Eagles Over The Sea 1935-1942 (August 2019)

A History of Luftwaffe Maritime Operations: Volume One

The arduous development of a dedicated naval air arm for Germany’s resurgent military was fraught with the kind of inter-service rivalry that was rife throughout the turbulent history of the Third Reich. However, almost despite the odds, a small dedicated maritime strike force was assembled, germinating during the Spanish Civil War before being committed to action from the first days of the invasion of Poland. Concurrently, the operational Luftwaffe developed its own maritime units that would eventually subsume all of the Kriegsmarine-controlled formations as the war years progressed. This new book by the well-known author of German naval operations in WWII offers, for the first time, an in-depth study of all the Luftwaffe maritime operations. This is the first of two volumes and takes the story up to 1942.
The story of Luftwaffe maritime operations has frequently been written about in fragmentary terms, delineating between the planned naval air arm operating under Kriegsmarine direction and the ‘operational Luftwaffe’. Each branch of service — and even aircraft type — has usually been studied in isolation. This book, however, broadens the lens to study the development of German naval aircraft as a whole, not as separate independent services but rather as a concerted attempt to engage the enemy at sea in every theatre of operations, from Norway and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and the Eastern fronts, and, of course, over the Atlantic. Through ship-board aircraft, torpedo bomber attacks, minelaying and reconnaissance missions, Luftwaffe maritime aircraft played a vital role in Germany’s naval war and the author analyses all the operations and the successes in the early years of the War. This first volume ends in 1942 when, despite great success, petty rivalry and naked arrogance combined to foreshadow the eventual defeat of the Luftwaffe’s war at sea.
Heavily illustrated throughout, this detailed and exciting operational history will be of huge appeal to both naval and aviation historians and enthusiasts.

464 pages
ISBN: 9781526740021
150 black and white illustrations

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“To summarise – this is a really intriguing book.  What purports to be a history of Luftwaffe maritime units is actually a very human story about failed relationships, inter-service rivalries, and individual one-upmanship by very senior officers who should have known much better.  This utterly depressing, all-too-familiar backdrop is brightened by individual examples of courage and tenacity by both tactical units and individual crews.  It does reinforce the lesson that it is not possible at unit level to consistently mitigate toxicity at the very top of the services.  As descendants of those who fought against the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine, we ought to be very thankful indeed that Goering and Raeder detested each other.  Had they been able to work together in any sort of capacity the Battle of the Atlantic – and with it the ability of the UK to continue the fight against the Nazi war machine – may well have gone the other way. Good stuff.”
Chris Melville, The Naval Review
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“This book presents an impressive amount of detail which dedicated researchers will find authoritative yet is also very readable to more casual readers who are interested in understanding an aspect of German Luftwaffe operations previously overlooked by historians. I highly recommend this book and believe it strongly deserves your consideration.”
Darren Puttoch, Australian Naval Institute
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“This is an outstanding production by Seaforth and is in every respect a most useful source of reference. The author provides an extensive bibliography.and scholarly notes, together with a comprehensive index. All serious students of naval aviation should have this volume on their bookshelves.” Society of Friends, Fleet Air Arm Museum.
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“The full story of the history of Luftwaffe maritime operations has not been told before although there are many books that include parts of the story. This new book corrects the deficiency with a comprehensive review and impressive illustration through the body of the book in support of very able text – Very Highly Recommended.” Firetrench
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“This is a good addition to the literature on the Luftwaffe, focusing on a key element of the war, but one where the Germans had to cope with a self-inflicted wound imposed by Goring as well as the inherent dangers of operating over the sea and British and Soviet opposition.” History of War
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” The reader can only wait with impatience to receive its companion!”
The Shackleton Association

” An extremely impressive title, very thorough and in-depth”
Scale Modelling Now
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