Generals and Admirals of the Third Reich; German Aces of World War I

Being there . . . . in the spring of 1940, after the German seizure of Denmark and Norway, to
watch the blitzkrieg that had swept from the Rhine through France to the Bay of Biscay, force
the crippled British Expeditionary Force into a final massive retreat resulting in standing and
waiting helplessly on the beaches of Dunkirk for boats and small ships to come and fetch them
home. With Hitler poised to obliterate them, and soon thereafter Britain herself, you overhear
Churchill’s favorite soldier-confidant, the exceptionally able Field Marshal Viscount Alanbrooke
utter despairingly, but truthfully, “It is a fortnight since the German advance started and the
successes they have achieved is nothing short of phenomenal. There is no doubt that they are
the most wonderful of soldiers.” There certainly was no doubt in the Fuhrer’s mind, still
smoldering angrily after Germany’s humiliating surrender after World War I. He felt the true
and only way to victory through the fog and dust-clouds that always accumulated during the
bitter fighting was via the Reich’s most precious assets – – the brilliant, militarily creative minds
of his hundreds of generals and admirals.
“GENERALS and ADMIRALS OF THE THIRD REICH – – For Country or Fuehrer: Volume 1: A – G”,
by James Jack Webb. Casemate Publishers – Reference/ World War II, 1950 Lawrence Road,
Havertown, PA 19083: 2024, 368 pages, hardback, 6 ¼” x 9 ¼”, 150 illustrations, $49.95. Visit,
www.casematepublishers.com.
“GERMAN ACES OF WORLD WAR I – – The Pictorial Record”, by Norman Franks & Greg
VanWyngarden. Schiffer Military History, Atglen, Pa: 2004, 186 pages, 392 photographs,
hardcover, 9” x 11 ¼”, $59.95. Visit, www.schifferbooks.com, or E-mail: schifferbooks.com.
Two classics reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi
Thanks to the richness of its contents we, the buffs of World War II, are thoroughly enjoying
the first of a three-volume set that compiled biographical information of over 5,000 generals
and admirals in Hitler’s Deutschland Uber Alles, covering all branches of war services. Each bio
sketch provides a cogent overview of the individual’s service between 1914 and 1945, including
units, positions, and commands held, dates of promotion to senior ranks, and medals earned.
Also “GENERALS and ADMIRALS OF THE THIRD REICH” includes relevant information on the
generals’ civilian occupation, providing all the necessary information to further research any
German general of the period. Fascinating as well are the Appendices which list general officers
who held senior ranks during World War I, as well as the fates of Heer generals, and glossaries
of terms, awards, and ranks to provide background information. The result, buff, is an
incredible, hard developed and earned accessible go-to reference work for all World War II
researchers and historians. Hopefully, Volumes 2 and 3 will follow soon to round out the three.
Remember, reader, the first 15 pages are strictly narrative histories of the German officer
corps. The remaining 368 pages yield biographies arranged alphabetically. This is the first of a
three-volume reference of who the highest ranking officers were in the German Wehrmacht,
Waffen-SS, and Kriegsmarine, all the first time in English.
In “GERMAN ACES OF WORLD WAR II – – The Pictorial Record”, we have right in the middle of
our laps the air aces of Imperial Germany’s Luftstreikrafte, a pictorial record of Aces with 39 to

30 victories, Aces with 29 to 20 victories, 19 to 15 victories, 14 to 11, 10 and 9, an 6 and 5. The
top 12 German aviators open the book after the Introduction. Such a German Air Force photo
history is always a popular subject among aviation historians, enthusiasts, and war gamers. Of
course, us buffs recognize Manfred von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, and Werner Voss. They are well
known and appear regularly. But the same cannot be said for all the others 300 German who
achieved five or more aerial victories in the Great War. Of course, their stories often have been
published, but within the pages of one volume. Here, of necessity, these photos vary widely in
style, format and quality. Yet they serve to reveal a good deal of information about the pilots
and the multitude of different uniforms and decorations they wore. World War I enthusiasts
will be mesmerized by all the different types of aircraft the pilots flew, especially the aircraft of
the top 12. Here, compilers and editor-historians Norman Franks and Greg VanWyngarden
researched, dug up, bartered for, and pleaded with owners for 320 photos of the aces from the
Aces’ families, state libraries, regional museums, and wherever archives of any kind were
located. As mentioned, the aces are listed in “score” order, starting with the “Red Baron”
himself with more than 80 victories all the way down to Martin Zander with five. Each of these
priceless photographs is accompanied by a brief service history and victory total of the ace. A
few weeks ago, buffie, you were presented with American and British Aces. This reviewer, like
everyone else interested in Allied and German aerial wins and losses, was so interested in the
human faces and body stances of the Aces, as well as the physical condition of each the pilot
mentioned, he promptly emailed his publicist at Schiffer Military Publishing begging for
“German Aces of World War I” to review for his personal bookshelf trilogy, as well as those of
his fans.

Leave a Comment

You have to agree to the comment policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.