Fascinating, true-life stores told by the men themselves who flew for the German Luftwaffe in WWII. As an aviation enthusiast, even as a youngster during WWII, the author was drawn to the stories, reports and articles in the aviation magazines published at the time. In 1945, along with his father, also an aviation enthusiast, paid 50 cents to see a downed, captured Messerschmitt Bf 109 E touring the United States on a money-raising bond drive for the war effort. To see this real enemy fighter he had heard so much about and being able to touch it, was a monumental experience that started a quest to learn everything about these feared machines and the pilots who flew them.
Beginning in 1969, the author started corresponding with well-known Luftwaffe Experten such as Hans “Assi” Hahn, Gerhard Barkhorn and others in an attempt to discover what these former enemy fighter pilots were really like and to hear their stories. During the following years, the author and his wife Judy became acquainted with more and more veterans eventually traveling to Germany, Austria, England, France and other countries pursuing and interviewing the men who served their respective countries.
Presented here is a selection of pilots who in many cases, are not well-known but were chosen for their interesting experiences. Told in their own words, their stories are combined with 481 photographs and 72 color profiles of the aircraft they flew.
View the ever-growing list of international resellers.
Danny Case; Brian Bateman; Mark Luttinen; Tim Hortman; Fred Eichel; Mark Proulx; Fujita from Japan –
From Danny Case, Admin of several Luftwaffe and WWII aircraft pages on Facebook:
I have to tell you, after spending an hour going through it, that it is one of the greatest books EVER on the subject… The print is perfect, the uncirculated photos are absolutely amazing and the color aircraft profiles are the most accurate and beautifully depicted I’ve ever seen in print…
This book is one for the ages and has been long awaited, as well as being a work of love by Jerry and Judy over decades of research, interviews and camaraderie with the Luftwaffe Experten from across the globe….
If you have ANY interest in the untold stories, research and photographs of some of the bravest men to ever strap on a shoulder harness, this tome is DEFINITELY for you and worth ever single penny of your hard earned cash…
I highly recommend this book for the novice reader, as well as the most interested researchers around. We have been waiting for such an accurate and detailed book like this our entire lives….
Presented in the book are 14 pilots’ biographies and WWII combat stories in their own words about their fighter experiences in the Luftwaffe, all based on personal interviews conducted by Jerry and Judy over the past 45 years. The photos presented, many of which have never before been published, are primarily from the pilots’ own collection along with a few other sources. Included are the following Fighter Pilots’ stories:
Hauptmann Karl Leonhard
Major Diethelm von Eichel-Streiber
Feldwebel Horst Petzschler
Oberleutnant Manfred Dieterle
Leutnant Herbert Schlüter
Leutnant Karl Albert Helm
Major Rolf -Gunther Hermichen
Oberleutnant Gerhard Thyben
Leutnant Elias Paul Kühlein
Feldwebel Hans Langer
Feldwebel Oskar Bösch
Leutnant Willi Unger
Major Wilhelm Moritz
Major Georg-Peder Eder
This is an exceptional book by one of today’s leading authorities on the Luftwaffe. The book presentation is high end with the chapters informative and yet it has that personal touch of Jerry knowing, interviewing and talking with these men over the course of his lifetime. I now have mine as well as many of his other books on the subject. Highly Recommended. Nice job Jerry and Judy!
It is an awesome book, quality and extremely well done. No ww2 enthusiast should be without it! Excellent reference as well! Worth every penny! Thank you for all the effort and work, née, blood sweat and tears I’m sure, to produce such an amazing Tome! A work of art, and your love of subject shows on every page. Again, thank you!
I got my copy of this today in the mail. I haven’t had much time to digest it yet, but a quick glance says this is another beautiful book by a superb gentleman. If you have an interest in aircraft, or WWII – pick up a copy. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Thank you for sending the final version of “Fighters of the Iron Cross” What a surprise! This is an impeccable work. The diligent documented research, the copies of the photos are superb and the quality of the paper and binding are first class. Beyond more than I expected. Everyone and anyone interested in WWII or Fighter pilots and their planes and history must have a copy. And thank you for bringing to life the memories of my Father in such a special way. This is a work of art. And special thanks to your dear Judy who backed you up on these long hours. I will be ordering a copy for Dad’s grandson named after his Grandfather and sending this message to some of Dad’s friends also. A great keepsake and again I can tell this is a labor of love.
Thanks again Jerry,
PS, Included are 2 photos of myself holding the book.
Another superb book by Jerry has been added to my reference library. If you don’t have it, you can purchase with confidence. Great biographies studied with exhaustive period photos (some in color) of the pilots and aircraft. They are accompanied with superb color profiles of their specific aircraft. Profiles by Bently and Tullis! For those interested, a deluxe edition also available with pilot signatures.
