote in my diary: It is ominous that neither Hitler nor Göring visited the soldiers at the front this summer, although they did it in the past. This is not right. The Führer has taken over command of the Armee, and in the old days this meant he should have shown himself to his soldiers on special occasions or when things went well or bad. Even an overload of work should not have kept him at home. Totally unacceptable is that Göring, senior commander of the Luftwaffe, does not fulfill this simple duty. In his case one cannot talk of overwork, he is often absent from his HQ and lives on his private estate at Karinhall near Berlin.”

The book also often deals with the daily situations Mahncke experienced and had to handle, as this paragraph describes: “On 7 January [1943] I had to deploy Stukas a few times for our own defense to keep Russian tanks which were crawling all around us, at arm’s length.”

What I find to be a particular strength of this book, is that Mahncke very often puts the situations like the ones quoted above, into a context with his current orders and the overall status on the front. He often reflects on these situations, giving an insight into high points of battles and when he starts to see the turning point of the war.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants a perspective on the Luftwaffe, as seen from a high-ranking officer, who were involved in building the Luftwaffe, who fought on many fronts during the war and had contact with the top and lower ranking soldiers, thus offering very interesting insights into the challenges of daily life, as well as German strategy ... or lack of.

All the best
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Old 28th June 2011, 02:56
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Memoirs of Luftwaffe General 'For Kaiser and Hitler'

Agree, an excellent book! Definitely looking forward for more from Tattered Flag Press!
"No man, no problem." Josef Stalin possibly said...:-)
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