Luftwaffe Efficiency & Promotion Reports Volumes 1 and 2

Being there . . . . to not only greet with heartfelt, sincere appreciation Colonel French L.
MacLean, one of the few extraordinary exemplary narrative geniuses of World War II literature,
but also to read and emotionally weigh his conceived personality profiles of Hitler’s Luftwaffe
aces. Under contract to Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., he began tackling hitherto complex, ignored,
unresearched, and rarely written about subjects, i.e., the German General Officer Casualties in
WWII; the officers of the Nazi concentration camp systems; the leaders of the Cruel SS Hunters
who searched and slaughtered hiding Jews; the Field Men in charge of the infamous Nazi
Mobile Killing Units; and the SS Ghetto Men who oversaw the destruction of the Jewish Warsaw
Ghetto. “I spent the best years of my life investigating and writing about the ‘dark side’ of the
war, although in wartime, there are very few truly ‘light sides’. I primarily dealt with the Nazi SS
officers, the Einsatzkommandos. It was such a drain on my psyche, I turned to writing about
men in more combat-related and hopefully more uplifting, the German ‘Knight’s Cross’
winners.” Author MacLean adds, “To my surprise, they were not superhuman fighting
machines, although they all had a faint look in their eyes indicating they had been fairly hard
men when the chips were down. They all seemed like typical grandfathers everywhere.
LUFTWAFFE EFFICIENCY & PROMOTIONS FILES OF ACES HONORED FOR BRAVERY WITH THE
KNIGHTS’ CROSS OF THE IRON CROSS, GERMANY’S HIGHEST WAR DECORATION, OPENED TO
WORLD WAR II READERS FOR THE FIRST TIME, THANKS TO SCHIFFER MILITARY PUBLISHING
“The quality of a nation’s armed forces depends upon the quality of its officers.”
Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi
“LUFTWAFFE EFFICIENCY & PROMOTION REPORTS for the Knight’s Cross Winners, Volume
One”, by French L. MacLean. Schiffer Military History Publishing, Ltd.: 2007, 272 pages, 8 ½” x
11”, 150 b/w photos, hardcover; $59.95. Visit, www.schifferbooks.com. This impressive volume
contains detailed biographies and official efficiency, and promotion reports for 53 Knight’s
Cross winners, as well as biographies for 67 rating commanders.
“LUFTWAFFE EFFICIENCY & PROMOTION REPORTS for the Knight’s Cross Winners, Volume
Two”, by French L. MacLean. Schiffer Military History Publishing, Ltd.: 2007, 277 – 536 pages, 8
½” x 11”, an additional 150 b/w photos, hardcover; $59.95. Visit, www.schifferbooks.com. This
second volume continues the effort of the first, providing efficiency and promotion reports for
60 Knight’s Cross winners, as well as biographies for 79 rating commanders.

In World War II Europe, 1 September 1939 – 3 May 1945, 1785, Luftwaffe officers and
enlisted men won the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross – the highest decoration for courage and
bravery Hitler’s Germany and Third Reich could bestow on a troop. The two-volume set tells
each of their stories through the eyes of the commanders of 113 of these men as recorded in
their official efficiency reports contained within. Never in the history of military publishing has
such an achievement occurred, as far as this reviewer knows. And to be companied by a photo

AND a photo of the actual signed official documentation? The true WWII aficionado will
sacrifice an eye a several teeth to add them to his growing library!
Especially endearing to the serious buff is the fact that author French MacLean not only
served 34 years as an Army infantry officer, but within that time completed four tours of duty in
Germany as a battalion commander. In addition, he served as the Inspector General for the U.S.
Army in Europe, followed by a professorship at the National War College in Washington, DC. His
half dozen WWII books have been praised by such scholars and investigators Sir John Keegan
and Simon Wiesenthal, and Moshe Arens.
In short, 800 pages of biographies, personnel evaluations, and facial portraits respond to
Colonel MacLean’s provocative question, “So who were these officers? Were they mass-
murderers that I once wrote were ‘formed under the evil ideology led by a social outcast and
composed of vicious criminals that sink to their lowest common denominator – hate? Or were
they prim and proper Prussians, depicted in the movies with gleaming boots, iron wills, and
mathematical minds who saw the world only in terms of tactical key terrain? My dad who
fought in the Battle of the Bulge with the 9 th Infantry Division simply called them ‘tough
bastards’, not elaborating much more than that. Post WWII German leadership attempted to
answer the questions by agreeing, “The front-line fighter units were led exclusively by ‘aces’
whose ambition was, and must be, to keep ahead of everyone else in their personnel kills and
keep their squadron ahead of any other. They were not yet tactical leaders of large formations,
though the position changed later-on with the growth of the enemy fighter and bomber arm. A
good fighter type was seldom a good bomber type and vice-versa.”
Author MacLean then answers his own questions, “A true look at who these officers and
pilots really were can be ascertained by what their superiors wrote about them in the “heat of
battle”. Fortunately, the German military provided this mechanism through their extensive
officer efficiency reporting system. I hope my work in these two volumes does them, and
history, justice.”