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The Book Review Section

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Forum member Opinfo came up with the idea of us posting some Military Aviation book reviews once in a while. I thought it was an excellent idea, so here's my first:

 

The "Aircraft of World War II" series by David Monday

 

If you're the sort of guy who is interested in the service history of aircraft, how they were developed and the different variants they were produced in, these books are well worth a look at. With pretty much every aircraft to serve in the armed forces of the books' respective nations, these aircraft dictionaries are effectively a well researched, accurate and illustrated version of what Wikipedia should be. I've used them in researching several books and articles, and whilst I've certainly made my fair share of mistakes in publishing over the years, I've never found a single historical inaccuracy in any of these three books.

- Frustrated naval aviator who is sick of all military aviation books only concentrating on the Air Force?

These books are for you. Not only do they cover your Spitfires and 109s, they also detail rarer aircraft, old aircraft which were only exported by the outbreak of the war, or aircraft which were only in development by 1945. Admittedly, if you want to know the ins and outs of every variant of Spitfire, then these books will not suffice as there is only so much room, but they are a great place to start.

- Get bored easily by black and white and want pretty pictures?

These books are perfect. As well as a good number of original Second World War colour photos, there are also full colour illustrations of most aircraft featured in the series.

 

In short, I believe these books to be largely accurate, very colourful and well presented, superbly written and most importantly, you'll have to work hard to find an aircraft from 1939-45 that is not in these books. So far, every aircraft in War Thunder which actually entered production between 1939 and 1945 is in these books. Except the Russian ones; unfortunately David Mondey hasn't done a Russian edition of this fine series yet. And as they were first published between 1982 and 1984, it's probably not worth holding our collective breath. If you are interested in the technology more than the people or the tactics, these books are a must.

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Ok some smal Reviews first the big ones will follow

 

 

2 Authors wrote a bunch of great books about Aces , Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable created some Books that introduced the German Aces to their Former Enemys and all People interestead in the Myths about Kraut Pilots.

Their Objective writing style and the combiantion of Facts mixed with interviews is a very easy to read literature.

Their efforts to get old enemies onto one table were the breakthrough for understanding luftwaffe not only as the nazi murderes they were always acused to be but also the other side that was never seen in publications relesed after ww2.

 

Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable - Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe

http://www.amazon.com/Fighter-Aces-Luftwaffe-Raymond-Toliver/dp/0816857903/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366923567&sr=1-8&keywords=F.+Toliver+Trevor

 

This Book is give you on 20-40 Pages a biographic overview to the german aces that

  • claimed the most air victorys
  • Nightfighter Aces
  • Jet Aces
  • East front
  • west front
  • Defence of the Reich

Furthermore there are some Exemplaric mission reviews and the opinions of friends and enemys to each Pilot described.

There are also many anegdotes and small stories that round up the "in my opinion" still best Book about german Aces at all.

 

The Second Book Fighter Aces

http://www.amazon.com/Fighter-Colonel-Raymond-Constable-Toliver/dp/B001RX6P0S/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366925958&sr=1-6&keywords=Toliver+%26+Trevor+J.+Constable

is a general overview about Aces of both Sides(due the cold war ^^ there is less information on soviet fighters but enough for some conclusions ;D)

 

I must admit I love the writing style of these Authors (I´d like it that much that i hunted all publications down and paid some stupid prices to get the last books fininshing my collection ...)

Its easy to read but still very detailed and reduced to the nonpolitical and sticked to the core info about the aces of all nations.

The german Aces mentioned are 1:1 taken from the german aces book .

 

3rd an Last one is the complete Biogrphy of  Erich Hartmann

http://www.amazon.com/Blond-Knight-Germany-Biography-Hartmann/dp/B000ICHPRQ/ref=sr_1_22?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366925515&sr=1-22&keywords=F.+Toliver+Trevor

 

This Book describes the whole Career of the Ace of aces starting in his childhood and ending with his return home from Russian captivity in 1955!

It describes his important military stations,his tactics,and the evolution to the myth he was/is)

The last Part of this book was very unusual for books written by T&C it desribes the Time after 1945 where Hartmann was held as POW by Russians till 1955.

