By Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.
From its mystery post--World warfare I beginnings to its digital destruction through the Allied air forces, the tale of the German air strength is better informed via reading its leaders--brilliant, formidable, ruthless, and deceitful males like Hermann Goering, the drug-addicted Luftwaffe commander; Erhard Milch, the half-Jewish head of plane construction; and Adolf Galland, the final of warring parties who usually clashed with Goering. Mitcham profiles them and others whereas describing the Luftwaffe's battles--both within the skies and in the back of the scenes--and explaining why it used to be so decisively defeated.
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Extra info for Eagles of the Third Reich: Men of the Luftwaffe in WWII
When Goering took office in early 1933, the Treaty of Versailles was still in effect. It had never been scrupulously observed, however. Gen. Hans von Seeckt, the creator of the Reichsheer (as the 100,000-man army was called), had insisted that 180 of the 4,000-man officer corps be chosen from the former air service. Under his tutelage Germany made a covert agreement with the Soviet Union and set up a secret air training base at Lipetsk, Russia. He also set up secret air organizations and an air training office in the Truppen -amt (troop office), as the clandestine General Staff was called, and placed Maj.
Lonely for some time, Hermann met and fell in love with Emmy Sonnemann, a generous, big-hearted, natural blonde, who was an actress with the Weimar National Theater. They were married on April 10, 1935. Emmy was as unlike the first Frau Goering as can be imagined. Where Karin had pushed Hermann to work harder for the Fuehrer, Emmy encouraged his natural tendencies to laziness and luxurious living. Whereas Karin was a rabid Nazi, Emmy was definitely not. One gets the impression that she did not take Hitler and his crowd very seriously.
Ritter Robert von Greim), the Office of the Chief of Air Defense (Gen. Otto Guenther Ruedel), and the Technical Office (Maj. Gen. Ernst Udet). Since Goering had no interest in their daily operations, these changes in effect made these offices independent of any control or outside supervision. It was tantamount to total command fragmentation and paralysis of many important functions. Before June, 1936, there was only one center of power in the Luftwaffe and that was Milch. After this date there were two (Milch and Kesselring, followed by Stumpff).
Eagles of the Third Reich: Men of the Luftwaffe in WWII by Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.