The JG 26 War Diary, Volume II, 1943-1945

Donald Caldwell


"....should be required reading for any serious student of the air war over Europe in World War II."
- James S. Corum, Air Power History

This book has just been reprinted as a softback by Stackpole Books. The opportunity has been taken to rescan all photos and add newly located victory claims.


Selected Reviews:


“With this book… Donald Caldwell has added another superbmake this book one of the best illustrated of the World War II unit histories.” — James S. Corum, Air Power History

“Extensively researched, well-written and well-illustrated, this volume of the history of the celebrated Luftwaffe fighter unit covers the period during which it opposed American 8th and 9th Air Force units. Much can be learned from the day-by-day summaries and narratives covering the combats. The reader will be aware of the early triumphs of Fw 190s and Bf 109s flown by experienced pilots and note the names of those whose scores grew week by week in early operations in 1943…
         “By the fall of 1944 most concentrated attempts at interception of the bombers were made by ‘gaggle’ formations of poorly-trained new youngsters led by one old veteran who instructed them to do their best to ignore the American Mustangs. More times than not, this tactic led to horrific losses to the Germans to the point where some of their pilots bailed out before being attacked.
         “For those who flew in or have a great interest in the air war in northern Europe, this diary is a must. Caldwell has done a superb job of relating the history of JG 26 in a highly interesting manner…” — Bill Hess,
Bulletin of the American Fighter Aces Association

“In [this book] Donald Caldwell concludes his amazingly detailed saga of Jagdgeschwader 26, one of the world’s most famous fighter units, with a brilliant account of its operations during the last two years of World War II. In this period, the unit went from nearly peak strength to an overwhelmed force, hounded by Allied fighters and bombers…
         “Caldwell is to be congratulated on the manner in which he has combined the fruits of his long research in archives with detailed interviews with veterans of JG 26. Furthermore, and this is an important point, his writing is unique in that he is able to insert in sort, succinct sentences and phrases additional material explaining events that might otherwise escape the reader. His knowledge of the subject is great, and he is able to weave into that fabric of knowledge highlights on technology, personalities and political events that put everything in context….
         “…This is a top-notch book, one of the best of the war diary type, and that says a lot, for it is a field in which only the experts compete.” — Walter J. Boyne,
Aviation History

“We’re pleased to report that the second volume of The JG 26 War Diary has now arrived, and it’s even better than the first.
         “Caldwell charts [the] gradual decline of the Luftwaffe fighter force in relentless, information-intensive, day-by-day entries covering the activities of JG 26 and its neighbors… All this information is wrapped inside of Caldwell’s careful scene-setting so that each sortie and each day is presented within the context of the air campaign and the war as a whole. The book is liberally illustrated with, but not overwhelmed by, photographs of aircraft and pilots. The appendices are especially useful, including, for example, a forty-page compilation of all the JG 26 victory claims… and twenty pages of casualty reports, from 1939 through 1945.
         “All in all, an excellent book and one certain to appeal equally to those who collect unit histories, those whose main interest is hard data, and those who enjoy reading about the exploits of individual fighter pilots. The
JG 26 War Diary certainly deserves consideration as one of the best new books of the year.” — Bill Stone,

Buy the hardback from the American distributor or English publisher.

Buy the softback from its publisher.

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