At the end you how the reconstructions of evry Air Victory claimed by HArtmann with the Plane Type Date etc.

A must to read book if you interested in ww2 airwar history and a beginn to the whole airwar topic you start with

 

 

AS a Sidenote I read all mentioned Books more then twice and in two languages (german,English) 

if will add links to german versions tommorow than german Books aged 20-30 years are that cheap that its a shame not to buy them .( I bought the 3 this year with some other publications in german for a good friend as birthday present and paid about 1/5 of a dollar each ) 

5 Books 1,39€ whats a shame ;)

yes some ppl still love paper :D 

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ps. I was born in Poland and grow up in germany and after many years of hearing idiots calling me nazi when i wrote something about german participants of the ww2 that I´m fed up with that

we know this war was a horror and it brought pain to millions

but to write something about special parts of this topic and try to be as objective and free of prejudice

so please dont blame me 

pps. Corrections on Facts and Language are welcome

ppps. gn8 !

 

to be continued...

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Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable - Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe

Same book other publisher and affordable price :D

 

http://www.amazon.de/Horrido-Luftwaffe-Raymond-F-Toliver/dp/0553126636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366929147&sr=8-1&keywords=Raymond+F.+Toliver+and+Trevor+J.+Constable+-+Fighter+Aces+of+the+Luftwaffe

 

The Bible of german aces

written in a language that is so gripping and fascinating that i read it in one piece ...

no joke

the overall ace book is good but really for ppl starting with reading ww2 books

the hartman thing I just ordered

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Same book other publisher and affordable price :D

 

http://www.amazon.de/Horrido-Luftwaffe-Raymond-F-Toliver/dp/0553126636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366929147&sr=8-1&keywords=Raymond+F.+Toliver+and+Trevor+J.+Constable+-+Fighter+Aces+of+the+Luftwaffe

 

The Bible of german aces

written in a language that is so gripping and fascinating that i read it in one piece ...

no joke

the overall ace book is good but really for ppl starting with reading ww2 books

the hartman thing I just ordered

you right thanks I was lazy on my search 

btw seen somewhere a list your ebooks can you send me a list maybe i find something i look for long time :D

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Just another book for enthusiasts: most of the airplanes in the game you can find and see their historical role in the book "World War II - Aircraft", written by Christopher Chant.

 

It's almost like devs used it for making the game.

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Bringing the ThunderThe Missions of a World War II B-29 Pilot in the Pacific

 

I got this as an ebook when it was free on Amazon and found it a terrific read. It's the author's autobiographical account of his combat career in the Second World War as a B-29 pilot. He is very detailed in his descriptions of his training (he converted from single engined fighters to twin engined fighters before finally going to four engined bombers) and he also had a lot of interesting things to say about the pre-war American aviation industry as well. Also, his descriptions of the technical aspects of the in-flight experience are also amazingly detailed.

 

Bomber Command

 

This is a book by renowned British military historian Max Hastings that details the evolution of RAF Bomber Command from the interwar era up until the end of the Second World War. While it is mostly focused on the wider strategic picture of Bomber Command's wartime campaigns, there's a lot of writing devoted in the book to firsthand accounts of combat and that sort of thing. The appendix is also a very good historical resource, as it has such figures as the gross tonnage of ordnance dropped on every single German target by year and other similarly detailed charts. I'm still reading through the book myself, and while it's kind of dry at times, I think it's definitely worth a look.

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Heaton, Colin D. - Lewis, Anne-Marie: The Star of Africa - The Story of Hans Marseille (2012).

