Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II (Anglais) Broché – 31 octobre 2011
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Those conclusions are particularly valuable because the book complements rather than duplicates the too-little work that has been done on this subject since the US Strategic Bombing Survey, done while the rubble was still smoldering. The closest comparison is with Lutz Budrass, Flugzeugindustrie und Luftrüstung in Deutschland, 1918-1945 (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1998) but it is different in approach and emphasis (we still need an English translation of Budrass, please). But while Budrass focuses on the pre-war rise of the industry and offers a case study on the Ju 88, this book concentrates on the industry's wartime adaptation. His case study, of the design and production of the He 162, makes a good book-end with Budrass' on the Ju 88. Nor does the book aim to duplicate the type-by-type summaries of Ferenc A. Vajda and Peter Dancey, German Aircraft Industry and Production, 1933-1945 (Warrendale, PA: SAE International, 1998).
This book is recommended for anyone with a serious interest in the Luftwaffe and German wartime aircraft. There remains a lot more of the story to be told. I hope someone else will write a book on this subject that uses the FD microfilm files held by the Imperial War Museum as well as this book has used their counterpart sources in Washington and Freiburg.
Congratulations on a brilliant piece of work.
The author presents a very detailed study of the development and destruction of the German aviation industry during the course of the Second World War. However, for me at least, he provided a lot of new and somewhat disturbing information. From reading his book I have no problem believing that Hitler was hugely popular during the early part of his reign. The creation of the aircraft industry was a total social change. Along with the new factories came improved housing and new amenities. The socialism part of National Socialism is often overlooked. During the 1930's huge and vastly popular changes came to Germany.
The second aspect that was of great surprise to me was the use of slave labor in the technical aspects of the aviation industry. I had always has the image of slave labor being used to clear rubble or to work farms. Not that this was not done, of course, but it was also deeply involved in the fabrication of the latest combat aircraft.
These houses of cards that the Nazi empire had constructed begin to fall asunder as the pressure from the allies mounted. There was no longer money, resources, or time for the social perks that had made the industry so popular to the people. The inherent weaknesses of the use of slave labor begin to show up as well. Quality control because more and more of an issue as the ratio of German overseer to slave worker fell due to the needs of the war and the impact of the allied bombing.
In the closing part of the book the author traces the concept, design, development, and production of the light jet fighter the HE 162. He uses this as an excellent example of the weakness of the system and the failure of the industry to play its part.
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