- Nigel Holden.
- ARRSE Rating
- 4 Mushroom Heads
It turns out that Gerhart Fieselers story is actually very interesting indeed. I am not sure that I would have liked him if I met him but dull he is not. I quickly began to understand the author Nigel Holdens interest in him. Those of you that read my reviews will probably notice that I might overuse the phrase “social history”. Whilst I am aware of this, I cannot omit it from this review.
Fieselers life follows the course of Germany, and German aviation from its birth to its technica escalation via the mediums of the First World War, the humiliation of the Weimar Republic, to the rise of National Socialism, to the Second World War, and the ashes of post war Germany and the inevitable recriminations.
The man himself from printer, to First World War fighter ace, to World Acrobatic champion, and on to become a key industrialist in the Nazi war machine. The latter part is interesting because the author does not let his obvious fascination with his man cloud his objectivity on the matter of Fieselers involvement with the Nazi Party. Fieseler himself was put on trial following Germany’s defeat and to a large degree tried to distance himself as much as possible from the party and its machinations. As a man who ran a factory manufacturing war planes using thousands of foreign slaves, the author points to the obvious discrepancies between Fieselers own version of history and the most likely reality.
I found the authors style easy to read and the subject a surprisingly interesting man. The only real flaw preventing a four and a half mushroom score lies with the proof reader. One or two slips I can understand but missing whole words or using incorrect ones for the context happened often enough for it to detract from the book.