I had known about Hans-Joachim Marseille long before reading this book. However, I did not know how interesting personality this German pilot was. He was a womanizer, loved jazz music, undisclipined soldier and certainly not a Nazist. He became a friend with black South-African POW Matthew P. Letuku (in the book referred only as "Mathias" as German pilots knew his - the authors could well have included his photo and little more about his fate after Marseille´s death - well, I found out that he survived the war). The book gives a fascinating description of the short 22-year life of Hans-Joachim Marseille, although the focus is of course in his pilot career. The basic data of Marseille´s Bf 109 -planes can be found (the type, serial number and the time of use). The authors have also made quite thorough research of his record of claimed air victories. Whereas the record of 158 air victories can not be confirmed totally, it comes clear that much of his record can be confirmed by different sources. He was particularly successfull against P-40 Tomahawks/Kittyhawks (downing 100). Recommended.

Rafael A Permuy López: Spanish Republican Aces.(2012)

Very different book as the previous one, as this deals a group of Spanish pilots, their planes and operations during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). There are few faults, which the more careful proof-reading would have corrected. At the backcover of the book we read: "...a handful of ex-French Dewoitine D. 372 and Loire Nieuport 46 fighters...managed to turn the aerial balance in favour of Republicans." But at page 8 we find: "The arrival of Dewoitine 372...fighter and six...Loire Nieuport 46C1:s in September 1936...did nothing to balance the scales...". There are also other pitfalls, which could have been corrected quite easily. The stories and after-war destinies of pilots are told in general in quite satisfactory way, although little more depth would have been nice. Also the confirmation of the air victories recorded by these aces and by their units would have needed more scrutiny - for example there is very clear overclaiming of downed Bf 109´s if You compare these records with any Legion Condor/Nationalist records (in this case the Marseille -book above is better). Also there could be have been more information in systematic way about the different stages of airwar during the Spanish Civil War and how they were related to ground operations. Only the Northern Front is dealt in quite good way. There should have been more text about decisive battles like Ebro Offensive (there were big air battles). The real gem of this book are it´s photos and very nice colour images of the Republican fighters that were used in Spanish Civil Warm (including rare birds like Dewoitine 372) - these can be useful for kit builders and drawing artists. Overall, I would say that this not a bad book, but it has certain minuses. Edited by hanwind
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Donald L. Caldwell: JG 26 - Top Guns of the Luftwaffe. (1991)

This book tells about the 26th Fighter Regiment (Jagd Geschwader = JG) of Luftwaffe. Although not initially founded as a elite unit, it became probably the best German fighter unit during the WW2. During the whole war most of it was located at the Western Front, which was the hardest front of aerial warfare for German pilots. Although this is a unit story, it describes excellently the air war at the Western Front right from the 1939 to the bitter end of 1945.  During 1940 - 1943 the JG 26 earned the nicknames "The Channel Aces" and "Abbeville boys" (according to unit´s main location from the late 1940 to summer 1944). Some parts of JG 26 took part also in the battles of Mediterranean, Balkan campaign and at the Eastern Front, so this books covers in some extent those war fronts.

Although this book is written as a unit story, it gives reader much more than a dry chronicle of one fighter regiment. It was a pleasure to read this book. The author has made lots of excellent research work. I liked the special attention, which was given to the comparison of air victory- and loss records of both sides. Book tells in entertaining way the story of the different commanders and pilots of JG 26. When I saw the pictures of these young pilots, one of the most strinking detail in the text below was how many of these young pilots were killed during the war. I have read many books about Luftwaffe and about it´s fighter pilots, but this is the best which I have encountered so far. If You want just a one book of Luftwaffe fighter pilots, You should really consider to get this one. Recommended.

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Robert Forsyth: Aces of the Legion Condor (Osprey Publishing 2011)

This book is good start for those, who want to learn the basics of Spanish Civil War and Legion Condor. The most important air operations and their connection to ground operations are dealt in good way. The colour illustrations of the book are limited - You will find only side-profiles and almost all with green olive camo. I must say that I was disappointed with the colour illustrations. I would have liked to see more camo alternatives (as far as I know, the green olive was not the only one applied to Bf 109 in Spain). However, the numerous photos compensate this to some extent.
I do not recommend this book to those, who already have good basic knowledge of the air war and Legion Condor in Spanish Civil War. For them I advice to look some other book, that goes more to the depth and details of the air war in Spain.  

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Does anyone know how reliable this book is?

