An excellent album relating to 1./KG40. Kampfgeschwader 40 (KG 40) was a Luftwaffe medium and heavy bomber maritime patrol unit. 1./KG40 was formed at Bremen on 1st November 1939 and operated with Focke-Wulf 200 C-1 Condor bomber. The unit's initial missions were flown in April 1940, operating from Danish bases against British shipping. In late June/early July it was transferred to Bordeaux-Merignac in France, under the control of Fliegerführer Atlantik. The unit flew reconnaissance missions in the North Atlantic searching for Allied convoys and reported their findings to the Kriegsmarine's U-boat fleets. Between August 1940 and February 1941, the unit claimed over 343,000 tonnes of ships sunk. On 9th February 1941, five Focke-Wulf Fw 200 of I./KG 40 under command of Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Fritz Fliegel, in cooperation with the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and U-37, attacked the British convoy HG 53. The convoy lost the 967 tonne Norwegian freighter 'Tejo' and British cargo ships 'Jura', 'Dagmar I', 'Varna' and 2490-tonne 'Britannic' in aerial attacks by KG/40.
The album is board-backed, approximately 32 x 22.5cm, the cover embossed 'Meine Dienftzeit' (My Service). It contains approximately 102 photographs of varying size. Many are 18 x 13cm but there are also some small 'contact' type images (3.5 x 2.5cm), most are glued in place, others are inserted using photo corners (some loose). Many have typewritten captions, a few with additional handwritten annotations. The album appears to cover the period from the unit's move to Bordeaux and begins with images of General Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle inspecting the troops (from July 1940, Sperrle commanded all Luftwaffe forces in the West). Another shows Vice Admiral Hugo Donitz who headed maritime air command under Luftwaffe control. Other photographs show life on the base, in the canteen, practical use of sextants, the radio communications centre, Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Fliegel talking to airmen/pilots about enemy attacks, the Fw200 'Condor', practice attacks, attacks on enemy shipping etc. At the rear there are a few photographs taken inside the Mausoleum Marasesti, an elaborate 1st World War monument dedicated to the Romanian troops who died in a famous battle with German forces. The vast majority of the album's images have military content and are of excellent quality. A superb album worthy of further research. Stock code P24215A-289.