Heaton-Lewis Books

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Night Fighters

$30.00

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NIGHT FIGHTERS: Luftwaffe and the RAF Air Combat over Europe, 1939-1945 Colin D. Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis Binding: Hardcover Era: WWII Number of Pages: 224 Number of Photos: 35 Number of Line Art: 2 Total Illustrations: 37 Subject: History Date Available: 10/1/2008

 

Night Fighters examines the historical, technological, tactical, and strategic evolution of limited visibility aerial combat as the air forces of Great Britain and Germany dueled in the night skies during WWII.

 

The book is based on extensive research and interviews with the key planners responsible for their respective national strategies governing the conduct of the nighttime air war as well as the airmen who fought the war. This arena of WWII combat produced a plethora of technological innovations, the results of which are seen today in everyday military and civilian life.

 

This book provides a detailed historical analysis of the men, methods, machines, and devices that forever altered the course of aviation, military, and scientific history during the air war in the night skies of WWII.

 

Peer Reviews

 

 

"Night Fighters is the vivid and fascinating story of the deadly aerial duel between Britain's Bomber Command and Germany's night fighters during World War Two. Colin Heaton's and Anne-Marie Lewis's expert account will be indispensible reading for any student of military history." Conan Fischer, Professor, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

 

 

"Night Fighters reminds me of my own night combat experience over Vietnam. Any pilot who has ever seen a bright pink tracer aimed at him will duck as he reads these thrilling words and comprehends the historical significance of these pages. The World War II night war written about in Night Fighters laid the foundation for all future conflicts, from the Gulf War of 1991 to the present battles being fought. This book is a great addition to the history of aerial warfare." George J. Marrett, Contrails over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base

 

 

"Colin Heaton has studied the Luftwaffe and RAF for almost three decades now. He is an incredible researcher and obtained thousands of pages of documents never before used by historians. He also developed unique relationships with some of the key players during World War II like the father of German Night Fighters Falck and Fighter Ace and famous General Adolf Galland and brings many of their insights and stories to light in Night Fighters. Heaton is one of the foremost experts in this field and anyone serious about studying about the air campaigns during World War II must include this book in his or her library." Bryan Mark Rigg, author of Hitler's Jewish Soldiers and Rescued from the Reich

 

The softcover version if available is $28.00. Books ordered here are signed by Colin Heaton and Anne -Marie Lewis. If you already purchased this book and would like to order a signed book plate to place into your book, place that order and just send $10.00. We will cover the postage!

 

Naval Institute Press, USNI.org 2008

 

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Auf deutsch

 

Nachtkämpfer überprüft die historische, technologische, taktische und strategische Entwicklung des Luftkampfes der begrenzten Sicht, wie die Luftwaffen von Großbritannien und von Deutschland in den nächtlichen Himmeln während WWII duellierten.

 

Das Buch basiert auf umfangreicher Forschung und Interviews mit den Schlüsselplanern, die für ihre jeweiligen nationalen Strategien verantwortlich sind, welche die Führung des Nachtzeitluftkrieges sowie die Flieger regeln, die den Krieg kämpften. Diese Arena des WWII Kampfes produzierte eine Fülle technologische Innovationen, dessen Resultate heute in tägliches Militär und in ziviles Leben gesehen werden.

 

Dieses Buch liefert eine ausführliche historische Analyse der Männer, der Methoden, der Maschinen und der Vorrichtungen, die für immer den Kurs von Luftfahrt, von Militär und von wissenschaftlicher Geschichte während des Luftkrieges in den nächtlichen Himmeln von WWII änderten. Beurteilungen durch eine Peer-Gruppe " Nachtkämpfer ist- die klare und faszinierende Geschichte des tödlichen Luftduells zwischen Britain' s-Bomber-Befehl und Germany' s-Nachtkämpfer während des Zweiten Weltkrieges.

Colin Heaton' s und Annemarie Lewis' s-sachverständiges Konto ist unentbehrlicher Messwert für jeden möglichen Kursteilnehmer Militärhistory." - Conan Fischer, Professor, Universität von Strathclyde, Glasgow, Schottland "

 

Nachtkämpfer erinnert mich an meine eigene Nachtkampferfahrung über Vietnam. Jeder möglicher Pilot, der überhaupt einen hellen rosafarbenen Indikator gesehen hat, strebte ihn sich duckt an, wie er diese aufregenden Wörter liest und die historische Bedeutung dieser Seiten begreift. Der Weltkriegnachtkrieg, der ungefähr in Nachtkämpfer geschrieben wurde, legte den Grundstein für alle zukünftigen Konflikte, vom Golfkrieg von 1991 zu den anwesenden Kämpfen, die gekämpft wurden. Dieses Buch ist ein großer Zusatz zur Geschichte von Luftwarfare." - George J. Marrett, Contrails über dem Mojave: Das goldene Zeitalter der Strahlen-Flug-Prüfung am Edwards Luftwaffenstützpunkt "

 