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/885400829X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=37DIN5FHQPUOO&coliid=IS7TY6KNO3281

 

I really want it for several reasons. It has aircraft I haven't seen in books yet (Me 163, Kikka, J7W), but I wanted to make sure it was historically accurate :P

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I have seen a pocket version of  "Complete Book of World War II Combat Aircraft" - it seems to be quite good attempt to collect the basic data of most of the aircraft of WW2 in one book. However, it is not a complete list of ALL planes of WW2. Also from the book like this You can not expect to have much depth and precise information in all cases. I noticed there some mistakes, although in general the basic data looks OK. Also I´m not sure if ALL the colour plates are accurate. I personally do not like this format of book, and I prefer more specialised books like Osprey Aircraft of Aces. They do not have only basic information about planes, but also the operational history with stories of the pilots, who flew the planes. But if You really want this kind of general information about the aircraft of WW2, then go ahead!

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I managed to get my library to wrangle me up a copy of Jane's Fighting Ships of WWII, should be a good read :D

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Pacific+Air+-+Sears.jpg

 

Here is the story of the air war of World War 2. It begins with Jimmie Thach, a highly trained American naval aviator who is tasked with finding suitable people for his squadron of the brand new F4F-3 Wildcat fighter. As he is training with his "Bitching Team" at the Naval Training ground in San Diego, a new recruit, Edward O'Hare shows up. Thach is intent of teaching this new pilot a thing or two but as he and O'Hare do a practice dogfight, O'Hare 1-up's all of Thach's maneuvers. Thach enlists O'Hare to his squadron and makes him Co-commander of the "Bitching Team".

 

It then switches to Saburo Sakai who just finished his flight school and was deployed to the Chinese confrontation. On his first encounter, he finds a nimble Russian fighter, later to be confirmed as an I-153, dashing through the trees in an attempt to make it home alive. Half of Sakai's wing wastes their ammo trying to down the Chaika but Sakai's squadron commander steps in and kills it for them.

 

It skips then to then college student Alex Vraciu. He wanted to join the US Navy and so one day he and his buddies pulled a prank on his college class. He jumped up from his desk and screamed "I can't take this anymore!" and jumped from the second story window of his college classroom. He friends caught him and they all ran to the town enlistment center and joined their branch they wanted to.

 

_____

 

I won't write anymore because I don't want to spoil it for you. IT IS THE WORLD'S BEST BOOK I HAVE READ IT LIKE 50 BILLION TIMES ITS SO AMAZING EACH TIME.

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Hello everyone. Quick question for I have 2 Books next to me at the moment  and since I just cited them in an He 219 post I would like to what you opinions on these 2 books ( if you have the time greatly appreciated or if you know the editors are horrible that would also be greatly appreciated). Are they floral or decently acceptable etc. They seem good and are generally good read (more life a dictionary sometimes) but they sometimes contradict each other on specifications and statistics they are.....

"Fighting Aircraft of WWII" edited by Karen Leverington

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and "The Aviation Factfile: Aircraft of World War II" edited by Jim Winchester

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sorry about the giant image 

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Edward M. Young: F4F Wildcat vs. A6M Zero-sen. Pacific Theater 1942. Osprey Publishing 2013.

This book is one of the "Duel Series" of Osprey Publishing. I became interested of the book as it deals the critical period and turning point of Pacific War, when Japanese were still strong. The planes represented had many clashes during the period of May - November 1942.

The technical evolution of both planes is well written and balanced. Also there is a good analysis of both the pros and cons of A6M2 and F4F. What is clearly shown is that Zero had better performance figures than Wildcat, but the latter was better armoured and with right tactics could hold its own against Zero. Book deals also the combatant pilots and their training. Fighter tactis are analyzed as in some extent also combat statistics. In other words book contains essential information about the aircraft, pilots, strategic situation,combat tactics, statistics and combat statistics. The book gives lots of good information.

