1984, 248 pages, Oversized. Amazon New: $29.97, Used: $7.00 (my copy)
1997 edition, New: $65.95, Used: $.75 cents
I have had this book in my collection for some 25 years and have just reread it. The book is divided into roughy equal portions, the first is a concise history of German airpower from the end of WWI to the final defeat of Nazi Germany, while the second half is a encyclopedia of pretty much every type of aircraft that reached prototype stage with the RLM/Luftwaffe.
As befitting a pictoral history, the first half of the book is filled with either pictures, many in color, and large color illustrations of various German aircraft. Many of the color photo's are clearly staged and likely came from the Signal magazine, but generally of good quality for the period. The text gives the reader a general understanding of the development, organization and operations of the Luftwaffe. The first half also has several sidebar's with with detailed information of units, bases, commanders, aircraft types and unit strength.
The encyclopedia portion offers detailed information of history, performance, armament and varients on each aircraft. Most have a 3 view drawings and side views of the more important sub-varients. The more famous aircraft have 3-D cutaway views showing the internal layout of each plane.
Hitler's Luftwaffe has a few flaws, the text is smaller than normal which is a bit harder for me to read this time. It is not a complete history as the air operations after Dunkirk is omitted. Production numbers for all types is not always offered which I would find usefull. On balance though it is a great single source for information on the Luftwaffe and a excellent addition to any WWII library. I would reccomend it without reservation, especially a used copy at a thrifty price.
My edition is the 1984 copy, and the 1997 edition simply titled Hitler's Luftwaffe, may have been updated with new data.
Edited by belasar, 15 April 2012 - 01:37 AM.