Colin Heaton hat das Luftwaffe und den RAF für fast drei Dekaden jetzt studiert. Er ist ein unglaublicher Forscher und erhaltenen Tausenden Seiten Dokumente nie, vor verwendet durch Historiker. Er auch entwickelte einzigartige Verhältnisse zu einigen der Spielmacher während des Zweiten Weltkrieges wie des Vaters der deutschen Nachtkämpfer Falck und des Kämpfer-Asses und des berühmten Generals Adolf Galland und bringt viele ihrer Einblicke und Geschichten an das Licht in den Nachtkämpfern. Heaton ist einer der vordersten Experten in diesem Feld und jedermann, das über das Studieren über die Luftkampagnen während des Zweiten Weltkrieges ernst ist, muss dieses Buch in seinem oder library." mit einschließen; - Bryan-Mark Rigg, Autor von Hitler' s-jüdische Soldaten und gerettet aus dem Reich

 

Die Papiereinbande Version, wenn vorhanden, ist $28.00. Die Bücher, die hier bestellt werden, werden von Colin Heaton und Anne - Marie Lewis unterzeichnet. Wenn Sie bereits dieses Buch kauften und eine unterzeichnete Buchplatte bestellen möchten, um in Ihr Buch zu setzen, vergeben Sie diesen Auftrag und senden Sie einfach $10.00. Wir umfassen das Porto!

 

  Reviews:

 

Night Fighters: Luftwaffe and RAF Air Combat over Europe, 1939–1945

9/2/2010

 

Night Fighters: Luftwaffe and RAF Air Combat over Europe, 1939–1945 by Colin D. Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis. Naval Institute Press, 2008, 224 pp., $27.95.

 

During World War II, the British nighttime aerial bombardment of Germany and occupied Europe, against a determined and skillful defense, represented a distinct campaign of great scope and sacrifice. At odds with the American daylight precision bombing strategy, the Royal Air Force (RAF) steadfastly pursued night attacks from 1939 to 1945 at a loss of “nearly 10,000 bombers and over 55,000 airmen killed, wounded, or captured” (p. 13). In Night Fighters, Colin Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis—a photographer, researcher, and digital image specialist—recount the history of the ever-evolving tactics and technology of this air war, primarily from the perspective of the Luftwaffe fighter forces and RAF Bomber Command.

 

The book’s hallmark is tracing the evolution of night-fighting tactics, doctrine, and technology across the course of the war. Over the years that this campaign persisted, a deadly balancing act played out between belligerents as first one side, and then the other, adapted and became superior with deadly innovation in “the greatest technological arms race in history” (p. 28). Heaton painstakingly studied and conducted face-to-face interviews with many of the air war leaders and noble night-fighter pilots such as Wolfgang Falck, Hajo Herrmann, and Hans-Joachim Jabs. In this aspect, Heaton (a professor at the American Military University, a major online institution) shows obvious admiration for German aviators’ valor in the air and engineers’ ingenuity in the laboratory.

 

Night Fighters asserts that the tactics and technology of this battle “underwent a greater revolution . . . than in any other area of operations in any preceding era in history” with the exception of the nuclear age (p. 78). Heaton traces postwar advances in fly-by-wire technology, all types of radar, microwave ovens, transistors, ejection seats, shatterproof glass, motion sensors, and rocket and jet engines “to World War II and mostly to the night war in Europe” (p. 137).

 

Heaton is as critical of British leadership and tactics as he is full of admiration for the valor of the Luftwaffe pilots. The book occasionally becomes sidetracked from the subject of air-to-air combat to examine the failures and savagery of RAF Bomber Command’s nighttime area attacks on German cities versus the daylight precision bombing favored by the US Army Air Forces. It further touches on the desperate lot of the British bomber aircrews, their loss rates, the misunderstanding associated with treating woes stemming from low morale, and its connection to faulty leadership: “The class-conscious British hierarchy did little to instill faith in one’s superiors, who may have been promoted through family connections or had the privilege of an upper-class education” (p. 105).

 

Conversely, Heaton finds fault with a less-than-competent Nazi hierarchy that denies critical resources and support necessary for the fighter force to prevail. In the Germans’ defeat, he finds that under their high command “it was as much an internal implosion as an external eradication” (p. 138).

 

Although the author gives just credit to the skill in the fielded Luftwaffe fighter force, Night Fighters is too small a volume (140 pages of narrative) to document the many conclusions that distract it from its thesis. The book’s strength lies in its colorful and energetic descriptions of nighttime air-to-air combat in World War II Europe, but its shortcomings are its expansive findings in tangential but related fields of strategy, leadership, and aircrew morale.

 

Night Fighters gives serious attention to the worthy and underrepresented field of study involving how this arms race was fought and won in the night skies of World War II Europe. Airmen today would do well to heed the lessons of their predecessors—how they adapted and where they came up short.

 

During World War II, the British nighttime aerial bombardment of Germany and occupied Europe, against a determined and skillful defense, represented a distinct campaign of great scope and sacrifice. At odds with the American daylight precision bombing strategy, the Royal Air Force (RAF) steadfastly pursued night attacks from 1939 to 1945 at a loss of “nearly 10,000 bombers and over 55,000 airmen killed, wounded, or captured” (p. 13). In Night Fighters, Colin Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis—a photographer, researcher, and digital image specialist—recount the history of the ever-evolving tactics and technology of this air war, primarily from the perspective of the Luftwaffe fighter forces and RAF Bomber Command.

 

Col John S. Chilstrom, USAF, Retired

Austin, Texas

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