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pdf à My Decade as a Pilot in Hitler's Luftwaffe  Johannes Kaufmann

Elegraph poles half buried in deep snow while searching for a place to land on the Stalingrad front are proof that the enemy was not the only danger he had to face during his long flying careerKaufmann saw out the war from the early beginnings of German expansion right through to surrender to the British in 1945 An Eagles Odyssey is a compelling and enlightening read Kaufmanns account offers a rarely heard perspective on one of the core experiences of the Second World W Johannes Kaufmann An Eagle’s Odyssey My Decade as a Pilot in Hitler’s Luftwaffe Greenhill 2019First written in German in 1989 Johannes Kaufmann’s career as a pilot in the Luftwaffe has finally been translated into English with some judicious editing and context added This is not the story of an air ace performing dazzling deeds at high altitudes with great success and rewards but that of an ordinary pilot doing his best fighting against increasingly difficult odds That he survived the war was in itself a successful outcomeKaufmann’s peacetime training is covered in Part I What stands out is his meticulous record keeping the non ideological nature of the trainee pilot’s life – perhaps surprising in a fascist regime – and the uiet determination of Kaufmann’s cohort to succeed He also had the benefit of skilled instructors while undertaking rigorous flight training That all ended abruptly when Germany invaded the Rhineland in 1936 and Kaufmann joined a combat unit though he saw no actionWhen Germany annexed Austria in 1938 Kaufmann was a 22 years old flying instructor while still practicing his own skills as often as possible He took his last peacetime flight on 15 August 1939 From then on Kaufmann was an active combat pilot even though he flew transport planes in Poland and returned to his role as a temporary flight instructor During the Battle of Britain Kaufmann flew captured aircraft to Germany for testing He returned to combat fighter training and flew BF 110s for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 In the early phases of that war little thought was given to tactics those would come later when the Germans were on the receiving endKaufmann fared well in the advance through the Soviet Union bombing airfields strafing missions reconnaissance etc but as with everything else on that front numbers soon ran against the Germans It also became difficult to replace planes or find spare parts Trained crews soon became a problem too After months of almost constant combat missions Kaufmann returned to Germany to train on the ME210 a plane that he considered as a disaster Back at the front and thankfully flying BF110s Kaufmann undertook missions over Stalingrad but left the theatre in December 1942 after 158 missions He was transferred to the Atlantic Coast to instruct pilots undertaking maritime missions in JU88s By Spring 1943 that too was proving hazardous against Allied air superiority The D Day landings found him uite oblivious on a training mission In July 1944 Kaufmann was promoted to Staffelkapitän flying ME109s in combat against Allied bomber raids He turned out to be one of the lucky ones surviving missions through catastrophic German fighter losses Kaufmann also fought in the skies above Arnhem in his first combat against the RAF and again over the Battle of the Bulge where he was shot down but without a scratch on him Fortunately he avoided the disastrous Bodenplatte operation in January 1945 that all but ended the Luftwaffe’s resistance in the west Kaufmann ended his war back on the crumbling Eastern Front where he escorted suicide missions and fought against the rampaging Soviet fightersKaufmann’s memoir translated and edited by John Weal is a vigorous story of a combat pilot whose skill and discipline made him than a survivor but an accomplished fighter pilot He kept meticulous records in his logbook from his earliest days of training so that his account carries that air of authenticity missing from many other memoirs We do not get to know much about Kaufmann however and in particular his political views are ambiguous; deliberately so given who he was fighting for and when he was writing Nevertheless for those interested in what it was like to fight for the Luftwaffe this is a very informative and enjoyable read

doc An Eagle's Odyssey

An Eagle's Odyssey My Decade as a Pilot in Hitler's LuftwaffeI realised that this brief but abortive sortie was to be the final mission of my Luftwaffe flying careerJohannes Kaufmanns career was an exciting one He may have been an ordinary Luftwaffe pilot but he served during an extraordinary time with distinction Serving for a decade through both peacetime and wartime his memoir sheds light on the immense pressures of the jobIn this never before seen translation of a rare account of life in the Luftwaffe Kaufmann takes the reade Another tale of amazing survival From Me110s flying ground attack on the Russian front to defence of the Reich as the Allies closed relentlessly on Germany from the West Changed to flying Me 109s against the American bomber fleets and their fighter escortsthen at wars end he fought the Russians again as they closed in on Berlin from the EastIn the thick of the action through WW2 lucky to have got through it

