DIII88: The New German Air Force Attacks
DVD Review by Book and Media Review Editor Peter Kilduff
Over the Front Autumn 2013
You know this is going to be a good film when one of the opening sequences shows a Heinkel He-60 two-place float biplane making a night landing in bad weather. The scene just reeks of authenticity. While the aircraft shown is not a floatplane created for the Kaiserliche Marine [Imperial Navy], it is a real airplane, within a generation of one of Herr Dr. Heinkel's earlier military creations, and a sight to behold. This 1939 film portrays a Luftwaffe unit equipped with naval and land-based aircraft on the eve of World War II. But the story line has a strong link to World War I in that the Staffel's senior members are veterans of the 1914-1918 conflict. For example, the fictional commanding officer, Oberstleutnant [Lieutenant-Colonel] Mithoff, wears a Pour le Mérite and an old pilot's badge. He reminisces about the good old days of 1918 with Oberwerkmeister [Senior Line Chief] Bonicke -- and, when trouble comes, Bonicke saves the day by flying off in the unit's Fokker Dr. I triplane. Don't ask why a late 1930s Luftwaffe unit still had the Staffelführer's old war bird in its hangar. Just sit back and watch as the original, rotary-engined aircraft -- with the serial number "D III 88" that gives the film its title - is put through its paces. Flashbacks to World War I offer great shots of D III 88 and two other original triplanes, as well as an original Fokker D.VII -- all pure eye candy to this journal's readers. The frosting on the cake is that some of the flying sequences were performed by Jasta 11 veteran Willi Gabriel. There is surprisingly little Third Reich propaganda in this film; indeed, even the mens' salutes are traditional hand to-the-hat gestures. It is clear that the DVD version was made from a high-quality print of the original film, as it offers good, clear views of the flight and other scenes. Crisp subtitles allow viewers to easily follow the story. D III 88 - The New German Air Force Attacks is recommended highly.
D III 88 - The New German Air Force Attacks directed by
Herbert Maisch and Hans Bertram, International Historical
Films, Inc., Chicago, IL, 2013, German language with English
subtitles 102 minutes, DVD of black & white film, also
includes additional text and photographic material.
DIII88: The New German Air Force Attacks DVD