- 12,99 €
“[A] perfect blend of sympathetic career biography and gripping military history . . . a definite winner for all World War II military history buffs” (Library Journal).
In July 1944, the Allies were stunned by the appearance of the Messerschmitt Me 262, the world’s first operational jet warplane. More than one hundred mph faster than any other aircraft in the skies, the Me 262 gained scores of victories over Allied fighters and bombers, and by the end of the war, many of the Luftwaffe’s greatest aces had clamored to be in their cockpits.
Sharks of the Air tells the story of Willy Messerschmitt’s life and shows how this aeronautical genius built many revolutionary airplanes—not excluding the Luftwaffe’s mainstay, the Me 109—and culminating in the Me 262. It describes how his various warplanes fought in Spain, Poland, France, Britain, the USSR, and Germany, and it provides thrilling accounts of air battles drawn from combat reports and interviews with veterans.
And finally, this biography gives “insight into the life of a man who played a role in the Nazi war machine, but is not defined by it” (Scale Aviation Modeller International). Aspects of Messerschmitt’s life never before made public are revealed, including his love affair with the beautiful Baroness Lilly Michel-Rolino, a rich aristocrat who left her husband to live with Willy.
Author James Harvey “uses his 40 years of flying experience and experience of aviation to tell the fascinating story of Messerschmitt and how, given the right conditions, Messerschmitt and other German aircraft designers could have changed the course of WWII” (Military Scale).
Harvey (Dead Game) a pilot with 40 years of experience, examines not only the life of Messerschmitt, but the rapidly changing world during the first half of the 20th century. Following WWI, Messerschmitt made a name for himself designing gliders and powered gliders in the 1920s. By the mid-1930s, with Germany openly defying the Treaty of Versailles, he'd designed and built the Bf-109 fighter, the world's fastest all-metal fighter aircraft. In 1939, he submitted plans for a jet powered fighter that would become the Me-262, a revolutionary aircraft. An unnamed American General even speculated that the Me-262 could have prevented the Normandy Invasion, but changes sent down by the Air Ministry and unreliable jet engines delayed its operational use until 1944. In chronicling Messerschmitt and his era, Harvey also exposes the cutthroat politics among top Nazi officials, all jockeying to be Hitler's favorite. With all of the political intrigues and maneuvering, it is no surprise that the "1000-year Reich" lasted only 12 years. Well researched and written with verve.