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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
    2 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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Great info and content... but needs dedication.

The content is FANTASTIC - and totally fascinating to listen to - but the narration sounds almost like a male version of iPhone’s Siri is reading it.

Super articulate, clear, and all that... just... well he is not the most entertaining narrator. Still good though.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding

This book is a treasure for historians and history students regarding such an intriguing chapter of the human conflicts.

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Profile Image for nathan
  • nathan
  • 12-05-17

Exceptional

Fantastic look Into Luftwaffe operations, experiences and tragedies.
I would have liked to have Eric hartmanns experience added in as well, also more lower down aces stories rather than 'top brass' but I suppose many never lived to tell their story...

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie
  • 08-14-18

Fascinating perspective

These are some great accounts from some of the best and most successful pilots that have ever flown. Politics aside, as these men touch on but also set aside, their experience is incredible. The narrator let's the whole thing down with his often mechanical rendering of an astounding piece of work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Pablo Javier Hernández Calderón
  • 08-06-18

Exceptional

A real masterpiece. It completely takes you into the lives of these brave men.

Incredible.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • rats404
  • 05-13-18

Appalling narration. So robotic, I'm returning it

I couldn't get through the foreword, because the narration was so bad. Inflection and stress during each sentence is completely off. it sounds like a text to speech program. I would love to hear the reminiscences of these pilots, but will be returning the title.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 04-15-20

Amazing book. German pilots were men of honor

A highly recommended book. Brave men with strong morals and principles. They must be remembered

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-27-19

Excellent insight!

Brilliant reference material. Unique historical document. Learnt many new details of the WW2 air War from the German perspective.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • 02-22-19

Interesting. A must for any warplane or ww2 fan

Very Good. Excellent book! Went through it very fast. Fascinating personal stories of some of Germany's Luftwaffe leaders and aces. I enjoyed the second (of the four) parts most, Adolf Gallands story is somehow the most compelling and complex. Not because Galland is the best known. But his story is told most passionately. Excellent narrator. No complaints at all. Overall: Excllent book. Interesting stories told from a personal perspective. Still one HAS to remember that these men were high ranking officers in the Luftwaffe. MAYBE, just maybe, we do not get the "whole" story. Plus this is being told many years later. The stories at times get a little bit grindy. At other times: you feel that the story "skips ahead" to fast.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Flanker7
  • 01-03-19

Irritating narrator, book not audio friendly

Narrator too smug about his German pronunciation, felt as if I was being lectured at.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-18

good information boring delivery

I found the content very interesting but the narration was rather boring. it was satisfactory.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-28-20

Good

Did not care for narration however found the listen very interesting . Some interesting information

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  • Geoff Alford
  • 01-30-19

Inaccurate and laughable narrator

Lot of inaccuracies, the main one being constantly used nomenclature of the BF109 as the ME109. Wrong and annoying for someone wanting to enjoy this book.

The other thing was the Narrator’s heavily over used accents of German names and ranks but nothing else. I laughed every time it was done.

A absolute lack of voice pitch often left me wondering where and who the heck was supposed to be doing what.

Too bad, really great interviews that could have been presented a whole lot better.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rob Woof
  • 10-16-18

Cracker of a story, pity about the narrator

This is a wonderful collection of stories from the German side of the air war in World War Two. Even in translation, the characters shine through - vibrant, dynamic and powerful tales and recollections.
However, the narrator's delivery made it hard to listen to. His reading delivery sounds stilted, and his pronunciation of German words, while accurate, sounds very stilted - there is a small pause, almost as if he was "switching into German mode" before saying the German word(s).

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Bill
  • Bill
  • 03-31-20

The war through rose coloured glasses.

We are the misunderstood chivalrous knights of the air who did not know what the nasty Nazis were doing.

This book is just a load of lies. The talk about kills is ridiculous. The actions just do not add up. One says the only way to shoot down a IL-2 is from underneath, but then mentions numerous occasions when he shoots them down from above or behind.

All claim, with the benefit of hindsight, that they did not know what the leaders were doing in relation to the holocaust, but blame all of the faults of the war on those leaders, those leaders who showered them with promotions, medals, holidays and other rewards.

Not worth reading, a sad disappointment. If you want to read about air combat in WWII, go to The Race of Aces, by John R Burning. A warts and all account of the pilots and the fighting in the Pacific.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Zacq768
  • 05-23-19

bird person

narrator sounds like birdperson from rick and morty. a bit monotonous at times. needs to learn how to say "well" contextually.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-18-19

Good book, but poor start.

Stay with it. The apologetic start and first pilot is not that good. it gets a lot better. overall is a great book.

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  • Dale
  • 04-04-19

Exceptional. The narration is first rate.

If one is interested in aviation history, or even WWII history, this book will please one. The narrator gave a fine performance. The writing was superb.
Very highly recommended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-18

Great insight

Great narration, great stories, great to get their concise accounts while they were still alive.