Adolf's British Holiday Snaps

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Adolf's British Holiday Snaps

Luftwaffe Aerial Reconnaissance Photographs of England, Scotland and Wales

Author:Nigel Clarke
Dimensions:7" x 10"
Publisher:Fonthill Media
Item No. 9781781551059

In the first years of the Second World War, and the years leading up to it, Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to undertake a secret aerial reconnaissance of the United Kingdom (and all of Europe) in preparation for an eventual invasion. After the collapse of the Third Reich, the race to salvage the secrets of Hitler's huge intelligence gathering operation began. The Luftwaffe archive was of extreme value both to the West and the Soviet Union, and competing Soviet and Allied intelligence operatives searched desperately in the debris of the Third Reich for the 'Zentral Archiv Der Fliegerfilm', the Luftwaffe aerial library. In June 1945, a British intelligence unit stumbled upon 16 tons of reconnaissance pictures in a barn at Bad Reichenhall, deep in the forests of Bavaria. The entire archive was sent back to Britain where it was recorded, sorted, classified as top secret and locked away in a secure vault. There were no announcements and very few people were aware of this major discovery. However, there were also many secret documents and photographs that had been discovered by ordinary Allied soldiers in Germany, who collected them out of interest and took them home as souvenirs. Over many years, Nigel Clarke has acquired from the private collections of ex-soldiers over 1,000 aerial pictures of the UK taken by the Luftwaffe. These previously unpublished pictures form a unique and captivating portrait of the English landscape - rural, coastal and urban - in the late 1930s and early 1940s, from the fascinating perspective of our would be invaders.