By December 1944, the momentum of World War II was clearly in the Allies’ favor. The new front in Europe, opened on D-Day, was costly. But Germany was losing on all three fronts. Still, it reportedly took the appearance of P-51s with paper mache drop tanks to drive home the point to German leaders.
Italy was essentially lost, with German troops holding a small sliver of the northernmost territory. Russia was roaring back across the oil fields of eastern Europe, cutting Germany off from vital fuel sources. And American, Canadian and British forces were pushing for the German border.
But Hitler and the Third Reich refused to accept the reality. Germany built up massive forces for Operation Watch on the Rhine, the counteroffensive that would be the Battle of the Bulge. Hitler still played with his maps and predicted Germany victory.
And even other senior German leaders seemed to believe it. The head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, reportedly accepted reality at one key moment: the first time he saw a P-51 Mustang over Berlin.
“Wings of War” tells the history of the visionaries and the obstacles from corrupt Generals that had to be overcome to build this revolutionary aircraft.