Johannes Kaufmann  My Decade as a Pilot in Hitler's Luftwaffe kindle

kindle ´ An Eagle's Odyssey read ´ danpashley ß [Reading] ➾ An Eagle's Odyssey: My Decade as a Pilot in Hitler's Luftwaffe Author Johannes Kaufmann – I realised that this brief but abortive sortie was to be the final mission of my Luftwaffe flying careerJohannes Kaufmanns career was an exciting oR through his time in service from his involvement in the annexation of the Rhineland the attack on Poland fighting against American heavy bombers in the Defence of the Reich campaign He also covers his role in the battles of Arnhem and the Ardennes and the D Day landings detailing the intricacies of military tactics flying fighter planes and the challenges of warHis graphic descriptions of being hopelessly lost in thick cloud above the Alps and of following a line of t Johannes Kaufmann enjoyed a long and diverse flying career in the Luftwaffe He spent the first two years of the war as an instructor before flying his first combat sorties in July 1941 having retrained as a Bf 110 Zerstörer pilot with SKG 210 and ZG 1 He participated in the invasion of the Soviet Union Barbarossa and as a ground attack pilot flew low level strafing and bombing sorties against Russian tank and troop concentrations His war ended at the controls of a Bf 109 escorting JG 4 Selbstopfer 'self sacrifice' or suicide pilots flying against the Oder bridges He also managed to return twelve victories including a Thunderbolt over the Ardennes and a Shturmovik in the final days of the war over the ruins of a shattered Berlin That he survived is testament to his flying skills His memoir 'Meine Flugberichte' 'My flight log' first appeared in German in 1989 the cover photo depicted him being presented with a wreath to mark his 100th combat sortie in Russia His career thus spans most of Hitler's war and highlights the ever changing demands made on the Luftwaffe's pilots In his role as a ground attack pilot in Russia he had no experience little training and developed his 'tactical awareness' in the unforgiving apprenticeship of combat From low level bombing and strafing sorties he flew at Stalingrad and subseuently went on to maritime operations over the Atlantic with KG 40 before 're training' as a Bf 109 fighter pilot thrown into the desperate efforts to stem the Allied bomber offensive Unfortunately while Kaufmann's account is fascinating the original text was a 'difficult' if not to say somewhat dull read with timings for takeoffs and landings repeated throughout written almost exclusively from the point of view of Kaufmann's logbook Hence the title no doubt However translator John Weal is well aware of this and this new English edition revised and enlarged from the original attempts to rectify that situation by cutting out some of the detail and incorporating context and background information on campaigns locations and units So whereas for example Kaufmann did not fly his first sorties with JG 4 until late summer 1944 having seen his Ju 88 ZG 1 Gruppe disbanded and reconstituted as III JG 4 the translator provides an account of this JG's establishment and early history While Kaufmann had done little combat flying with KG 40 and ZG 1 chapters are devoted to both units he saw rather action flying Reich's defence sorties against the massed formations of US bombers clashing with Mustangs on the 27 September and 02 November missions which saw heavy losses inflicted on JG 4And while Kaufmann did not fly on the 11 45 Bodenplatte operation Weal includes an account of JG 4's participation on the New Years Day attack on the Allied air forces and the subseuent changes in command at the head of IIIJG 4 resulting from the charges of 'cowardice' filed against Kommandeur EberleNot withstanding the fact that the translator's 'voice' comes to the fore throughout the result provides a good insight into the life and times of an 'ordinary' Luftwaffe pilot While there is a good deal of 'background' on what life with a front line combat unit was actually like 'political' comment is notable by its almost total absence and the 'neutral' tone adopted throughout is a little disconcerting there is no commentary whatsoever on the evolving war situation nor is there any sense of impending defeat and chaos Kaufmann does at one point attend one of Hitler's rallies and listens to the three hour speech with 'rapt attention' while during a fighter leaders training course during March 1945 Kaufmann makes the point that lectures covering the German war economy and 'post war' diplomacy are still being delivered Weal's writing is always a pleasure to read and if you have any of his previous translated personal accounts such as Hanning's 'Luftwaffe Fighter Ace' then this is worthy and interesting book Rather unfortunately perhaps there are no photographs in this new edition a photo page insert would have rounded the book out considerably