Aces of the Legion Condor by Robert Forsyth

By Robert Forsyth

Through the outbreak of global battle 2, the Luftwaffe had obtained powerful tactical battlefield adventure from its involvement within the Spanish Civil conflict in 1936-1939, headquartered round the operations carried out via the Legion Condor, a strength of a few 19,000 'volunteer' German airmen, employees, technicians and groundcrew shaped into fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, Flak, climate and signs components. during this new publication, writer Robert Forsyth, well known specialist on global warfare 2 German aviation, information the advance of either the applied sciences and the pilots of this German air strength, with full-color illustrations, plates and info of colour schemes used in the Legion Condor. From the He fifty one to the Messerschmitt, from flying in shut wing-to-wing formations to the looser, wider formations universal to the Luftwaffe in the course of global battle 2, this booklet is a must have for any German aviation historian or modeler.

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As Galland described it in his memoirs, the ship was ‘a rotten old tub, more like a slave trader’. There was an overpowering stench of something unpleasant on board, and the airless accommodation in the holds, to which the men had been confined, was ‘shamelesly primitive’. Bunks had been assembled crudely from old, spare timber, boredom reigned, followed inevitably by a gradual breakdown in discipline. Spirits ‘sank below zero’. Galland described the voyage to his post-war Allied interrogators in 1945; ‘Conditions on the boat were not as we had imagined.

Franco would deploy the Navarrese Carlists of the Ejército del Norte, supported by artillery, the Italian Expeditionary Force and the aircraft of the Legion Condor, which Sperrle had assured the Generalísimo would make a crucial contribution. The Nationalists subsequently fought a concerted campaign in bad weather and in difficult terrain. Air operations were planned by Gen Kindelán, head of the Nationalist Air Force, several senior field commanders and von Richthofen, who tantalised his Spanish colleagues with the prospect of a new tactic of ‘close air support’ using aircraft for sustained ground-attack to smash the morale of opposing troops.

880 D-IHHB, as per the V5) were slated for shipment to the Legion Condor and seem to have arrived with VJ/88 (Versuchsjagdstaffel – Experimental Fighter Squadron) at Tablada in December 1936. However, it remains unclear as to whether three or four aircraft were actually shipped out at this time. It is more likely to have been three, and it is possible that the V4 has been mistaken for a Messerschmitt when in fact it was actually the He 112 V4, which is also believed to have been sent to Spain. Certainly, on 30 November, von Richthofen had observed crates with disassembled Bf 109s ‘lying around’ a harbour, probably Cadiz.

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