Phoenix: A Complete History of the Luftwaffe 1918-1945

Volume 1 - The Phoenix is Reborn 1918-1934

Richard Meredith

Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
115 b/w photos, 5 maps, 3 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910294505
Pages : 712
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Based on forty years of detailed research, the Phoenix Project is a unique history of the wartime German Luftwaffe. Going far beyond a simple description of famous air battles and operations the overall work draws extensively on original documents, secondary sources and contemporary accounts to place the Luftwaffe within its proper historical context, gather together its many disparate components and provide a hitherto unpublished balance to its diverse activities.

In addition to the lead role of the combat air forces the history provides a proper emphasis to the largely unsung work of the Anti-Aircraft Artillery, Luftwaffe ground forces, Signals Service and the Medical Services. It also examines in detail the vital work of the huge training organization and the organization and role of a continent-wide ground organization.

All theaters are covered thus placing a much needed emphasis on the Luftwaffe’s momentous struggle in the East, a theater of operations that was always more urgent and more vital to the Wehrmacht. Throughout this work Luftwaffe activities are set within the wider role of overall military operations and Luftwaffe activity is therefore placed back within its proper context in the overall European conflict.
Volume 1: The Phoenix Reborn covers a particularly neglected area, specifically the postwar Reichswehr and the years of secrecy leading up to the unveiling of the Luftwaffe in 1935. Much of the key developmental work was completed at this time and the first volume examines the evolution of the uniquely German concept of operativer Luftkrieg, the work of the clandestine air staff and the key roles played by the German Transport Ministry and the Flight Center Lipetsk in the technical development of military aircraft and the training of military aviators. It shows how Goring and Hitler essentially inherited an air arm in waiting – a product of covert military professional endeavor over a period of fifteen years.

The structure of the Phoenix Project is totally unique. Five major themes run throughout the history’s constituent volumes – (A) Strategy and Command, (B) Ministerial Activity, (C) Technology and Production, (D) Infrastructure and Training, and (E) Operations. These divisions enable the reader to pursue particular areas of interest throughout the overall work or to look at the interrelationships between the various aspects of Luftwaffe activity.

About The Author

As a professional historical geographer with an all pervading interest in all things aeronautical, Richard Meredith brings a unique insight into the past realities of the wartime German Luftwaffe. Not only has he read about these aircraft and aviators, he


"I would not be exaggerating in saying that this is the most comprehensive piece of work ever produced about the Luftwaffe which has taken the author over 40 years to produce...A very highly recommended serious piece of work."

- Military Modelling

“The value of this first volume is in providing the reader with a diligent and empathetic “onestop shop” overview of the period covered, based on the prime existing literature

- Aviation Historian

“This is only Volume I of three and I eagerly look forward to reading the others in the series. I can easily recommend this book to anyone interested in the early and pre-history of the Luftwaffe.”

- A Wargamers Needful Things

“This book should provide readers with a complete understanding of the early years of the Luftwaffe while its existence was still in fact a secret to many. You can see where the 40 years of research have gone to provide such an in depth look at this period...Highly Recommended.”

- Britmodeller, March 2018

More from this publisher