The title of this book was so inviting that I happily welcomed it for a book review. The reading of it turned out to be an almost impossible task for me. Every page contains an avalanche of facts and references; soon I got stuck. No way to get through! After having taken a bit of distance from it, I got the idea to approach this book as a reference book. In this way, at least, I came to manageable ‘chunks’ of information, with which answers could be given to concrete questions.
The book gives interesting information about the way in which Nazi Germany from 1933 onwards, directed her then design team (Focke Wulf, Messerschmidt, Junkers, and Heinkel). Instead of nationalising these companies, the Nazi’s used the mutual existing competition to come to optimal products for the war preparation – and from 1939- actual deploy.
Luckily for the allied, worked the direct interference from Hitler during the war often completely contra productive on the possibilities to deploy new aviation products to their optimum. So, the first operational jet fighter, ME 262, had to be deployed as bomber, while it was superior as fighter plane to every allied propeller – fighter then. This ‘missed opportunities’ policy drove professional Luftwaffe leaders to such desperation that a variety of them committed suicide.
That the German aviation development lay way ahead with respect to design, to the then British-, American- and Soviet products, is set out into detail in this book. Even before the German capitulation, each conqueror had ensured an as large as possible share of the German aviation development- and production capacity. What the consequences were of this for the post-war cold war arms trade between the Soviet-Union and Western countries, is elaborately described in this book.
More than that: the very recent presented mini-shuttle by the NASA stood in 1944 already on a German drawing table. Also with photos and drawings the German advantage from a lot of post-war Soviet- and Western aviation and space products, is evidently made clear!
For the aviation students and readers who are totally into aviation technique, this is an interesting book.