"The Star of Africa - The Story of Hans Marseille" by Heaton Lewis

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    "The Star of Africa - The Story of Hans Marseille"
    by Heaton Lewis
    Zenith Press - 2012
    ISBN: 978-0-7603-4393-7

    Star.jpg

    I now have a new favorite WW2 ace (sorry Erich Hartmann!) Not only was Marseille an extraordinary fighter pilot, but he was his own man and did things his way, regardless of what others thought. Several cases in point:

    1 - During one of Galland's inspection tours of the North African units, Marseille hung a couple of signs on the latrine: (page 57)
    "Reserved for the General of the Fighters" and
    "General of the Fighters was here"

    2 - During a luncheon after having received the Oaks Leaves and Swords to his Knight's Cross (the 12th soldier to have done that) when Goring asked him: "So, you have what, over a hundred conquests?" he asked him if he meant aircraft of women. (page 122). During that same luncheon after noticing Goring was wearing nail polish he asked an SS Officer sitting next to him: "Is there something about him that we should know?" (page 123) Hitler rolled his eyes.

    3 - After having received several decorations from Mussolini, he commented to Count Gian Galeazzo Ciano (who happened to be Mussolini’s son-in-law) “That man really thinks a lot of himself doesn’t he?” (page 99)

    And the best:
    4 – During one of the parties with the Nazi elite (during a public tour) hosted by Willi Messerschmitt it was made known that Marseille was very musically gifted and was prodded into giving a piano recital. In front of an audience of about 30 people (including Hitler, Goring, Himmler, Axmann, and Bormann) he started playing Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and several others for an hour. He then cracked a smile, and proceeded to play Jazz. The same Jazz that was banned by the Reich. Hitler stated the concert was over and left with most of the guests. However Magda Gobbels found it very funny. (page 127).

    I could easily go on with a number of other stories. I knew he was a tad on the wild side, I just did not realize to what extent it was to.

    This book was released about a week ago and is 215 pages long divided into 10 Chapters and 8 other sections, plus 24 pictures.

    There are very few military books that have made me laugh through half of it, his audacity was incredible. There were a number of typos which I felt was odd but still a very enjoyable book.

    I easily give it 9.5 x 20mm rounds!
     
  2. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    I'll have to pick this one up. Thanks.
     
  3. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    I read this book this week...thoroughly entertaining. I can't believe he strafed his CO's command tent after being grounded...intentionally missing, of course. Marsielle certainly did not hold his tongue when it came to his thoughts about how the war woumd end up, either.

    Highly recommended.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Bit late seeing this, but thanks for the review David, and extra comments PC. Think I'll look out for this one.
    A quick question David - does the book cover much of his earlier career, for example, in the BoB?
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    PC, I was amazed myself about that! :lol:

    Terry, not a lot of detail by any means, in fact it's talked about mainly within the first 26 pages.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    OK, thanks David. Were you aware that the Bf109E, flying in Canada (the one PB Foot volunteers with) was once flown by Marseilles? I believe it's also the same aircraft shown in a well-known BoB photo, belly landed on a French beach.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, I had no idea!
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Correct. An if you have a few million sitting around, you can buy it.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Darn - I haven't quite got enough storage space for it .....
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Man, would that not be something incredible to own..............
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    D. Pride photo.

    [​IMG]

    White 14 hung around Mojave airport for awhile. I got to sit in it once.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Joe, I am jealous!
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure but Russell may have sold it by now.
     
  14. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    This book would make an excellent movie. Who do you think should play Marsielle?
     
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