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I Flew for the Führer  By  cover art

I Flew for the Führer

By: Heinz Knoke,Richard Overy - introduction
Narrated by: P.J. Ochlan
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Publisher's Summary

Heinz Knoke was one of the outstanding German fighter pilots of the Second World War. This vivid firsthand record of his experiences has become a classic among aviation memoirs and is a fascinating counterbalance to the numerous accounts written by Allied pilots.

Knoke joined the Luftwaffe on the outbreak of war, and eventually became commanding officer of a fighter wing. An outstandingly brave and skillful fighter, he logged over 2,000 flights and shot down 52 enemy aircraft. He had flown over 400 operational missions before being wounded in an astonishing "last stand" toward the end of the war. He was awarded the Knight's Cross for his achievements. In a book that reveals his intense patriotism and discipline, he describes being brought up in the strict Prussian tradition, the rise of the Nazi regime, and his own wartime career set against a fascinating study of everyday life in the Luftwaffe. He also reveals the high morale of the force until its disintegration. His memoirs are both a valuable contribution to aviation literature and a moving human story.

©1952 Heinz Knoke; Afterword copyright 1991 by Heinz Knoke; Introduction copyright 2012 by Richard Overy (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about I Flew for the Führer

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Very interesting wish it had a bit more detail

The book was well written and I enjoyed it, I wish it went into a bit more detail about day to day life in the luftwaffe and had more fine strokes. Very good none the less

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Meh

I've listened to a number of first hand accounts of German soldiers, and this was easily one of the worst. The book starts off telling you that the person who wrote this released it as they were running for political office, and it reads like something written by someone running for office. The most interesting parts of the book are when he's explaining why he supported the war and why he thought he was doing the right thing, but even that seemed more like political posturing than anything sincere. In addition to that, the book is boring. I have no idea who these people are that think this is interesting, I'm guessing they've never read a good history book. Finally, I just don't believe a lot of what he's saying. At one point he implies that he stole a plane to fly to another part of German to get married, yet doesn't have any follow-up about what happened when he showed up with a plane that shouldn't be there, etc, it just all sounds fake.

Avoid this one, there's plenty of other interesting and much realistic books out there.

1 person found this helpful

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Eye opening account for what the war was like for German pilots!

As someone who has distant relatives that fought for the Nazi’s, it reminds me that they were largely caught up in world events and had little choice in what they could do. Despite losing the war, many German soldiers fought just as bravely as anyone and with honor.

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Great account by an old and bold pilot

Utmost respect for Knocke's hair raising account of his air war experiences, narrowly escaping death on numerous occasions, with seemingly almost calm resigned realization of heading towards an inevitable demise against terrible odds...a testament to an uncommon standard of character and courage under fire, that led to so many ultimate sacrifices made by his comrades, by marching to the tune of the fuehrer, not unlike the hipnotic tune of the flute of the legend of the pied piper of Hamelin, their memory and sacrifce documented in this book, now dwindling into oblivion, serve as a reminder of the tremendous losses brought by frightful war.

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Good book, poorly read

The book is good and captivating.

The biggest drawback is the “German” accent of the American voice actor. It makes it hard to take the book serious and is quite awful to listen to.

If this was a German narrator and this was his natural accent, I could deal with that. But reading this book making it sound like a German is ridiculous!

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I loved This Book. definitely recommend it.

Absolutly loved this book, I love how it was written in an unbiased perspective and from a German Fighter pilot.

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excellent narrative

very intetesting to see the thinking of an air force pilot for Grrmany during the war.

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great book in German accented english

the German accent, though correct I guess, was a little offputting. loved the book though.

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  • Andrew Muirhead
  • 04-28-22

Gripping

Be patient with it. The early years chapters, the first two or so are not as good as the rest. In all - a brilliant listen.

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  • dkoor
  • 10-21-21

Really good book

Excellent read for anyone interested in wartime airman experiences, goes to show what it was really like.

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  • john brenchley
  • 05-16-21

Superb

To hear a genuine fighter ace of the Luftwaffe tell his story is fascinating. One wonders how he survived!

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  • Darren Heinrich
  • 11-13-22

One of the best ever

While it took me a little while to warm to the narrators style, I came to appreciate it in a certain way - quite an innocent performance. This story had me on the edge of my seat several times - Knocke's story is incredible. How he survived is true miraculous. If you like fighter pilot stories, then this is a must have.

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  • Mark
  • 10-26-22

A truly great story from the other side

Well narrated, a remarkable and fascinating book. Never thought I'd cheer for the Luftwafe. Deeply moved by this account of the air war which until now I'd only ever seen one side.