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Osprey Elite Units 29


Jagdgeschwader 7 “Nowotny”



by Robert Forsyth




S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Elite Unit 29 - Jagdgeschwader 7 “Nowotny”
ISBN: 9781846033209
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 128 pages
Price: GBP£14.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Knowledgeable author, interesting range of photographs, enlightening firsthand accounts, easy to read narrative, competent colour profiles.
Conclusion: One of best in the Aviation Elite Units series. It provides a fascinating insight into a Unit that operated one of the most exiting aircraft in World War II.

Reviewed by
Rob Baumgartner

Osprey's JG 7 Nowotny is available online from Squadron.com




Robert Forsyth is no stranger to the history and operations of the Luftwaffe. He works full time in the aviation publishing business and has written numerous books relating to Germany’s famous jet fighter.
This is the author’s second book for Osprey.

There are nearly 120 black and white period photographs contained within the 128 pages. The subjects are of both man and machine and contain an interesting cross-section of familiar and not-so-familiar images.

The artwork is courtesy of Jim Laurier and he presents 24 competently produced profiles. A variety of different schemes are provided and this includes a page of JG 7 Unit heraldry.

Between the A5 soft card covers are six chapters which are divided into the following sections:

  • Evolution: First off we are introduced to Walter Nowotny and his ever reliable wingman Karl Schnörrer. A discussion on the development of the Me262 follows as well as its role with Kommando Nowotny.

  • Formation: The death of Nowotny to P-51 Mustangs essentially ended the Kommando that bore his name. The jets and their development would continue however in the form of JG7.  The pilots of this unit and their exploits are relayed to the reader here and the many firsthand accounts tell of how the new aircraft were delivered and made ready for operational service.  

  • Consolidation: This chapter explains the reorganization of the formation after Steinhoff’s brief period of command. Once again we are treated to personal narratives regarding the trials and tribulations of keeping the Me262 in the air.

  • Experimentation: A proposal to use aircraft in an “air to air” bombing role is described in this fascinating section. The idea was to break up the B-17 formations and thus weaken their combined defensive fire. Traditionally armed Me 262s could then move in and shoot down the bombers under more favourable conditions.

  • Attrition: The narrative continues as the war enters March 1945. There are mounting losses which are now being acutely felt by the Jagdgeschwader. This chapter also reveals the remarkable story of the R4M rocket, a wing mounted weapon that had a devastating effect when fired into a group of “Viermots”.

  • Destruction: The final weeks of the war are told in this section and through the personnel involved we become acutely aware of the hopelessness that they felt. The demise of JG7 and the difficulty of their final missions are graphically brought home to the reader in this final installment.




The revolutionary Messerschmitt 262 has always intrigued Luftwaffe fans.

Its introduction was not an easy one and this book was written to document how Jagdgeschwader 7 handled its operational service. It does so with a well written narrative and by providing accounts from those that were there.

Anyone vaguely interested in the Luftwaffe and its aircraft will find this book hard to put down.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

Review Copyright © 2008 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 11 April, 2009
Last updated 11 April, 2009

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