Jagdgeschwader 54 'Grunherz'
Osprey Publishing, 2001 - History - 128 pages
One of the most successful of the high-scoring Luftwaffe Jagdgeschwader during World War 2, JG 54 ‘Grünherz’ (Green Hearts) was formed from three disparate fighter 'Gruppen' immediately prior to the Battle of Britain. Having enjoyed immediate success over the Channel and South-east England during the summer of 1940, the unit was transferred to the Eastern Front in the spring of 1941 in preparation for Operation Barbarossa - the German invasion of the Soviet Union. JG 54 would remain a Jagdwaffe stalwart in the east, flying firstly Bf 109Fs and then the Fw 190. By war’s end, the Geschwader’s pilots had claimed over 9500 kills, and produced over 100 aces. Men like Hans Philipp, Walter Nowotny and Otto Kittel are profiled in this volume, which reveals the struggle in the face of overwhelming odds that was the lot of the Jagdflieger on the Eastern Front.
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ACE5 aircraft airfields Anton Army Aspern attack August awarded Baltic Black bombers Bonin camouflage campaign casualties central sector claimed cockpit command Courland cowling damaged days later Defence Dietrich Hrabak dogfight eastern front Emil enemy Erich escort February Feldwebel fighter flown flying Focke-Wulfs forced-landing France fuselage German Geschwader Geschwader's Geschwaderkommodore Green Hearts ground Gruppe badge Gruppe's Gruppenkommandeur Gruppewas Hannes Trautloft Hauptmann hours later Hpfm Hptm III./JG Jagdgeschwader July June Kapitan Knight's Cross Kommandeur Kommodore Krasnogvardeisk Lake Ilmen Lake Ladoga landing Leningrad Leutnant loss lost Luftflotte Luftwaffe machine Major March Max Stotz miles months November Nowotny's Oak Leaves Oberfeldwebel Oberleutnant Oberstleutnant October offensive operations Otto Kittel Philipp pilots killed raid Red Air Force Reich Reinhard Rudolf Russian Schwarm score Seiler September shot Siverskaya Soviet Spitfire Staffel Staffelkapitan transferred unit Unteroffizier victories Volkhov Walter Nowotny weeks White wingman wounded Yellow