Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Luftwaffe SturmgruppenOsprey Aviation Elite Units 20

Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen


by John Weal


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Aviation Elite Units 20 - Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen by John Weal
ISBN: 1841769088
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 128 pages
Price: GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Easy to read text, plenty of artwork, good selection of photographs.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner

Osprey's "Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen” will be available online from Squadron.com



With over 20 Osprey titles already to his credit, John Weal makes another contribution, this time with “Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen”.

The usual 128 pages are packed with over 150 black and white photographs, these being of both man and machine. The reproduction is good with an excellent selection of subjects.

Twenty eight colour profiles are presented along with a page of Unit and personal markings. These are all competently done with a good variety of Fw 190 aircraft being represented.

The chapters are arranged as follows:

Sturmstaffel 1 – Trial by fire

Major von Kornatzki saw the need for a series of major blows against the US bombers participating in the daylight raids over Europe. This, he argued, would make the Americans think twice about continuing these incursions.

His idea was for a special unit of heavily armoured fighters to penetrate the bomber stream and try to shoot them down at the smallest possible range. Failing that, they would be expected to ram their opponent, and survive to fight another day.

Thus Sturmstaffel 1 is born and this chapter follows the unit’s trial period as it tries to prove the validity of Kornatzki’s brainchild.

IV.(Sturm)/JG3 – A shaky start

The success of the above episode resulted in the formation of IV.(Sturm)/JG3. This was relayed in a top secret communication from OKL (Luftwaffe High Command) dated 29 April 1944.

It is the continuing story of this Unit that comes under scrutiny here.

Oschersleben – National Heroes

The interception of the US Eighth Air Force over Oschersleben on 7 July 1944 was one of the Unit’s most resounding successes. This chapter covers that attack and the subsequent propaganda that resulted from it.

The Bulge, Bodenplatte and the end in the East

It is now December 1944 and the Sturm experiment has come to an end. This chapter describes the last efforts of these specialists from the lead up to the Battle of the Bulge until the end of war.

Postscript – From Sturm to Ramm

Here we read the sad story of Kommando Elbe and its failure to stop the tide of advancing bombers. Hajo Herrman pushed for a group of volunteers to ram their Bf 109 fighters into the oncoming B-17 and B-24s. He got his wish but the idea was fanciful and this last desperate measure only managed to cost the lives of more pilots.





This is a very entertaining read and John Weal does a good job relating the history of the Sturmgruppen. The text is not overwhelming and the pace of the book does much to keep the reader’s interest.

The well executed artwork will give modellers more schemes to contemplate and provide yet another excuse to buy a new kit. Overall, this is another nice addition to the series.


Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample.

Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen
(Aviation Elite Units 20)
Visit Osprey Publishing
Author:  John Weal
Illustrator: John Weal
US Price: $21.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: October 10, 2005
Details: 128 pages; ISBN: 1841769088
Shop cart
Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Review Copyright © 2004 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 19 October, 2005
Last updated 19 October, 2005

Back to HyperScale Main Page