Luftwaffe Fighter Ace

From the Eastern Front to the Defense of the Homeland

Norbert Hanning and John Weal

(1 customer review)


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Format: Hardback
Extent: 224 pages
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
ISBN: 9781904010944.
Categories: , , .
Publication Date: 30 September 2004

Herr Norbert Hanning’s wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the 1939-45 air war not often covered in the English language; primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet Union. He was one of the midwar-generation Luftwaffe fighter pilots and began operations with JG 54 on the eastern (Leningrad) front in early 1943; initially flying Messerschmitt Bf 109s before transitioning to the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. He became a Staffel CO and was credited with 42 victories, also serving with JV 44 (whose CO was Adolf Galland); he then returned to Germany towards the closing stages of the war to convert to Me 262 jet fighters. Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivity. John Weal’s skilful translation ensures that the fluid and descriptive style of the author is preserved. Thankfully, also, Norbert was a keen photographer who shot a profusion of images, all previously unpublished, many of which appear in this important book.

1 review for Luftwaffe Fighter Ace


    Norbert Hannig went from service in the Jungvolk (an organization similar to the Boy Scouts) to the Luftwaffe in the latter part of 1940. Following completion of training, he was posted early in 1943 to Jagdgeschwader 54 (the “Green Hearts” Wing) on the Eastern Front, which boasted aces of the caliber of Otto Kittel (with 267 victories, the 4th ranking ace in history) and Emil “Bully” Lang.

    Hannig flew both the ME 109 and Focke Wulf 190 in combat, scoring 42 victories. Shortly before the end of the war, he was posted to the West, where, after completing a conversion course in the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter, he served with Jagdverband 44 (the “Squadron of Experts”) under the command of Adolf Galland.

    Hannig’s account of his experiences as a Luftwaffe `Jagdflieger’ (fighter pilot) on the Eastern Front from 1943-45 provides an interesting insight into the experiences of one of the “mid-war” Luftwaffe pilots. From his flight training experiences and subsequent posting to the “Green Hearts” Fighter Wing in Russia, the book is easy to read. The narrative flows and is not at all boring. You get a sense of the man himself and the effects of the daily grind of operations over an ever changing front.

    For any reader who is keenly interested in reading about the lives of obscure Second World War aces, this book will make a welcome addition to your library.

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