This special book deals with the history of the airfield Großenhain in Saxonia near the City of Dresden, Germany. It comes along in form of a compendium and covers all important eras of the airfield from the early years as a “Preußische Militärfliegerstation” (Prussian Military airfield) in 1913 until its present day civilian and industrial use. The book is richly illustrated with black and white photos of the early airfield. It tells the story of its pilots and their machines. A handful of them, for example Rudolf Windisch would later become prominent scoring aces in the Kaiser’s Jastas. Besides the military use with FEA6 of the airfield the book covers also the flying schools that were based in Großenhain during the time of the Great War.

Flugplatz Großenhain – Historischer AbrissIn the next chapters the reader can inform himself about the time from 1919 and the chaotic time of communist uprising after the Great War until the end of the Second World War. Once again the authors do not fail to impress with a great depth of first hand material about the secret remilitarisation of the German Air Force using photos and maps out of city archives and private sources. To illustrate the time during the Nazi reign, photos of propaganda events and the connected story of Großenhain airfield are explained. Also coped with in the whole book are the human fates behind the military apparatus, the relationship of the citizens of Großenhain with the airfield, and the people that worked on the airfield or in ground services.

Chapter three tells the story from the common citizen of Großenhain more from an outside view, their problems and concerns as well as positive experiences with the Russian administration and in the German Democratic Republic. Nevertheless a detailed and fact based knowledge about the Soviet technique and unit structures in Großenhain is given. In the following the departure of the GUS troops was dedicated an extra sub chapter.

The latter chapters deal with the development of civilian use of the airfield. From the conception of an operating company to the present use as a combination of an airfield and settled industrial destination that benefits from its conveniently transport facilities. A detailed account of the critical phases in between explain how the airfield survived with having air shows that attracted visitors from all over Germany and neighbouring countries are given and fully illustrated in the approved style.

Conclusion:

The strength of this book is the mass of first hand material that is included. It makes a difference if you read a history book or an illustrated history book where you can honestly feel the work that the authors have put together in compiling all the information out of the archives. This combination makes the book an excellent read for historically interested people as well as it can serve as a reference book for the Großenhain airfield and in great parts the history of the city of Großenhain itself.

Besides being completely written in German language the book can also be interesting if your are not able to understand everything: e.g. if you need a map of the airfield. I must congratulate the authors and can only say: The book is highly recommended!

Flugplatz Großenhain – Historischer Abriss

Authors: Dr. Täger / Heerde / Franke / Ruscher

Pages: 206

Illustrations: 240+

ISBN: 978-3-929705-12-6

Size: ca. 235 x 170 mm, hardcover book

Price: 24,80 Euro

Publisher: Meißner Tageblatt Verlags GmbH, Am Sand 1c, 01665 Diehra-Zehren, OT Nieschütz, Tel.: 03525-7186-20, Fax: 03525-7186-12

Website & Ordering: Flugplatz Großenhain

Kilian Weimann

Sample publication is provided by author Dr. Hannes Täger