Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Germany Used Our Planes Against Us

     During World War II, hundreds of American bombers and fighters were shot down over Germany and German-occupied territory. What did the Germans do with all the wrecks?
     The Berge Bataillonen under Luftwaffe control were salvage units. They were kept very busy.
Most planes were so damaged, they were good only for reusable scrap. The wrecks were trucked to a train station and on to a salvage yard. Engines, tires, fuel, and parachutes were all saved for use in German planes. A Junkers bomber was equipped with the salvaged main landing gear assemblies for B-24s.
The American stars have been replaced with the German insignia six months after Wolf Hound was captured.

     The real prizes for the Germans were the planes that suffered little or no damage. As early as December, 1942, a B-17 Flying Fortress dropped out of formation in a mission to Paris. Wolf Hound had sustained major damaged, and the pilot became disoriented in bad weather. A German fighter intercepted the bomber over the Netherlands. The bomber crew lowered their landing gear in surrender and were guided to an airfield.
     The Germans made repairs on Wolf Hound and flew it to the Experimental Center at Rechlin. German engineers studied every system on the plane for three months. Luftwaffe pilots studied it to find its weaknesses to find ways to attack it, and develop new tactics. By September, the Luftwaffe has thousands of pages of technical information to use in the design of their own bombers and to improve their air-to-air tactics.
     Some planes were captured when the crews thought they were in neutral countries―Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland. Or they landed carefully to protect seriously wounded crewmates. These planes were sent to Captured Item Depots. Unique equipment was studied.
     American crewmen reported seeing unknown B-17s. These were captured bombers used by the Germans for clandestine missions, such as dropping agents behind enemy lines or attacking B-17 formations.
The first P-47 came into German hands when the pilot, out of fuel, thought he was landing at a southern England airfield. He landed near Caen, France, and was captured. This plane was of great interest to the German pilots. It proved to be faster in dives than they expected. Again, it was used for training in tactics to use against the American P-47s.
A German officer inspects a B-17 in fairly good condition. Allied fighters destroyed it before it could be repaired.
     The Germans were also pleased to get a P-51. The pilot had made an emergency landing and managed to destroy all valuable equipment before capture. The Luftwaffe attempted to repair it, but was hampered by the lack of spare parts. Other P-51s came into their possession, and these, too, were studied to develop tactics.
     The Italians captured a P-38 Lightning that landed at one of their airfields by mistake. They studied it, then used it to attack a B-17 formation. One bomber was shot down. Allied fighters were ordered to stay clear of the formation after that, and the captured plane failed to shoot down any more. It was eventually grounded because the bad Italian fuel damaged  its engines.
     A B-24 Liberator was captured after it landed near the Swiss board. The Germans created a propaganda film about the crew “surrendering.” They then used it to shadow RAF formations.

Some planes were recaptured by the Allies at the end of the war. Others simply disappeared.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Weekly Windup: Still Time to Enter for A Flute in the Willows!

Welcome to the Weekly Windup!

There's still time to enter to win Carole Brown's novel!

  If you are a winner, please Contact Us to claim your prize.


This Week's Giveaway:

A Flute in the Willows by Stitches Author Carole Brown

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other's love...and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she's scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life...especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife's life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can't stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

 Comment on any post now through March 25th to get your name in the drawing! Winner will be announced in the March 26th issue of the Weekly Windup. Paperback giveaways are for U.S. residents only.

Coming up this week:

Tuesday, 3/20: Germany Used Our Planes Against Us by Terri Wangard
Wednesday, 3/21: Weaving Fact & Fiction with Amber Schamel
Thursday, 3/22: Soul's Prisoner, A book review by Linda Shenton Matchett
Friday, 3/23: Fun with Catherine Castle
Saturday, 3/24: TBA

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Author Interview with Courtney Hilbert

Hi again! Very excited today to introduce you to author C. E. Hilbert. Here is a little about her:

C.E. Hilbert is a Christian novelist who made her debut with The Wooing of Jane Grey. Her second novel, From Scratch released in 2016.
Her latest novel, Life on the Porcelain Edge, debuted November 2017.
Her writing career began when she had to wait a WHOLE week in between Bookmobile visits. To fill the gap, she pulled out a pen and some paper and began to jot down stories while she awaited the next round of books delivered on wheels. And a passion began.
She enjoys the opportunity to share God's love through her writing in a tangible, real and somewhat quirky way. She is convinced God has a sense of humor equal to the size of His patience level!
Outside of writing, she heads up the youth program at her church and one of her greatest passions is reaching young people on behalf of Christ. She is a sports fan (bordering on nut) and is happiest at a hockey game when her team is winning, a Spring Training baseball game soaking up the sun or at a college football game cheering on a victory.
She currently lives in a 110+ year-old fixer upper with her dog Daisy and she believes that life goes best with Jesus, a cute outfit and SportsCenter! 

