With the Third Reich on the brink of defeat Hitler´s instructions to his designers were clear. He wanted a Volksjäger – a People´s Fighter that was quick to produce and used minimal quantities of strategic materials. Heinkel rose to the challenge with the He 162, a fighter constructed of wood and metal that was designed, built and flown in the staggeringly short time of ten weeks. Professional pilots were in short supply, and so the Luftwaffe was ordered to man the He 162 with hastily trained members of the Hitler Youth – a flawed plan that fortunately never came to fruition. Detailed aircraft profiles and never before seen photographs perfectly complement the analysis of the revolutionary Heinkel He 162 as author Robert Forsyth traces its entire history, from the early design and production through to its limited combat experience.
Robert Forsyth has studied the history and operations of the Luftwaffe for many years. He is the author of Messerschmitt Me 264 Amerikabomber (2006 – with Eddie J Creek), and He 162 Volksjäger (2008 – with Eddie J Creek); for Osprey Publishing, Jagdverband 44 and Jagdgeschwader 7 (Aviation Elite Units), Fw 190 vs B-17 (Duel), Aces of the Legion Condor and Luftwaffe Viermot Aces (Aircraft of the Aces) and Me 262 Bomber and Reconnaissance Units (Combat Aircraft). He works in publishing, having founded Classic Publications and the imprint Tattered Flag.
Jim Laurier is a native of New England, growing up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and in that time he has produced some of the finest artwork seen in these volumes.