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Johannes "Macky" Steinhoff

Article about: After reading the excellent ' A Higher Call' I became interested in Johannes "Macky" Steinhoff who was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace of World War II, and later a senior West Germa

  1. #1

    Default Johannes "Macky" Steinhoff

    After reading the excellent ' A Higher Call' I became interested in Johannes "Macky" Steinhoff who
    was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace of World War II, and later a senior West German Air Force officer and military commander of NATO. He played a significant role in rebuilding the post war Luftwaffe, eventually serving as chief of staff from 1966 – 1970 and then as chairman of NATO's Military Committee from 1971 – 1974. In retirement, Steinhoff became a widely read author of books on German military aviation during the war and the experiences of the German people at that time.

    Steinhoff was one of very few Luftwaffe pilots who survived to fly operationally through the whole of the war period 1939–45. He was also one of the highest-scoring pilots with 176 victories, and one of the first to fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter in combat as a member of the famous aces squadron Jagdverband 44 led by Adolf Galland. Steinhoff was decorated with both the Oak Leaves and Swords to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He played a role in the so-called Fighter Pilots Conspiracy when several senior air force officers confronted Hermann Göring late in the war.

    On 18 April 1945, Steinhoff's Me-262 suffered a tyre blow-out and crashed on take-off from Munchen-Riem airfield. Steinhoff suffered severe burns (spending two years in hospital) which left him visibly scarred despite years of reconstructive surgery. His eyelids were rebuilt by a British surgeon after the war. This is graphically detailed in the book 'A Higher Call'

    His wartime record was 176 aircraft claimed destroyed, of which 152 were on the Eastern front, 12 on the Western front and 12 in the Mediterranean. He also flew 993 operational sorties. During his career as a fighter pilot, Steinhoff was shot down 12 times, but had to bail out only once. Explaining his preference to remain with his damaged aircraft, Steinhoff admitted: "I only bailed out once. I never trusted the parachutes. I always landed my damaged planes, hoping not to get bounced on the way down when I lost power".

    I have just come acros this book written by him and was wondering if anyone had read it?

    Nick
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    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  2. #2

    Thumbs up

    Yes, I've read it...and also his other book, 'The Straits Of Messina' which deals with his career in the Mediterranean Theatre. Both are classic Luftwaffe memoirs. He also features heavily in the growing number of books about JV44, such as those by Robert Forsyth.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Martin! Plenty of reading ahead then

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  4. #4

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    I've not read it yet but it looks interesting, i'll be keeping an eye open for it!..
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #5

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    read his other book .

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