Andrew and Morten, October 2006, prior to heading out to the annual Fliegertreff south of Köln, where they would meet Heribert Koller (JG 54), Gustav Drees (JG 54), Hugo Broch (JG 52), Günther Rall (JG 52) and a handful other interesting people. Thanks to Jan Bobek for arranging entry!

The Air War Publications team have always lived a long way from each other, but thanks to the Internet we are able to stay in regular communication. It was also the Internet that brought Adam, Andrew and Morten together in the first place. Andrew was a novice, seventeen-year old researcher when Morten wrote an encouraging message via the 12 O’Clock High discussion forum around Christmas 2000. Andrew had posted a link to his Focke-Wulf 190 web site, and was receiving a lot of unreasonable negative feedback. By that time Morten had already written a couple of books for the Greenhill ‘Luftwaffe at War’ series and a friendship soon developed. Not long after their initial contact Andrew asked if Morten wanted join him on his project about about their favourite aircraft, the Focke-Wulf 190. This resulted in The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in North Africa, published by Classic Publications in 2004, at a time when the authors had never met in person. However, that was soon to change, and numerous visits and meet-ups would follow, with Andrew heading to Denmark on eight occasions between 2005 and 2019 during his research trips to various European archives. In between those trips, Morten made the long flight Down Under in November 2013 (but more about that below).

Meanwhile, in May 2005, Adam sent a private message to Andrew, also via the 12 O’Clock High discussion forum, about post-graduate research options in Australia. At that point, Andrew was researching for his Ph.D., which focused on the Allied Operation TORCH in November 1942, while Adam was focusing his efforts on German anti-shipping operations in the early war years. From this simple message, Adam found himself at the same university as Andrew, where they finally met in person in April 2006 and had a few beers, exchanged a load of documents and research material, and generally carved out a common ground. Both would eventually finalise their research degrees, but along the way they also found a few aviation history topics of mutual interest, for example 2.(H)/Aufklärungsgruppe 14, Jabos in the West, and Luftwaffe attacks on Allied shipping. Just as Morten and Andrew’s collaboration bore fruit with the publication of their Focke Wulf Fw 190 in the Battle for Sicily in 2010, so too did Adam and Andrew’s partnership eventually bear fruit with their two-part eArticles about the 1. Wüstennotstaffel and 2.(H)/Aufklärungsgruppe 14, as well as Günter Schultze-Quentell, and Jabos Sink the HMS Arctic Pioneer.

Adam and the Christmas roast, fresh red cabbage with orange … Andrew ready at the table in the background.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the vast distances involved, the only time the entire Air War Publications team has been in the same room together was during the Australian summer of 2013/2014. Morten travelled to visit Andrew in North Queensland, and from there they embarked on a 9.542 kilometre road trip around eastern Australia in Andrew’s affectionately named car, ‘Frank the Falcon’, on the way visiting various veterans, archives, and researchers. With Adam’s then home in Orange the half-way point of the journey, it proved an ideal place to stop and rest for a few days. More importantly, it proved a great place to celebrate Christmas, in both Danish and Australian style. Andrew, Morten and Adam combined their culinary skills and laid on a feast of prawns, roast meats and vegetables and the traditional Danish Christmas dessert, Risalamande, a sweet rice pudding with vanilla and almonds topped with cherry sauce. They were joined in the festivities by Adam’s mother, who, to add more multicultural spice to the table, is a native of England, and to this day is a proud supporter of ‘Man City’.

Although Andrew has been able to travel to Europe to meet Morten on several occasions since then (and a regular destination has been Freiburg, as described on our blog), and visited Adam again in 2016 and 2017, the Air War Publications team most frequently ‘meet’ on Skype or via email. In the last two decades, a lot of things have changed for the Air War Publications team, but they remain as passionate as they did when their interest in researching the Luftwaffe first brought them together.

Andrew and Morten before embarking on their 9.542 kilometre road trip around eastern Australia in December 2013.