Arguably the archetypal Luftwaffe fighter unit of World War 2, JG 53 aircraft were encountered on almost every fighting front from the first day of hostilities until the last. During almost six years of near-constant campaigning, JG 53 took a steady toll of Allied aircraft in every theatre it fought over. The variety of camouflage finishes worn by its machines -winter white, desert dapple and Reich's defence black - and the progression of variants are reflected in an eye-opening colour section. John Weal has spent several years researching in German archives and this, together with his personal contact with several veterans, results in an authoritative and human account of JG 53's long and eventful war.
John Weal is Osprey's primary Luftwaffe author and artist. He possesses one of the largest private collections of original German-language literature from World War 2 and his research is based on this huge archive. Fluent in German, Weal has spent much time establishing contact with ex-members of the Luftwaffe, from General Staff Officers of the RLM to frontline aircrew. A freelance airbrush artist since the days of the monthly RAF Flying Review, he has illustrated some of the finest Luftwaffe profiles to date. The author lives in Berkshire, England.