Sharks of the Air: Willy Messerschmitt and How He Built the World's First Operational Jet Fighter

Sharks of the Air: Willy Messerschmitt and How He Built the World's First Operational Jet Fighter

by James Neal Harvey
Sharks of the Air: Willy Messerschmitt and How He Built the World's First Operational Jet Fighter

Sharks of the Air: Willy Messerschmitt and How He Built the World's First Operational Jet Fighter

by James Neal Harvey

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Overview

“[A] perfect blend of sympathetic career biography and gripping military history . . . a definite winner for all World War II military history buffs” (Library Journal).

In July 1944, the Allies were stunned by the appearance of the Messerschmitt Me 262, the world’s first operational jet warplane. More than one hundred mph faster than any other aircraft in the skies, the Me 262 gained scores of victories over Allied fighters and bombers, and by the end of the war, many of the Luftwaffe’s greatest aces had clamored to be in their cockpits.

Sharks of the Air tells the story of Willy Messerschmitt’s life and shows how this aeronautical genius built many revolutionary airplanes—not excluding the Luftwaffe’s mainstay, the Me 109—and culminating in the Me 262. It describes how his various warplanes fought in Spain, Poland, France, Britain, the USSR, and Germany, and it provides thrilling accounts of air battles drawn from combat reports and interviews with veterans.

And finally, this biography gives “insight into the life of a man who played a role in the Nazi war machine, but is not defined by it” (Scale Aviation Modeller International). Aspects of Messerschmitt’s life never before made public are revealed, including his love affair with the beautiful Baroness Lilly Michel-Rolino, a rich aristocrat who left her husband to live with Willy.

Author James Harvey “uses his 40 years of flying experience and experience of aviation to tell the fascinating story of Messerschmitt and how, given the right conditions, Messerschmitt and other German aircraft designers could have changed the course of WWII” (Military Scale).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612000237
Publisher: Casemate Publishers (Ignition)
Publication date: 01/10/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 425
Sales rank: 743,527
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

James Neal Harvey has been a pilot for more than 40 years and has owned a dozen aircraft (including a De Havilland Tiger Moth built for the RAF, a Stinson V-77 that flew in the Royal Navy, and a Messerschmitt Bf-108 that served in the Luftwaffe). Author of six previous books, his grasp of aero-dynamics informs the narrative, as he examines how Messerschmitt might well have changed the course of the Second World War.
James Neal Harvey spent fifteen years in the advertising business before selling his company and devoting himself to writing. He made his hardcover debut in 1990 with By Reason of Insanity, which introduced NYPD detective Ben Tolliver.

Harvey followed Tolliver through four more novels, including Painted Ladies, Mental Case, and the concluding thriller, Dead Game. In 2011, Harvey published the nonfiction Sharks of the Air, a detailed history of the development of the first jet fighter, and in 2014, he returned to thrillers with The Big Hit, a mystery about an assassin. 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Part I: Taking Flight
Part II: Birth Of The Jet Age
Part III: A Crucial Mistake
Part IV: Reaping The Whirlwind
Part V: The Stormbird Goes To War
Part VI: Armageddon

Epilogue
Acknowledgements
Source Notes
Bibliography
Index

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