JG 51 is another of the Luftwaffe's top wartime fighter units whose story has never been told in English. The unit's history encapsulates the fortunes of the Luftwaffe's fighter arm as a whole - the heady successes of the early months, the steady attrition and the growing strength of the opposition during the mid-war years, and the final chaos and collapse of the last days. The story works on other levels too. But it is perhaps the details of the pilots who served with the unit that sets JG 51 apart. During the course of the war it numbered more Knight's Cross winners among its ranks than any other. And it is their stories - their successes, exploits and eventual fates - which brings this history to life.
Arguably the finest profile artist in the business and a well-established author on German aviation subjects, John Weal's love of German aircraft makes his work a treat for students of the subject. He has written several Aircraft of the Aces volumes, and two books on the JU 87 in the companion series Combat Aircraft. The author lives in Berkshire, UK.