Monday, August 4, 2014

Sharks of the Air by James Neal Harvey

Sharks of the Air: The Story of Willy Messerschmitt and the Development of History's First Operational Jet Fighter by James Neal Harvey -368 pages

This chronicle of the development and combat experiences of the ME-262 jet provides a great deal of insight for readers interested in aviation history, or World War II. Willy Messerschmitt's innovative aircraft was delayed by a lack of reliable jet power plants, and its potential almost entirely squandered by the Nazi high command. The jet fighter's natural role of bomber interceptor was discounted by Hitler and Goring who blindly insisted on a bomber version. As a result, very few fighter units were equipped with the ME-262 and had little impact on the massive Allied bombardment campaign that destroyed Germany's cities and war industry. The book also clearly demonstrates the corruption and personal petulance present throughout the Third Reich's military-industrial complex.

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