Me 262: Hitler’s Jet Plane


Originally published in German in the 1970s, this highly readable book on arguably the most successful jet fighter of World War Two makes a welcome return having being reprinted in English. The author, himself a remarkable wartime pilot having been part of the development team for the Me 163 Komet rocket interceptor, was intimately involved in the development and deployment of the Luftwaffe’s ‘wonder planes’.

On his escape from Soviet captivity, he returned to Berlin and re-established contact with many of his former rocket and jet fighter colleagues, the list of which is a veritable who’s who of the cream of the late war Luftwaffe, pilots including Adolf Galland, Hans-Eckkehard Bob, Gordon Gollob and Hannes Trautloft who all flew the Me 262. Crucially, Ziegler made extensive notes of many conversations these men would have at a time when everything would have still been fresh in the memory.

These recollections form the basis of this remarkable account, one enhanced by the author’s own experiences with the Me 163, which ensured access to those who were the driving force behind the Me 262; Willy Messerschmitt himself and the aircraft’s initial test pilot, Fritz Wendel. It is these intimate relationships with key players that make this book very, very different.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers