The world's first jet fighter planes rip and tear through the last days of the Third Reich and change the lives of Axis and Allied flyers--in this first novel by a pilot who was there. Before WW II ended, Germany's Messerschmitt corporation had begun to turn out the Me-262, a jet-powered airplane that outflew anything the Allies had in the air. The highly advanced plane could have seriously affected the duration and outcome of the war if Hiller had not again proven himself the country's worst enemy by misusing the plane and its pilots. Denny's story gives the plane a second chance, setting up a final showdown between the superfast fighters and a huge fleet of slow but tough American bombers. Although the men are unaware of it, both sides of the battle are led by descendants of Baron von Moltke, the German military genius. Aging playboy Mitch Robinson, the American von Moltke, is a wealthy Pennsylvanian flying with copilot "Barney" Google, a California orphan steeped in oriental mysticism. On the Luftwaffe side, Karl von Moltke is much decorated, uxorious, self-effacing, and fatally dutiful. As Hitler becomes madder and madder, the Allies step up their murderous bombing waves and the Germans get better and better at flying the jets and shooting down the bombers--until the B-17s make the jets' air base their target and the von Moltkes have to shoot it out. The flying scenes are outstanding; the social scenes are not.