014264 - IN THE SKIES OF FRANCE: A Chronicle of JG 2 "Richthofen" Vol 1, 1934 to 1940
By Erik Mombeeck, Jean-Louis Roba with Chris Goss
It has taken more than 60 years for this first detailed history of the second fighter wing of the Luftwaffe to appear, a chronicle of Jagdgeschwader 2. Conducting operations principally over France and the Channel, JG 2 was destined to become one of the most celebrated of German fighter units, accorded extensive coverage by the propaganda services of the Reich. Awarded the honour title « Richthofen » as early as 1935, JG 2 spearheaded the campaign in the West and the assault againt England in the Battle of Britain. The unit remained in France when the majority of German fighter units were dispatched eastwards for the invasion of Russia during the spring of 1941. Tasked with defending the airspace of Brittany, Normandy and much of Picardy along the French Channel coastline, JG 2 constituted a bulwark against the incursions of the RAF and USAF. Despite the unit’s heavy losses sustained during WW II, the authors managed to locate around one hundred JG 2 veterans and their personal accounts and photographs bring this history vividly to life and imbue it with a human dimension which many will find moving. This first volume of the history of JG 2 covers the early years of the unit from its origins to the turn of the year 1940/1941.
Compiling a history of this scope would have been an impossible task were it not for the support of many tens of veterans and their families, amateur historians, enthusiasts and friends. We owe a special debt of gratitude to five former members of JG “Richthofen” who were particularly supportive during the long process of assembling this work and whose encouragement and readiness to assist was unswerving: Julius Meimberg and Erich Rudorffer for kindly agreeing to write their respective forewords, Hennig Strümpell, Wolfgang Falck and Dr Siegfried Bethke. It was with great sadness that we learnt of the deaths of the latter three gentlemen before this work could appear.
A number of French researchers have supported this project with their time, energy and considerable knowledge and experience. We would particularly like to thank Richard Goyat and his co-author Jean-Yves Lorant, as well as Frédéric Quesnel.
Volume Two - not yet published. Full details to follow.
b/w photos throughout, 8 pages of colour artwork
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