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A History of the "Pik As" GeschwaderVolume 3: January 1944 - May 1945
Dimensions:9" x 12"
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Jagdgeschwader 53 _ or as it was better known, the "Pik As" (Ace of Spades) Geschwader _ was one of the oldest German fighter units of World War II with its origins going back to the year 1937. This second volume, of a three volume set, covers from May 1942 to January 1944. As with the first volume, this book also appears for the first time in English, and contains over 100 additional photos not published in the original German language edition. The book contains over 450 photographs, revised text and maps, and aircraft line drawings, as well as updated aerial victory and loss listings. This second part of the narrative begins in May 1942 when after the termination of the German air offensive against the British island fortress Malta the "Pik As" Geschwader was split up with its three Gruppen scattered over three different theatres of operation. I./JG 53 was moved to the eastern front, where it was to take part in the German summer offensive in the southern sector aimed at Stalingrad and the Caucauses. Meanwhile III./JG 53 saw service in North Africa where it was to support Rommel's planned advance on Cairo. Stab and II./JG 53, which were left behind on Sicily after the end of the "Malta Blitz" in May had since seen continuous service over Malta and the central Mediterranean in the vain effort of the Axis Air Forces to hold down the British air and naval forces and to prevent them from interfering with the Axis supply shipping to and from North Africa. The second half of 1943 saw German forces retreating north through Italy. During these months JG 53 saw continuous action over southern Italy with losses mounting alarmingly to an unprecedented level and at the same time with little success in spite of the Geschwader's unimpaired stubbornness. This volume ends in the winter of 1943/44. Volume 3 will cover from January 1944 to the end of the war.