239th Review Thunderbolts Triumphant- The 362nd Fighter Group vs Germany’s Wehrmacht- Chris Bucholtz

  • Thunderbolts Triumphant- The 362nd Fighter Group vs Germany's Wehrmacht

    Chris Bucholtz
    Casemate Publishers
    2018
    English
    X X X X X
    220 pg.
    9781612006734
    Review written by: Joris Gonggrijp

    Chris is of the age of the grandsons/-daughters of the men who flew the Thunderbolt over wartime Europa, but lucky enough to have had the opportunity to interview about twenty of the survivors of the 362nd. He also got in contact with the Arbeitsgruppe Vermissten- forschung from postwar Germany what explains the mentioning of many […]

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    Chris is of the age of the grandsons/-daughters of the men who flew the Thunderbolt over wartime Europa, but lucky enough
    to have had the opportunity to interview about twenty of the survivors of the 362nd. He also got in contact with the Arbeitsgruppe Vermissten-
    forschung from postwar Germany what explains the mentioning of many German opponents during the encounters with the Luftwaffe.
    It looks like these interviews contain foremost the war dairies of the interviewed. They are therefore mostly factual reports and only seldom
    personal opinions and feelings of the participants of that episode.

    The book starts with the activation of this Fighter Group at march 1th, 1943 and ends at august 1th, 1946 with its deactivation of the USAAF.
    During that period the 362nd lost 70 pilots and many more planes. By reading this book one gets an accurate insight into the Republic P-47
    Thunderbolt, also called “the Jug”. This very sturdy plane with an air cooled radial engine proved itself first and foremost useful as a fighter
    bomber, whilst the more agile but vulnerable P-51 Mustang became the primary pure fighter of the USAAF over Europe.
    This sometimes caused jealousy amongst the Thunderbolt pilots, who had to bear the brunt of low flying in heavy Flak of all calibres.
    The operational period of the 362nd is well documented in this book.

    It contains literally a day to day report of its events. The amount of cars, tanks, trains and Luftwaffe planes destroyed on the ground is
    up to the bizarre; quite unbelievable that the German war machine was capable to resupply its troops up to the bitter end of the war.
    It was not so much the material losses as no longer being able to replace experienced personnel which eroded the German fighting power.
    The book contains a wealth of photographs and illustrations.

    Model builders are well served with accurate drawings and often also the story behind the Thunderbolts. In short: a well documented war record of the 362nd Fighter Group, but not an intimate story of its Group members.


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