The Experimental Units of Hitler's Condor Legion

German Aircraft In Action During the Spanish Civil War

Rafael A. Permuy Lpez, Lucas Molina Franco

Date Published :
June 2017
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Series :
Air War Archive
Illustration :
Highly illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473878914
Pages : 104
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


At the start of the Spanish Civil War the nationalists sought help for their cause from Germany, following which volunteers from the German Air Force and Army formed what was called the Condor Legion.

This force made a significant contribution to General Franco’s eventual victory and this included two experimental air units, known as VJ/88 and VB/88. The former’s mission was to combat test the new monoplane fighters; the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Heinkel He 112. The latter group’s task was to test the new twin-engine, retractable undercarriage bombers; the Heinkel He 111, the fast Dornier Do 17 and the Junkers Ju 86.

The Heinkels made their combat debut on 9 March 1937, when they attacked Republican held airfields in support of the Battle of Guadalajara. The Heinkel proved superior to the two other German medium bombers, being both faster and carrying a heavier bomb load.

Likewise, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was quickly found to be the better of the two fighters.

This book aims to examine the history of the men and machines that served in those units.

‘The Führer thought the matter over. I urged him to give support [to Franco] under all circumstances, firstly, in order to prevent the further spread of communism in that theater and, secondly, to test my young Luftwaffe at this opportunity in this or that technical respect.’
Herman Göring at the Nuremberg War Trials.

About The Author

Rafael A. Permuy Lpez was born in Ferrol in 1949 and is a reserve Artillery Major. He has a masters degree in Social Communication and a graduate degree in Labour Relations. He has worked as a journalist and column writer for various media in Galicia and for a number of military journals.

Lucas Molina Franco was born in Ferrol in 1965. He has a graduate degree in Economics and Business Science and a doctorate in Contemporary History. He has worked as a technical officer in the Regional Government of Castile and Leon while teaching as a university lecturer in Macroeconomics and Business Economics. He is currently editor of ARES, a journal of military history and current military affairs.


"In the centre section there are some excellent full colour profiles which illustrate the camouflage and markings that will be a great source of inspiration for modellers. Added to these is one page of colour photos showing a preserved Condor Legion uniform along with various badges and insignia. There are some other aircraft pictured throughout the book, but the coverage of the main types mentioned above is certainly the best I have ever seen, especially of the He 112. A good value paperback book, presented in a similar style to the Pen and Sword Images of War series"

- Military Model Scene

“It is pretty obvious that the authors did a lot of primary research with this one and I very much enjoyed reading this one. It is pretty image intensive, which is a boon for modelers… I very much enjoyed reading this one and as such, have no problem recommending it to you.”

- Modeling Madness

I very much enjoyed reading this one and as such, have no problem recommending it to you.

- Modeling Madness

More from this publisher