What I did not like in this book is that it is too biased to Americans and their views. I would have hoped somewhat more balanced view and more Japanese accounts, but perhaps there are not so much available in English. There are also some contrasting views, which should have been analyzed. Lots of emphasis has been put in the shooting excercise of the American pilot training. This contrasts to Saburo Sakai´s statement in the book Samurai, in which he mentions couple of times that American pilots were in his opinion average or mediocre when it came to shooting. To this there is contrary view of John Thach, who considered Japanese pilots having comparatively poor marksmanship. At earlier point of book we have read that Japanese pilots were well trained elite pilots, and many of them having combat experience and supposedly good marksmanship! Maybe it was just tactics and strategic situation which made the difference? Some analysis of contrasting views, please!

Also a statement often made (specially by Americans) is that Japanese were heavy overclaimers when it came to air victories. I do believe this as I know their exaggerated claims during the Nomonhan conflict, when Japanese overclaimed about 6:1 compared to enemy´s loss records. However, were Americans much more accurate in their claims as the author states? I would have hoped some figures or evidence to support this statement.  The author mentions couple of examples of American overclaim ratio of 4:1 compared to survived Japanese combat loss records. I do not trust in Japanese claim record, but also American claim records are suspicious. But as we all know nowadays, overclaim was very usual result of the air combat and most of claims were made in good faith. It was rare deliberately to make false claims.

However the critics above do not mean that this is bad book. It is a fairly well made book, and I do recommend it to those, who are interested in the air war during the critical period of Pacific War.

 

Edited by hanwind
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Also in the "Duel" series by Osprey was "F-86 vs MiG-15". I recently bought it on Amazon and found it to be a pretty decent read, gives very good coverage of the air war in Korea, detailing exactly how the balance shifted as different Soviet/Chinese divisions were rotated in and out of the theatre. It was very objective and impartial, especially when it came to the authors' methodology for comparing rubbish kill claims to actual losses suffered by the belligerents.

 

Also there were a couple of very interesting passages about Soviet/Chinese and American jet pilot training, which I had not read anywhere else

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    Hello everyone. I have been given the go ahead for adding books related to ground forces, 

The first book I'll put is "Panzers at War" by Michael & Gladys Green.

51w%2BOq88wPL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-st

 

Came out in 2005 and I though it was pretty nice read (note is was young). Plenty of information, and pictures for reference. Only annoying downside is although they do a good job presenting all tanks but the Tiger 2 kind of got the short end of the stick in terms of reference pictures and diagrams. Over all I like it and still do. I would recommend it.

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Maslov, Mikhail: The Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces. Osprey Publishing 2010.
 

Mikhail Maslov is the leading authority when it comes to the history of Polikarpov fighters and he has published good books dealing the subject. However, these have been mainly in Russian, so it is great to see his effort in English. The book follows quite straigthly the Osprey "Aces Aircraft" format, but this works quite well. Maslov starts from the techical history of I-15, I-16 and I-153 and how widely they were used by VVS RKKA (Soviet Air Force + Soviet fleet air arm). This is well written.

The book covers well the combat history of Polikarpov fighters and their Soviet pilots in Spanish Civil War, China, Nomonhan, Winter War and lastly in WW2 proper (Great Patriotic War). I was specially interested of Spanish Civil War and about the Soviet Volunteer Group in China. The book deals somewhat even with the Chinese pilots flying Polikarpov fighters.

The photo illustration is good, and the colour plates well made, although I would have liked more colourplates on Spanish Civil War, China and sadly there was no colourplate on Winter War. 

My knowledge about the combat history of Polikarpov fighters has previously been mainly how they ended up to claims and "kill" marks of their German, Japanese and Finnish adversaries. It was very refreshing to get another view. These planes were good machines at their time and they were piloted by some remarkable men. 

Some caution with the combat records and some other statements of the book is needed. I have checked some of air combat claims and found them to be inaccurate in the book. When it comes to Soviet pilots in China, there is some wrong information - for example Japanese A5M fighter was not known to Soviets when they started their combat history in China (the book claims otherwise based on one pilot veteran account which to me seems to be unreliable in many points). The author could well have mad little more work on these details. Nevertheless I do not know better entry-level book on the combat history of Polikarpov fighters and pilots than this book. 

