This is the remarkable story of the "Versuchsverband" the Trails and Research Unit of the Luftwaffe High Command, one of the most intriguing, clandestine and rarely covered units of the Luftwaffe before and during the Second World War.
Using the previously unpublished recollections of the pilots who conducted secret, lonk-range reconnaissance and spy-dropping missions over England, Iraq, Poland and he Soviet Union, as well as hundreds of rare and fascinating photographs, this book recounts the history, operations and aircraft of this little-known unit.
Amongst the unit’s many tasks it was charged with testing and introducing newly developed reconnaissance, bomber and night fighter aircraft into operational service including ‘exotic’ types such as the Ar 234 jet, the huge Do 335 fighter and extreme high-altitude Ju 86R.
Additionally, the Verschuchsverband was tasked with the assessment of captured Allied fighters using the so-called ‘Wanderzirkus Rosarius’ which toured German fighter units displaying captured British and American aircraft such as Spitfires, a Typhoon, a Mosquito, P-51 Mustangs, P-38 Lightning’s and P-47 Thunderbolts which were all repainted in German markings, many of which are illustrated in colour by leading aviation artist Tom Tullis. This is the first time that the story of this unit has been told and it offers a fascinating insight into German aeronautical history during the Nazi rise to power and during the war years.