The Axis Air Forces

Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe

by Frank Joseph


The experiences of those who didn’t win are often glossed over in sports and in war. During World War II, the air forces and volunteers of 23 different nations fought alongside German aviators, from Slovakia's parallel invasion of Poland during the first hour of that conflict, to Italian pilots battling Soviet bombers over Berlin days after Hitler's death.

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Cover image for The Axis Air Forces

November 2011


Pages 312
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Military History/Armed Forces
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    Hardcover: £50.00/54,00€/A$83.00

This comprehensive volume tells the rarely recounted stories of the numerous foreign air forces that supported the German Luftwaffe as part of the Axis' quest to dominate the European and Pacific theaters—a highly compelling and often overlooked chapter of World War II history.

The Axis Air Forces: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe presents an untold history of that global conflict's little-known combatants, who nonetheless contributed significantly to the war’s outcome. While most other books only attempt to address this subject in passing, author Frank Joseph provides not only an extremely comprehensive account of the “unsung heroes” of the Axis fliers, but also describes the efforts of Axis air forces such as those of the Iraqi, Manchurian, Thai or Chinese—specific groups of wartime aviators that have never been discussed before at length.

This book examines the distinct but allied Axis air forces of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. An extensive introduction provides coverage of Luftwaffe volunteers from Greece, Lithuania, Holland, Denmark, Norway and even the United States. Detailed descriptions of the personnel themselves and the aircraft they operated are portrayed against the broader scope of combat missions, field operations, and military campaigns, supplying invaluable historical perspective on the importance of their sorties.


  • Photographs of the aircraft described in the text
  • A comprehensive bibliography lists source materials


  • Describes each of the foreign air forces that served with the German Luftwaffe in World War II
  • Provides details of the great variety of aircraft—many of them obscure and otherwise forgotten—operated by Axis aircrews
  • Examines the underlying causes for the ultimate defeat of all the Axis air forces
  • Documents the neglected contributions Axis air force crews made to military operations from the Atlantic to Pacific theaters
  • Written for a general audience, yet also thoroughly covers the technical specifications of the aircraft—a point of major interest to readers devoted to aviation or interested in World War II
Author Info

Frank Joseph is professor of world archaeology with Japan's Savant Institute, and recipient of the Midwest Epigraphic Society's Victor Moseley Award. His published works include more than 20 books in as many foreign editions, such as Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45.

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