Spitfires Over Berlin...
...Desparation and Devastation During WW2's Final Months, from Tempest Books
Title: Spitfires Over Berlin
Author: Dan Sharp
Publisher: Tempest Books
This is a new reprint of a book first published back in 2015. Rather than being a continuous narrative it is more a collection of stories which illustrate events during the very last stages of the air war in Europe and the end of WW2.
At first glance I think the title might be a little deceptive, as the presence of Spitfires over Berlin was a rare event as it was only ever a short range fighter. It was only at the end of the war when the allies had reached a point where they were close enough to Berlin that such missions were possible. It is just one of the many chapters which tell the assortment of stories around the closing stages of the war. The stories include those which demonstrate that some Luftwaffe pilots and aircraft were fighting on right up to the final day, 8th May. Other stories within the 18 chapters include how the most famous of Luftwaffe pilots, Adolf Galland ended his war, of the unfortunate end to the only manned test flight of the odd-looking Natter; the loss of B-17 'Wee Willie'; the operations of the Mistel combinations; a success for the new Ta-152 just before the end of the war; how the crew of an unarmed L4 Grasshopper brought down a Feisler Storch with their .45 Colt 1911 side arms, plus the final Luftwaffe success of the war, achieved by an Me 262, perhaps an appropriate portent of how the jet came to dominate the post-war military. Added to all this are additional notes and details, which include the list the captured aircraft which were taken back for technical evaluation by the allies.
Add plenty of other stories, including the advanced technology weapons that were coming into use along with lots of excellent archive photos, most of which I had not seen before. All the different stories together in one place make this a very interesting look at the air war during the last few months of the war. I think modellers will like some of the photos which not only provide plenty of detail but some interesting diorama ideas as well. Easily recommended.
Thanks to Mortons Books for this review copy.