Reviews on Jagdwaffe: The War in the East 1944 - 1945


* Review by Michael OConnor "Wordsmith " at 17 November 2005:

(Five Stars out of Five)

This volume, by Bergstrom and Pegg, concludes the "Luftwaffe Colours" coverage of air combat on the Eastern Front. As with previous volumes in the series, it's a winner!

The air combats fought in 1944 and '45 were some of the most desperate of the war as the shrinking band of Luftwaffe Experten waged a losing battle to counter Russian advances. Pilots such as Hartmann, Rall, Barkhorn, Brendel, Kittel and Hafner ran up tremendous scores against their VVS opponents but all for naught.

Like earlier Russian Front volumes, this book is an engaging combination of text, a wealth of photos and gorgeous color profiles by Tom Tullis. (The work Tullis has done in interpreting black and white photos to create his artwork is worthy of Sherlock Holmes). Anyone interested in the Russian Front and Luftwaffe "top guns"(JG 51, JG 52, JG 54, etc.) will enjoy this book.

All in all, a good overview and a visual treat. Highly recommended!

It's sad to see this series end. There's been a lot of first-class Luftwaffe history published in its 20+ volumes. Congrats to Classic Publications/Ian Allan for a job well done!


* Review by John Matlock "Gunny" at 3 August 2005:

(Five Stars out of Five)

By 1944 the German Third Reich was not doing very well on either the eastern or western fronts. This book covers the German fighter groups assigned to eastern front against Russia. By 1944 the front line German fighters were the FW-190 and the Me-109. Against the Americans and British the FW was the machine of choice. In the East it was still the Me as the Russian front line fighters were still inferior to the German machines.

By late 1944 newer Russian aircraft became the equal to or exceeded the capabilities of the German fighters. By 1944 the enormous tank battle at Kursk had taken place, and the armored units were in bad shape. More and more of the burden fell on the German air force.

Then in the middle of 1944 came the invasion and a new set of problems as the allies were quick to build fighter strips in France and brought over huge numbers of planes. This required the removal of some units from the Eastern Front.

As with the other books in this series, this book is mostly photographs and drawings of the planes used by the various German units on the Eastern Front. A considerable amount of research went into determining the actual colors, markings, and other details of aircraft used by individual units.

While Western historians and certainly movies would have you believe that the bulk of the fighting occured on the Western Front, the Eastern Front was the primary battleground so far as Germany was concerned. In 1944 the Russians admit to the loss of over 10,000 aircraft, the German loss was over 8,000.

If aircraft color schemes are of interest to you, this book will be invaluable. If you are merely interested in the history of the Germans defending on the Eastern Frong, the photographs shown here present a story themselves that would be an excellent accompanyment to any written story.


* Review by Braxen at 3 March 2007:

(Three Stars out of Five) Disappointed!

This book related to the Luftwaffe action on the east-front in 1944-45, and most specifically the fighters.

The book is well done in the sense that you see actual pictures and the corresponding profiles of some of the planes. I wasn't that much appealed by the rest and thought that while some of the pictures are great it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

If you are interested in everything that is related to German fighters in the East in 44-45, this book is a must have as it as some original pictures well worth seeing. You won't get a comprehensive view but rather more documents than what already might exists in other books. From an historical perspective these are ok, although (for armor for instance) there are more outstanding sources.

If you want a mid level comprehensive book on German fighters in 44-45 on the east front with lots of profiles, you will be left a bit disappointed.

In this sense, I regret my purchase.


* Review by Chris Banyai-Riepl at Internet Modeler July 2005:

The latest title in the superb Jagdwaffe series looks eastward once again, documenting the long retreat in front of what has become a superior fighting force in the Soviets. The title image and quote sum up that strength, with the classic photo of a Russian soldier waving the Soviet flag over Berlin, and the Wehrmacht stating that "the battle for the capital of the Reich is over." Although the war went badly for Germany during these years, they still managed to put up a fight, with a small handful of pilots becoming legends while the rest of the Luftwaffe suffered horrendous attrition.

When an army is no longer on the offensive and is forced to give up ground, standardization of camouflage seems to be the first thing to go, and we see lots of interesting exceptions to the rule in this book. Some aircraft have replacement tails, for example, finished in a different color. Other times, field applied camouflage resulted in a very different look than the standard RLM-authorized scheme. As this is a late-war book, the aircraft presented are pretty much exclusively Fw 190s and Bf 109s, and all late model marks, too. For the modeler, there are plenty of intriguing variations in individual markings as well. Also presented here is some information on Romanian fighters, as they supported the Germans during their retreat. Their Bf 109s offer an interesting counterpoint to the Luftwaffe examples.

As is expected from the Jagdwaffe series, this book presents this information in a wonderfully written text, punctuated with interesting sidebars. Throughout the book are dozens and dozens of excellent photos, as well as maps and tables. Also, a staple of the Jagdwaffe series, this book has the usual high quality profile illustrations from noted aviation artist Tom Tullis, bringing color to some of these unusually finished aircraft.

With this book, the Jagdwaffe series comes closer to its end, with only two more volumes left. It has been a fascinating journey, and one well worth taking. For anyone interested in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, this is a book, and a series, that you do not want to miss. My thanks to Specialty Press for the review sample. Visit their website to order this, and other Jagdwaffe titles.


* Review by Bryan Connor at, 4 March 2005:

Another great book!

Classic publications have so far in 18 sections covered a very large subject in a depth worthy of praise. This section, with 2 more to go, is one of the best, the narrative gives the reader a perspective only found when reading biographical accounts, but surrounds this with photo's and line drawings, most of which I have not seen before. Pictures of lines of aircraft surrendered or abandoned sums up the futility of the final 12 months of the 3rd Reich, when the Luftwaffe pilots must have summoned all their courage, just to fly each day, in the same way our pilots had 5 years before. Well done Classic Publications and Ian Allan