Being there . . . when the manuscripts for three innocuous, unrecognized, NAY, unknown,
never-ever-requested, unusually rare subjects arrived and brought to the attention of the
publisher and acquisition editor of Schiffer Military Publishing. Knowing the history of that
fabulous 20+ year company, the management team, as usual, would at once be struck with the
unusual histories behind the unresisting titles. Who among the legions of Schiffer World War II
buffs could resist wanting the books for their fledgling libraries. When, out of curiosity, the
three individual authors were queried how they came to spend months, if not longer,
meticulously researching the topics, each merely smiled and shrugged his shoulders
intriguingly. Each undoubtedly had his reasons for being reticent about himself, but certainly
the rarity in resolute men of letters determined to burst their topics forth in print is common.
Brilliant writers, usually modest and jovial, know their efforts have been keen and powerful
because everyone before felt the drama of each was unworthy of their time and effort. The
FASTEN FIRMLY FOR THREE FASCINATING, WONDERFULLY WRITTEN BOOKS SO
CONTRASTINGLY CONTRARY, NONDESCRIPT, AND NONDISTINCTIVE WORLD WAR I AND II
SUBJECTS OF NO PARTICULAR CLASS OR KIND THAT YOUR CURIOSITY WILL LEAD YOU TO RARE
INTELLECTUAL ENTHUSIASMS AND INSPIRATIONS. . .
“ZOLLGRENZSCHUTZ – – Border Guards on the Frontier of the Reich, Hauptzollamt Villach, 1941
– 1945”, by Tommaso Chiussi. Schiffer Military, Atglen, PA 19310: 2023, 157 pages, 7 ½” x 10
½”, hardcover, $29.99. Visit, www.schifferbooks.com, or Email: Info@schifferbooks.com.
“101 HOURS IN A ZEPPELIN – – Ernst Lehmann and the Dream of Transatlantic Flight, 1917”, by
Robert S. Pohl. Schiffer Military, Atglen, PA 19310: 2023, 208 pages, 6 ¼” x 9 ¼”, hardcover,
$24.99. Visit, www.schifferbooks.com, or Email: Info@schifferbooks.com.
“THE 406 th FIGHTER GROUP – – P-47s over Europe in World War II”, by Steven A. Brandt, PHD.
Schiffer Military, Atglen, PA 19310: 2023, 112 pages, 9 ¼” x 9 ¼”, hardcover, $19.99. Visit,
www.schifferbooks.com, or Email: Info@schifferbooks.com.
Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi
Admittedly, at first glance, who cares when there are so many battles and biographies to
revisit and refamiliarize? Get started with the photos alone in “ZOLLGRENZSCHUTZ” and you’ll
neither eat nor sleep until all three titles are fully reflected, digested, and emotionally at peace.
Via intriguing narration of unique stories and intense realism and amazing phantasies conjured,
you are there. All three are fascinating readers destined for your growing library. Why? Because
you were there, and to show thanks to Schiffer, one of the world’s three leading military
publishers, you bought yourself all three for less than $80!
In “ZOLLGRENZSCHUTZ”, we are with the Germans as they occupy the Balkans early in the
war. Thanks to 90 hitherto unpublished b & w photos, we watch how the Axis powers are
constantly struggling to police the region. Of course, we’re rooting for the substantial partisans,
even though the fractured guerrilla groups are expending forces and equipment fighting among
themselves. Yet, as we turn page after page, we see how much of a threat they are to
German/Italian control. The photos are candid, thus even more riveting. The book is truly an
unusual military surprise for buffs who rarely are provided an opportunity to visit and get to
know what Zollgrenzschutz is all about (customs-border protection). Hauptzollan is the main
customs office in Villach. This city lies where the borders of Austria (then part of Greater
Germany), Italy, and Slovenia converge.
Meanwhile, “101 HOURS IN A ZEPPLEIN” is based on the original letters of physics professor
Robert Wichard Pohl, who spent several years flying on zeppelins during the first World War. It
narrates the first flight that exceeded100 hours. Along the way, it tells innumerable fascinating
stories, vignettes, and historical recorded incidents. For aviation history buffs it’s a must
because the full story of a well-known but little-described chapter in zeppelin-airship history is
And, in “THE 406 th FIGHTER GROUP – – P-47s over Europe in World War II”, we have another
piece of aviation history masterly unfold. It is the little-known story of the 406 th , a famous but
unsung P-47 unit in the European theater of operations (ETO). It was the first group to employ
the 5-inch, high velocity aerial rocket, HVAR, secret weapon. Even if unfamiliar with the 406 th
achievements, readers will have seen a frequently published gun camera photo of a 406 th FG P-
47 flying into a massive explosion. The Thunderbolt was an incredibly fearsome weapon in the
hands of units like the 406 th . Wait until you peruse the books elaborate photos displays of the
great fighter planes and how they scared hell out of the Germans, literally. One German
commander warned a fleet of the Thunderbolts were on their way instantly surrendered 20,000
troops without a single shot being fired. The “Raiders” were continually praised by Gen.
Anthony C. McAuliffe, who commanded the famous 101 st Airborne Division at Bastogne, who
had run out of ammunition.