S u m m a r y
||Osprey Aviation Elite
Units 20 - Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen
by John Weal
||Soft cover, 128 pages
GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
||Easy to read text,
plenty of artwork, good selection of photographs.
Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner
"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
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
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.
Osprey Publishing for the
Elite Units 20)
Illustrator: John Weal
US Price: $21.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publish Date: October 10, 2005
Details: 128 pages; ISBN:
Review Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 19 October, 2005
19 October, 2005
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