I got my copy of the book several weeks ago and WOW! What a great book it is! I am so impressed by all the research and stories involved, not to mention all the historic photos. This is truly a work of a lifetime! Jerry’s illustrations are magnificent works of art to say the least. My next-door neighbor, who is a WWII aficionado, said this is one of the finest books on warbirds he’s ever seen. Great Book!
Fujita from Japan
I received “Fighters of the Iron Cross” on July 26 safely.
It means that it took only 10 days from US to Japan including Custom clearance.
It is a quite miracle under such a wide COVID-19 spreading all over the World.
I saw the contents immediately and found that Luftwaffe Experten were introduced with their war histories based on your detailed research and some direct interviews.
Further to the above, so many photos and color profiles including some unpublished ones are included.
It is quite exciting event I have never seen in past 5 years.
Are you planning to issue the relevant decals as a part of Eaglecals? (Of course, I knew that some color profiles are already available in Eaglecals.)
If yes, I would like to buy them.
Please note, however, that we need the said Eaglecals not only for 1/32 and 1/48 scales but also for 1/72 scale.
Mike Belles –
I read the book from cover to cover and the last chapter on Eder several more times. It is truly one of the most beautiful books I have ever had the privilege to own and handle. And to think that it is also signed by the both of you makes it even that much more special. I intend to “study” the book again this Friday as I will be taking half a day off from work. Please give another big “thank you” and “congratulations” to Jerry and to each other for this masterfully published book. I will always treasure these books. Thank you and continue to take care of one another . . . you are a great “team”!!! Aloha Judy: Please let Jerry know that I could not be happier. The chapter on Eder is stunning and far exceeds any of my expectations. The photographs, accompanying text and format or presentation is far beyond anything I could have imagined and I am all the more convinced that you both were the “right” people to do justice to Georg Peter Eder. This is one of the finest tributes to his legacy that I did not think was possible. It is not only beautiful, but educational and inspirational. Thank you BOTH so very much for your commitment to excellence in preserving this all important part of aerial warfare history in WWII. Words truly fail me and I am left only with a most sincere and humble “thank you” for a job well done. It’s the book that just keeps on giving. Thank you both again ever so much!!! You are the best AND for good reason! Thank you yet again for EVERYTHING. All the best, Michael
Mike Hanxleden –
Book Collectors Corner Sometimes you get Lucky when your Hobby has Resources that are done by World leading Experts and Top Companies that produce their Publications! Eagle Editions is one company that has delivered time and time again! Now they have come out with yet again another Gem not to be missed! “Fighters of the Iron Cross”. Jerry and Judy again have produced a publication of such high quality that only a True love of History can bring forth such work! There’s so much detail and quality in this publication, that it’s not just a Bench Mark Book but also a work of Art! A beautiful Hardcover! not a cheap save money softcover that will come apart after a few years! This book will last a Lifetime of Enjoyment. The Binding is first rate and will last. Three Hundred Sixty pages packed with high quality unseen photos, and illustrated by James Bentley and Tom Tullis, makes turning each and every page a treat. The book has Biographies on fourteen Luftwaffe Aces, with many of them being lesser known or less written about! Jerry Crandall has opened his archive and shared his interviews of these Experts from his Many Years of dedicated hard work , Research, and World travels to Document this History! Thus, keeping it Alive. A true gift of Knowledge at any price to anyone with a interest of Air combat, Aircraft and Pilots of the Luftwaffe in WWII. There are Two versions of the book! One is Truley a Collectable being Autographed by the now passed on Aces in the book! and the other version is a Standard Non – signed version! Again a “Must HAVE!” book for your Library! contact Eagle Editions quickly as the signed edition maybe close to sold out? Again, a Big Thank you to Jerry and Judy for such a Great contribution to History and for sharing it to all of us interested in it! https://www.eagle-editions.com/
David Thomson –
A colleague delivered the signed copy(mine, and not Chris’)last week. I glanced through swiftly, and took delight in the content, layout and design. No one has truly presented the subject from a pilot’s perspective. The individual accounts captivate one. The labour comes from a lifetime of devotion. Jerry, and yourself, ought to be immensely proud of this achievement. Sales ought to be brisk. Congratulations!
Thanks again for the thoughtfulness. Be well, in these strange times.
Judy Crandall –
Review by Marcus Nichols, editor of Tamiya Magazine. Marcus told us “It’s truly impressive, it was clearly a huge amount of work and it shows – deeply impressive. The book is absolutely superb.”