Ever since I published the German version of “Mosquitos über Berlin”, the story of the Messerschmitt Me 262 Night Fighters, Kurt Welter and 10./NJG 11, I was asked if there would be an English version.
And my initial answer was “Hopefully very soon!”. For a variety of reasons, this did not work out – there is the problem of finding a publisher willing to have almost 600 pages translated to English, taking the risk of an unknown market, the needs of good distribution channels to make shipping affordable no matter if a copy is ordered in Australia, North America, or the UK.
When it became obvious that an English version would not be available anywhere in the near future, and after many discussions with a variety of people, it became evident that I needed an “alternative approach”.
The key focus of most people I spoke with was on the history of Kurt Welter as a person and then “Kommando Welter” and the story of 10./NJG 11 (which formed from “Kommando Welter”).
To a lesser extent, an interest was expressed in a discussion of Kurt Welters claims and potential victories – although the topic is heatedly discussed, most people I spoke with asked for a fair listing of the potential claims and possible matches to allied losses. It was not so much about “Did he overclaim and lie?” or “How many victories did he really get?”.
Last but not least, I wanted to add a chapter on the aircraft flown by Kurt Welter and his men and – most importantly – I wanted to add a chapter on the people – the men that flew with Kurt Welter which are mostly forgotten in the story of the Messerschmitt Me 262 Night Fighters. Finally, I wanted a book on the lower end of the price range to make it affordable to anyone and at the same time produce a book that can be easier shipped than the original version.
The result is a 113-page strong book I called “The Jet Night Fighters”. It is compiled from the much larger (but also much more expensive) “Mosquitos über Berlin”. It adds new insights that I gained after the original book was published but it leaves out most of the Mosquito operations that are not directly related to Kurt Welter and his unit (e.g. the original book covers every single night of Mosquito operations, this one only those nights that the Mosquitos actually either “met” with the Luftwaffe or where suspected claims are discussed. Many of the photos that went into the original also went into this one – but not all.
So here it is – the “little brother”, an English version that tells the history of the only night fighter unit of World War 2 that operationally deployed Messerschmitt Me 262 into nocturnal combat. 113 pages, 57 images, a load of information.
If you decide to grab a copy, please consider getting back to me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I would appreciate an honest review on Amazon if you want to spare a few minutes…
(Paperback, 113 pages, 57 b&w photos. ASIN: 1671986083)
On a professional level, I must also make a comment on the production and the publishing process of the book: I have opted to publish via Amazon, purely because it saves everyone the problems with international shipment and the cost associated with it.
With that decision comes the fact that Amazon only does paperbacks as self-published books – no hardcover available, not even for books with more pages. Secondly, that means that not going through an established publisher means no professional editor. The cost for an editor are exceeding the potential sales by far – therefore, I have made every attempt possible to a) review my own writing with as much accuracy as possible and as many tools as possible to be able to catch most of the errors, b) I had help from native English-speakers that helped me decide if from a language perspective this was good enough (not perfect but good enough) to publish, and c) I deliberately decided to keep the cost low because I did not have additional expenses (see above: editor, hardcover, etc.).
I hope, you all do enjoy what I put together, and I am happy to receive and constructive feedback you might have.