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The German Aces Speak  By  cover art

The German Aces Speak

By: Anne-Marie Lewis,Jon Guttman,Brigadier General Robin Olds USAF - Ret.,Oberleutnant Kurt Schulze,Colin D. Heaton
Narrated by: P.J. Ochlan
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Publisher's summary

Few perspectives epitomize the sheer drama and sacrifice of combat more perfectly than those of the fighter pilots of World War II. As romanticized as any soldier in history, the World War II fighter pilot was viewed as larger than life: a dashing soul waging war amongst the clouds. In the 65-plus years since the Allied victory, stories of these pilots' heroics have never been in short supply. But what about their adversaries - the highly skilled German aviators who pushed the Allies to the very brink of defeat?

Of all of the Luftwaffe's fighter aces, the stories of Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck shine particularly bright. In The German Aces Speak, for the first time in any book, these four prominent and influential Luftwaffe fighter pilots reminisce candidly about their service in World War II. Personally interviewed by author and military historian Colin Heaton, they bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their lives, and, perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler.

©2011 Colin D. Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis (P)2017 Tantor

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What listeners say about The German Aces Speak

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not what I hoped for

This title is mostly concerned with emphasizing that the Luftwaffe pilots were not part of the holocaust and were simply fighting for their country as any patriotic citizen should. However they took up almost an hour explaining how honorable they were. And when they finally got to the actual interview part, most of it was about the politics of the Luftwaffe and how various pilots managed to gain various awards. I expected this book to be much like Martin Caiden's book on Saburo Saki the great Japanese ace. It is not. Almost no actual combat recounting. Just page after page of this one getting the Iron Cross from Hitler and that one arguing with Goering. I wanted to get the German take on their battles against the various American and Allied fighters and bombers, not a review of the political climate within the Luftwaffe. Since I kept on to the end in hoping it would get better, I wont return it. But be warned,. Hold on to your credit.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Introduction should have been reduced by 55 mins

The first hour is about evil meany Nazis did bad things but these were good men. The introduction should have been shorter. It's waaaaay too preachy. The readers get it Evil Nazis were evil. Wah wah move onto the story.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Am I listening to the same book?

I feel like I'm listening to a different book than all the other reviewers. But here's my 2c anyhow.

The first hour or so is a slog. Bad writing and extremely repetitive. Once you get into the accounts the writing is still pretty bad but at least it's interesting content. It feels like lots of interviews are kind of mashed together so it feels fairly choppy and sterile at times. The author could have done a bit more editing to help the flow along. But, again, interesting content.

The reader was awful. I'm not sure why I'm the only one saying this. Maybe his style is just a personal thing but it's very difficult for me to listen to. It feels very mechanical. Same exact voice inflection with every single sentence. You'll hear it in the sample audio. The book would be so much better with a different reader. An older gentleman with a German accent would have been amazing.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best German side account on record!!

The detail and story lines are awesome! I have new found respect for the German Air Force and am profoundly grateful that someone took the time to put these story on paper!
Narration is a bit overly pronounced but pretty good.

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7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply amazing

Truly an epic perspective that is hardly never heard! A must read if you want to see WWII from the opposite view of the allies.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gives good insight into the German Luftwaffe.

I really liked listening to this book, even though some of the stories overlapped, since multiple pilots would discuss the same subject, from their experiences. It is one of those books that made me want to drive more, so I could listen.

My only complaint, and it's trivial, is that the reader seemed to pronounce the German names too perfectly. For some reason, it irritated me, but I can't explain why. Maybe it's because I'm used to hearing them with an American pronunciation, not a perfect German sound.

I'm glad the author took the time to put these stories into one book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting for aviation history buffs

I very much liked the behind-the-scenes glimpses of the Luftwaffe and hands on experiences of the Luftwaffe commanders. At times the story dragged on a bit, but at best was very interesting.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Essential reading

Would you consider the audio edition of The German Aces Speak to be better than the print version?

Never read the print version. I will pick up a copy some day. However, listening to the stories told feels just like a ready room.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked to hear their point of view. How they fought, why they fought and their opinions. The stories are incredible and most are corroborated via allied records. These men were incredible fighter pilots.

What about P.J. Ochlan’s performance did you like?

It was good.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A bit of both. Mostly laugh. Especially, the shenanigans some of them get into. It cracked me up because they behave exactly like you might think Lord Flashheart would.

Any additional comments?

I read this book out of professional interest and got way more out of it than I had expected. It reads like some pilots at the bar shooting their watches and arguing over technique. It is excellent.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unique and Informative!

If you are a WWII aviation history buff, this book is for you. There are very few books out that express the personal experience of the vanquished. Here in this book are gathered the personal experiences of World War Two's greatest air combat aces. Hearing the unique perspective of what life, and death, was like flying combat missions for the Luftwaffe was very enlightening. The accounts of Walter Krupinski, Adolf Galland, Eduard Neumann, and Wolfgang Falck offered the similarities of a shared experience as Luftwaffe pilots but also unique perspectives on the Luftwaffe's greater command structure. The inclusion of their post war experience was fascinating, On the story content and overall, I give this 5 out of 5 stars. I give the performance by PJ Ochlan 3.5 to 4 stars. I believe this to be the fault of the publisher and or authors. P.J. is a gifted voice actor, capable of creating believable accents, dialects, and characters. Handcuffed as performer he wasn't given the opportunity to alter his delivery or intonation from pilot to pilot. Thus, if the listener misses the point of transition between individual pilot accounts, the neutral performance makes it all the more difficult to determine which pilot account is being expressed. That said, P.J. does and incredible job peppering these accounts with spoken German Luftwaffe terminology which greatly enhances the listeners experience.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dear gods don’t buy this title

I have no idea how the reader could take such fascinating material and make it boring. His dull monotone is painful and nigh on unlistenable,he sounds like a robot.

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1 person found this helpful