A former colonel and much-decorated Luftwaffe pilot, veteran of nearly six years of serial warfare over Germany, Russia and the Black Sea, presents what is perhaps a biased, but certainly an intelligent and well-written account of his service. He covers both the Luftwaffe history--growth, development of key aircraft- and his own experiences. All are made fascinating. And the author is not only a soldier of the air, he is a civilized man. Among the hard, sometimes brutal accounts of fighting (he sank a British cruiser off Narvik) are the recollections of a trip across Siberia to Japan in 1940, the look of the Crimea in 1942, the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic playing Wagner and Beethoven among the burning ruins of that city as it was about to fall into Russian hands. Much technical data is made readable, much philosophical reflection too. Although readers may often disagree with many of the book's views, they cannot escape its skilled presentation of the history of a doomed air-force, and the men who flew in it.