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The Fighting Me 109 - Uwe Feist

Arms & Armour, 1988, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Tables; Illustrated endpapers and blanks;

From the cover: “At 1020 hours Marseille took off again to escort Stukas on a mission over the British lines. This time, he took only one flight of Bf 109s with him. On the way to the rendezvous he spotted two British bomber formations flying west toward German lines. Looking up and behind the British bombers he could see their fighter escort. By this time the British fighters had spotted the Stukas Marseille was about to rendezvous with, and the first Tomahawks began to roll over and dive on the unsuspecting Ju 87s.

Marseille’s flight met the British halfway down in their dive. Spotting the oncoming Germans, the P-40s went into a defensive ‘Lufbery circle’ — any aircraft caught within this circle was normally dead game. But Marseille charged right in and shot down a P-40 from 150 feet before the British could react. Obviously the British pilots were stunned by the audacity of the German, but before they could break away and escape a second P-40 was absorbing a burst from Marseille’s guns. These two kills came at 1055 and at 1056 hours. At the altitude at which they were flying, the P-40 was at a distinct speed disadvantage to the Bf 109F, and within two minutes Marseille had closed on a fleeing Tomahawk to within 200 feet. One short burst and the Curtiss fighter went into a glide with white smoke pouring out of its radiator.

It was 1058. Five Tomahawks were now in front of Marseille, flying in two formations of two aircraft apiece with the fifth one between them for protection. In shallow dives to gain speed on the fast-closing Messerschmitts, the British headed north toward the coast of the Mediterranean. At 1101 the tail-end machine in the British formation exploded in mid-air from the impact of Marseille’s cannon shells. Passing under the flaming debris, Marseille swept up behind another P-40 and fired. The plane nosed over and fell. Before Marseille could do anything about the other three P-40s, another British formation was sighted flying below the Germans. Marseille seized the opportunity, dived from out of the sun and shot the tail section off the unsuspecting enemy. This last kill was at 1105 hours…

Only one German pilot (Günter Rail) would better this score during the course of the war. During the remainder of September 1942 Marseille was able to account for 44 more British aircraft. Then, on 30 September while returning from a patrol, Marseille’s Bf 109, ‘Yellow 14’, began to smoke from the engine. The smoke began to fill the canopy, blinding Marseille. He rolled his aircraft over on to its back and jettisoned the canopy, hoping thereby to clear the smoke — but it did no good. At this point he decided to leave the aircraft. Jumping out of an aeroplane is hard enough, but Marseille’s aircraft was inverted, it had begun to go into a shallow dive, and it was travelling at nearly 400 miles per hour. Marseille worked himself out of the cockpit and dropped into the rushing air — only to be struck by the vertical stabilizer of his stricken fighter. His body fell to the earth, his parachute unopened. He had died at the age of 22 on his 388th combat mission. He had shot down 158 British aircraft, a feat no other German fighter pilot would equal — and he had been killed by his own aircraft, a Bf 109F

The Messerschmidt Bf 109 and the men who flew it were at the forefront of air action in World War Two. In this pictorial record of its design, construction, testing and deployment, Uwe Feist brings together a remarkable collection of photographs; taken in conjunction with the informed text, descriptive captions and superb colour artwork, they provide an unparalleled insight into this famed fighter.

It is particularly pertinent that this volume should be published at a time when the fiftieth anniversary of the awesome battle cause many to seek further information on the men and machines involved.”

Size: 10" x 7½". Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 160 pages.

This one has already found a new owner.