An Illustrated Guide. — Jefferson, London: McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers, 2009. — 402 p. — ISBN 978-0-7864-3937-9.One of the most significant innovations in warfare has certainly been the appearance of air power during the First World War (1914 – 1918). Demanding resources and technical and financial investment on a whole new scale, the expansion of military activity in the sky also fundamentally changed the nature of war itself. On the battlefield, the aircraft became critical to intelligence, reconnaissance and artillery direction, and soon for ground-support operations and bombing raids. The introduction of strategic long-range bombers also helped to initiate “total war” involving civilians as industrial weapons producers and therefore as targets. The period 1939–1945, an era of rapid change and experiments, is still of great fascination for the student of weapons in general and military aircraft more particularly. The Second World War provided an arena for the airplane to prove its deadly worth, and such a period may never recur. Weapons are now too expensive, large and complicated to ever be treated with the same degree of experiment as they were then. The German Luftwaffe saw unparalleled changes in the design and use of aircraft. Hitler’s reign from 1933 to 1945 was a period of unusual, prolific advances in aircraft design. In 1935 German airmen used planes much the same as had been used by their fathers in 1918 by the end of World War I. By 1945, the changes had been profound, culminating in the world’s first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262.Introduction. Historical Background. Basic Technical Data. Regalia and Uniforms. Bombers. Fighters. Jet Fighters. Seaplanes. Transport Aircraft. Miscellaneous Aircraft. Bibliography. Index.
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