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* Details the life and times of one of the world's greatest pilots The Sky My Kingdom is the fascinating autobiography of the famous World War test pilot - Hanna Reitsch (March 29, 1912 - August 24, 1979). As the war progressed, Reitsch was invited to fly many of Germany's latest (and increasingly desperate) designs, including the rocket-propelled Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. After crashing on her fifth Me 163 flight, she was badly injured but insisted on writing her report before falling unconscious and spending five months in hospital. Soon she became Adolf Hitler's favorite pilot and became one of only two women awarded the Iron Cross First Class during World War II, along with the only woman awarded the Luftwaffe Combined Pilot and Observer Badge with Diamonds. She survived many accidents and was badly injured several times. In the last days of the war Reitsch was asked to fly her companion, Colonel-General Robert Ritter von Greim, into Berlin to meet with Hitler. The city was already surrounded by Red Army troops when they arrived on the 27th April, landing on a city street, and travelled to the Fuhrerbunker. The aircraft she used was the justly famous Fieseler Storch already well-known for the exploit that rescued Mussolini, only adding to the legend of both Reitsch and that aircraft. She is said to have overheard Hitler laying out plans for Nazi commanders to join together in mass suicide when it was obvious that the war was over. She also hoped to fly out propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels' six children, who had been staying in the bunker since April 22 with their parents, but neither Joseph nor Magda Goebbels would allow it. She escaped Berlin on 29th April by flying out through heavy Russian anti-aircraft fire. She was a devoted and idealistic Nazi, who adored Adolf Hitler and refused to believe the reports of concentration camps and torture. Not until much later would she say that she had been"disgusted" by what she witnessed in the Third Reich. She was held for 18 months by the American military after the war, interrogated and subsequently released. This is the story of her incredible journey.
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Forget the politics; this is an interesting account and well worth reading, particularly the chapters on test-flying the piloted V1 and Messerschmitt Me 163. --Aeroplane, July 2009
These books are simply splendid with many gems amongst the colour artwork to tempt us modellers. Thoroughly recommended. --Military in Scale
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