Jagdgeschwader 26, the 'Abbeville Kids', is the Luftwaffe fighter wing best known in the UK and the USA. It was one of only two German fighter units to remain on the Western front for the entire war. This one wing's rise and fall mirror the history of the German fighter arm, the the German Air Force, and Germany itself. Its story is a reflection in microcosm of the entire air war in the West, and is thus of value to all students of air power.

Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) was considered by both the Allies and Axis to be the best German fighter unit from 1940 to 1944. It gained that status initially as a result of outstanding leadership during the Battle of Britain in 1940, and held it as a natural outgrowth of its war station on the Channel coast, where its mission was to fend off attacks by the best aircraft and airmen that the Allies could muster. During the years 1941 and 1942, JG 26, with no more than 124 fighters under command, completely dominated the airspace over northern France and western Belgium.

This volume covers the unit from its origin until the end of 1942, when it had reached the peak of its power and influence. The main body consists of a daily chronology of the wing's activities. As only two of the thirty volumes of the unit's official diary survived the war, the creation of a daily combat log was not a simple matter of transcribing records, but required careful comparison of Allied documents, especially those derived from radio intelligence, with the limited material available from Germany. The book is based largely on primary documentation obtained from the unit's veterans and on material from the national archives of Germany and the UK and from the USAF Historical Research Agency. The author's eleven years of research have already produced a general history and a photographic history of JG 26 that have proved very popular with the unit's veterans, resulting in unprecedented access to their personal documents and photo collections. The present book is thus new in every respect. In common with the author's previous works, it is an unbiased, scholarly history that is highly readable.

The book is fully illustrated and annotated. It contains 150 previously-unpublished photos of JG 26 personalities, scenes, and aircraft; area maps; and a complete bibliography.

Lists of JG 26 casualties (with Allied victors) and JG 26 aerial victories (with Allied victims) are included in the text. The appendices contain lists of the unit's bases and commanders. Compilations of this scope have never before been published, and the results will be of great value for enthusiasts and historical researchers.