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There are many myths surrounding the development of the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter. Its unparalleled performance is beyond doubt; easily able to outpace its opponents and possessing the firepower to shred them in seconds. Yet immediately after the Second World War, rumours abounded that official indifference, technical shortcomings and interference from the Führer himself had crippled the Me 262's progress and delayed its appearance on the front line until it was far too late.
Begun as a series of design concepts during 1938, the fighter would not enter mass production until the spring of 1944. Even then it failed to make any notable impact until the closing weeks of the war, when Me 262s began destroying USAAF bombers at an alarming rate. Exactly what happened to cause this apparently late start and who was responsible has until now been largely a matter of conjecture.
Grounded in research involving thousands of wartime documents spread across archival collections in three countries, Messerschmitt Me 262 Development & Politics finally sweeps aside the myths and provides a clear understanding of the real history. Sharp examines the aircraft's technical development in unparalleled detail as well as analysing the ongoing discussions surrounding the Me 262 at the highest levels within the Messerschmitt company, the German Air Ministry and Adolf Hitler's inner circle.
Secret Projects of the Luftwaffe Close Up offers an unparalleled and authoritative look at the most unusual and important 'secret projects' aircraft designed and developed in Germany during the Second World War. Detailed development histories show exactly why these designs were created and how they related to the successes and failures of Germany's wartime aircraft manufacturing programme. Each volume uses the latest archival research and features rare photographs and drawings alongside new artwork.
About the author: Dan Sharp
Dan Sharp studied history at the University of Liverpool before beginning a career in journalism. Having spent several years as the news editor of a regional daily newspaper, he switched to motorcycle magazines. His previously published works on aviation have covered subjects ranging from German Second World War projects to Concorde. He lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.