Foreign Planes in the Service of the Luftwaffe, Jean-Louis Roba

Foreign Planes in the Service of the Luftwaffe, Jean-Louis Roba

German's series of rapid conquests in the first half of the Second World War meant that the Luftwaffe was able to operate large numbers of captured military aircraft. This book takes a chronological look at the fate of these aircraft, from the pre-war acquisitions in Czechoslovakia, to the massive windfalls in France and Italy and the smaller but still significant number of British and American aircraft forced down intact in occupied Europe.

The chapters differ in character, falling into two broad groups. The first deals with those occasions when large numbers of military aircraft were captured by the Germans as a result of military victories on land, most notably in Czechoslovakia, Poland, France and the Soviet Union, and in a slightly different context in Italy. In these chapters the aircraft are dealt with on a type-by-type basis. In many cases large numbers of aircraft were taken over directly by the Luftwaffe or given to one of German's allies.

The second type of chapter looks at those periods when small numbers of Allied aircraft fell into German hands in a random manner (mostly British and American aircraft). These chapters are more photographic in nature - none of these types of aircraft were captured in large enough numbers to be used in a conventional way by the Luftwaffe, and so Roba concentrates instead on the fate of individual aircraft.  

The focus is very firmly on the aircraft and where they went, rather than what they did once they got there, so KG 200, the special unit that operated many captured Allied aircraft is mentioned, but its exploits are not detailed. The book is very lavishly illustrated, with one large or two smaller photographs on the vast majority of pages. There is something rather chilling about some of these pictures, which show familiar Allied aircraft in Luftwaffe insignia.


1 - Before the War
2 - The first deceiving campaigns (1939-1940)
3 - The French manna (May/ June 1940)
4 - Facing Great Britain (July 1940-June 1941)
5 - Marita/ Merkur and Barbarossa (May-June 1941)
6 - On all theatres of war (June 1941-October 1942)
7 - France again (November 1942)
8 - 'The Yanks are coming…' (November 1942-September 1943)
9 - Italy: il ricco bottino (September 1943)
10 - Until the Normandy Landing (October 1943-June 1944)
11 - The end of the war (July 1944-May 1945)
12 - Conclusion

Author: Jean-Louis Roba
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 223
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation
Year: 2009

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