The much-anticipated sequel to The German Aces Speak gives voice to four more of WWII's most noteworthy German pilots.
When The German Aces Speak published in 2011, Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine welcomed Colin Heaton's and Anne-Marie Lewis' masterful command of interview-based narrative, writing, ". . . what might have been numbing recitations of dogfights are instead vivid descriptions of life as a warrior during World War II." Indeed, it is this unexpected perspective, brought to life by the authors' neutrality and thoughtful research, that illuminates a side of war largely hidden from the American public: the experience of the German Luftwaffe pilot.
In The German Aces Speak II, Heaton and Lewis paint a picture of the war through the eyes of four more of Germany's most significant pilots: Johannes Steinhoff, Erich Alfred Hartmann, Gunther Rall, and Dieter Hrabak-- put together from numerous interviews personally conducted by Heaton from the 1980s through the 2000s. The four ex-Luftwaffe fighter aces bring the past to life as they tell their stories about the war, their battles, their off-duty lives, their lives after the war, and, perhaps most importantly, how they felt about serving under the Nazi leadership of Hermann Gï¿½ring and Adolf Hitler. Together, the memories of the events captured in The German Aces Speak II continue one of today's most unique World War II book series, unearthing a facet of the war that has gone widely overlooked for the American public.
Professor Colin D. Heaton served in the U.S. Army and later the U.S. Marines. He was a guest historian on the History Channel program Dogfights: Secret Weapons, and he has authored several books of military history, including German Anti-Partisan Warfare in Europe 1939--1945 and Night Fighters: The Luftwaffe and RAF Air Combat over Europe, 1939--1945, which he coauthored with Anne-Marie Lewis. He has taught history and military history at American Military University.
Anne-Marie Lewis received her BA with honors and MA from American Military University in international relations and is also a professional photographer. She lives in Southport, North Carolina.