What made you decide to become a writer? 

I began telling stories when I was very small, but kept my writing to myself until my job was eliminated in 2009. I took the opportunity to focus on writing while I was looking for long term employment. But I truly believe writing is a calling. Whether I ever earn enough to write full time or never earn another dime, I am compelled to write because it is the best way I can honor the gift God gave to me.

What is your favorite thing about being an author? 

 I love living in another world. I like meeting the characters, learning about their lives and seeing how the stories unfold.

I also love the delete button. With one button, a character’s bad choices can be undone. Lives can be instantly shifted in a new direction. If only “real life” was as easy.

Where did the inspiration for your latest book come from? 

I was in between two cross country meets for two of the students in my youth program. Instead of watching dozens of teens I didn’t know run for two hours I went to Barnes & Noble and was walking through the aisles. I happened to glance at the sign for the restroom and the opening line, “Tessa Tarrington’s life was in the toilet” popped into my mind. I went home after the second race and could barely type as fast as the words were flowing.

How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing? 

I believe that God inspires all things. I believe my writing is an offering to God in response to the gift He has given me. I pray before each time I write that God will be with me and that we will write the project together. It is my prayer that the stories He shares with me will be written in such a way that someone will meet Jesus through those words.

What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?  

1. God is in control. 2. Life is only worth living with God, love, laughter and excellent baked goods.

What is one of your favorite scenes in Life on the Porcelain Edge? 

 One of my favorite scenes happens in the opening chapter of Life on the Porcelain Edge. Tessa has to return to her high school alma mater as a substitute teacher. On her first day, she runs into her childhood nemesis, Ryland Jessup. The feeling of dread that washes over her at the sound of his voice gives me the biggest chuckle.

When you are stressed, maybe a deadline’s approaching too fast, what is your favorite snack food? Or so you have another way to cope?  

I actually bake when I’m stressed. I bake and then I give all (or most) of the baked goods away. When I hit a particularly rough patch of writer’s block on my current novel I made up three new cookie recipes in a weekend, took the cookies into the office and a co-worker looked at the boxes, shook his head and asked, “Writer’s block?” It is impossible to worry if you are elbow deep in butter.

If time and money were not a concern, what one skill would you like to learn?
I would love to learn how to fly a helicopter. I’ve only been on a couple flights, but each time the exhilaration of flying so freely in the air was like being a bird. Definitely tops on my bucket list.

What is your favorite thing about where you live? 

 Central Ohio has so many lovely small towns surrounding Columbus. We have the advantage of living in a place where you feel like you know everyone, and yet you have all of the cultural trappings of a large city.

What are you working on next? 

I am working on a Christian Romantic Suspense called “The Girls of Summer”. The story centers on two half-sisters who inherit their father’s company, including a minor league baseball team, upon his death. The older of the two sisters is running head first into the new living and working environment, as she tries to escape the ties her mother has created for her with the Russian Mafia.

Tessa Tarrington's life is swirling out of control. No job. No apartment. Sick Dad...And she's back in high school! Teaching at her Gibson's Run alma mater would be tolerable, except she's sharing purgatory with her mortal enemy, Ryland Jessup. But eight years post-high-school, and after tragedies she can barely understand, Ryland no longer fits her mental image of the over-sized bully he once was. In fact, much to her disgust, he's finding his way into her heart. After the sudden death of his wife, Ryland hung up his professional shoulder pads and picked up a whistle. Now he's focused on coaching the high school football team and raising his daughter. The sudden return of his childhood crush, Tessa Tarrington, has reawakened long-ago feelings. But if God's giving him a second chance to impress Tessa, the Man Upstairs has a funny way of showing it. Just when Tessa starts to lighten up, Ryland's best friend returns. Will the always-irresistible Joey Taylor stifle any hope Ryland has to ignite the dream of a relationship with Tessa?