Memoirs of a Stuka Pilot
By Helmut Mahlke
After recounting his early days as a naval cadet, including a voyage to the Far East aboard the cruiser Köln, and as the navigator/observer of the floatplane carried by the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer during the Spanish Civil War, the author goes on to describe his flying training as a Stuka pilot.
The author’s naval dive-bomber Gruppe was incorporated into the Luftwaffe upon the outbreak of war. What follows in this book, therefore, is a fascinating Stuka pilot’s view of some of the most famous and historic battles and campaigns of the early war years: the Blitzkrieg in France, the Dunkirk Evacuation, the Battle of Britain, the bombing of Malta, North Africa, Tobruk, Crete and, finally, the invasion of the Soviet Union.
The author also takes the reader behind the scenes into the day-to-day activities of his unit and brings the members of his Gruppe to vivid life. The story ends when he himself is shot down in flames by a Soviet fighter and severely burned. He was to spend the remainder of the war in various staff appointments.
Vintage Airfix Review:
This memoir is a fascinating read if a little bit of an uneasy read in places.
The pride that Helmut Mahlke has in his career is evident throughout this book and deserved. He had an exception and unique career in an exception and unique aircraft.
As an historical account of the second World War from a German perspective it is an essential read.