...from Casemate Books

The Luftwaffe in Africa 1941-1943...

Title:  The Luftwaffe in North Africa 1941-1943

Author: Jean-Louis Roba

Publisher:  Casemate Books

ISBN:  978-1-61200-745-8

A new addition to the Casemate Illustrated series, a softvoer book of 128 pages. It gives us an excellent look at the story of the Luftwaffe's involvement in North Africa from start to finish. At first it considers the work of the Italian Air Force, but they of course ended up needing additional support. That makes up the Introduction, and then goes on to the arrival of the German Africa Korps, with Rommel, ground forces and initial Luftwaffe units based on Sicily.
From that, things are covered in a logical chronological sequence, including the opposing forces during Operation Crusader. It goes on to when Rommel was on the offensive and then the series of retreats that led back to Tunisia and their eventual defeat in North Africa. Amidst the main text there are numerous 'call-outs' with additional details, such as more in individual commanders, pilots and unit strength returns. Added to these there are a number of helpful maps and for the modeller in particular, some fine colour profiles.
The book is heavily illustrated as usual, with over 100 archive photos, some of which are in their original colour rather than all being black and white. For the aircraft enthusiast the variety of machines we see is very interesting I thought. As well as Me 109s, Me 110s, Ju 88, Ju 52's etc, there are also the rare Ju 86, reconnaissance aircraft such as the Henschel Hs 126 and the little Storch. Plenty of aircraft wrecks as well, both German and Allied aircraft being featured. Among the most interesting I thought were the gliders used in Africa, as well as the huge powered variant of the Me 323 Gigant, vital in trying to get supplies over to N Africa. Added to that, the Gotha 242 and the smaller DFS 230. It mentions sabotage missions by German troops with these gliders, between 10 and 20 of them, though no known details. I don't recall reading about such missions before. So plenty to interest the aviation historian and modeller alike. Another useful addition to the series.

Published by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin