Crécy Publishing/Hikoki | Thunder Over the Reich: Flying the Luftwaffe's He 162 Jet Fighter

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: Crécy Publications/Hikoki
Author(s): Wolfgang Wollenweber
Publishing date: 2014
ISBN: 978-1-9021093-9-8 (Hardcover)
Pages: 184

While I do own several Hikoki titles (this volume is an imprint by Crécy), I've never reviewed one before now, so let's dig into it.

Hikoki is known to be a very respected publisher. Most books from this publisher are thorough and well researched, and this volume is certainly no exception.

Mister Wollenweber describes the reality of the last days of the Luftwaffe, and describes well the terrible things he witnessed during that time. This is a well told story of the He162, it's development and use during the closing days of the European war.

Very few Luftwaffe pilots actually got to fly the He162, and so any words by someone who did adds immeasurably to the understanding of the plane and the circumstances under which it was designed and flown.

As with the majority of titles from this publisher, this is very much a supreme effort, using photos from many varied sources, and there are quite a fair good number of them in this excellent volume. Printed on good quality semi-glossy stock, the photos are quite interesting, highlighting many areas of the air-frame, giving both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, a rather fascinating glimpse into this fascinating plane, though certainly not a walk around book.

Numerous publications have been produced over the years dealing with this particular machine (the Heinkel He 162), and this just adds quite nicely to that body of work.

While I certainly should be used to it by now, flipping through the pages of a new (to me) Hikoki title, still makes me smile. The quality and variety of images, is truly very interesting, frequently revealing aspects of the various paint schemes and/or air-frame that I had hitherto been unaware of.

Photo Samples

Lots of data is offered up here; from initial design concepts and philosophy through final manufacturing methods. Perhaps suffering from a bit of the "too little, too late" concept, still quite an admirable late-war accomplishment for the Germans, as jets and rocket interceptors were still a ways off for the Allies.

For those of us with a taste for larger scale aircraft models, the Revell kit (currently out of production), is really your best bet, and I'll be seeking one out shortly.

For those with a passion for the Volksjäger, I can highly recommend this volume. Buy a copy, you will not be disappointed.


On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it. Topping out at a very respectable 184 pages of fascinating He 162 stuff, it is highly recommended.

My review copy compliments of Casemate Publishers. Thanks a ton to Casemate, it's truly an outstanding reference book on the Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2024

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This review was published on Monday, April 15 2024; Last modified on Sunday, April 21 2024