The Heinkel He 111 was one of the main Luftwaffe bombers during the early years of the Second World War, and played a part in the Blitzkrieg victories, before the Blitz began to reveal its limitations as a strategic bomber. This book covers that period, starting with a look at the development of the aircraft (including its precursors and the early civil aircraft), and the early combat experiences in Spain, before moving on to the invasions of Norway, the Low Countries and France, the battle of Britain and the Blitz.
The key strength of this book is the amount of detail provided about most of the aircraft in the pictures. We don’t just get the normal description of what we are seeing, but also information on the unit involved, the context of the picture and the fate of the crew (not just in pictures of crashed aircraft). This greatly adds to the value of the book, giving us an idea of where each aircraft fitted into the wider war, and the high loss rates suffered by the Luftwaffe.
A fairly high percentage of the pictures involved crashed aircraft in various states, with quite a few showing aircraft that crashed on their return to German occupied territory. This is quite a surprise in a way - one can understand why their enemies might take pictures of downed He 111s, but it isn't quite as clear why the Germans did it (other than one or two unusual cases, such as the aircraft that landed on a beach and was slowly eroded away by the sea).
Early Heinkel Designs
Legion Condor and Spain
The Polish Campaign
First Raiders Over the United Kingdom
Blitzkrieg in the West
The Spitfire Summer
The Blitz Begins
Author: Chris Goss