Edited by hanwind
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Kershaw, Alex: The Few. The American "Knights of the Air" Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain. Da Capo Press 2006.

I came across of this book when visiting the library. When seeing the title my first thought was that the book would have resemblance to Hollywood movie presenting all-clean American heroes of the most documented air battle of all times. I have seen too many American movies and when it came to Battle of Britain, I though that I knew enough of it. However I decided to give a chance for the book and took a look on it. After reading a little, I decided to lend the book from the library. It turned out to be entertaining and quite interesting read. Although there was some "redundant" material, the personalities of this book were actually interesting and the book kept quite well with the facts. Among these American volunteer pilots was one Olympic gold medalist and perhaps the shortest (145 cm) Spitfire pilot of all times. Their life stories and adventures in their way to RAF service were very entertaining read. The actual combat contribution of these US pilots in Battle of Britain is not comparable to that of the Commonwealth, Polish and Czech pilots, but their PR value was very important in pro-British campaign in USA, which at that time wanted to stay out of European war. This is one of the main motifs of the book - these guys had to renounce their US nationality to serve in RAF.

One of the good features of the book is that it also tries to show the "other side". German accounts are included and although much is familiar (Galland quotes like "the squadron of Spitfires"), there was also something new to me. I always like when effort is made to give human faces and thoughts also for the enemy. I noted some pitfalls in few details, and as usual a little more precise proof reading would have been necessary. From the RAF detalis for me new interesting thing was the 601 Squadron, so-called "millionaries squadron". Reading the book I got a feeling that actually I knew much less about the Battle of Britain as I thought to have known...

"The Few" is entertaining read and while repeating quite a lot that has been written about Battle of Britain earlier books, it manages to give new interesting info for an intermediate aficionado of WW2 aviation. Thus my final evaluation is that the book is recommended.

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Stuka Pilot by Hans Ulrich Rudel

 

http://www.amazon.com/Stuka-Pilot-Hans-Ulrich-Rudel-ebook/dp/B0054GLEUA/

 

One of the most gripping books I've read about the war and certainly my favourite war memoir, it charts the beginning of Rudel's journey from a black sheep to national hero. The book details his early challenges in mastering the Stuka, a challenge that kept him out of the first few years in the war - operating in the reconnaissance flight. The book then starts to pick up from Barbarossa onwards detailing his sinking of the Battleship Marat, his experience testing the prototype G series Stukas and provides insight into the German leadership from his conversations with Goring and Hitler.

 

This book also doesn't lack for heroics, how he would land at comrade's crash sites to pick up the crew or how he took down the Soviet ace Lev Shestakov without even firing a shot. Also he provides some insight into the operations of the StG 2/SG2 Flight during the war, how they were feeling, how they passed the time, what the sentiment was of the war.

 

Anyone interested in reading about German air warfare on the eastern front should read this book, anyone interested in thrilling heroics should read this book. I can't recommend it enough.

Edited by Aurgelwulf
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Red Stars, Vol. 4. Lend-lease aircraft in Russia by Carl-Fredrik Geust & Gennadiy Petrov. Apali 2002.

Red Stars -series is a quality series of various books focusing in Russian/Soviet aircraft/aviation. My guess is that these books are not so well known as they were published by a small Finnish publisher Apali. In this book as well as in other books of this same series there is some problem for reading, because these books are intended both to international and Finnish market containing thus text in two languages. It is sometimes difficult to find the English text, but it is there and after some exercise the eye learns to capture English text at every page.

This book is so far the best info that I have seen on this subject. There is not so much text as the main emphasis is on photo illustration, but the essential information is there: at the end of book you will find text telling about American aircraft export to USSR in 1930´s, Lend-lease arrangements and also the short history of Operation Frantic. You will also find comprehensive Lend-lease statistics (how many planes, when delivered, which type etc.). Also the history of each Lend-lease aircraft type is covered as well as planes which Americans/British had to "leave behind" for Soviets (including few B-17´s and B-29´s). There are lots of interesting details and you will find also less known Lend-lease planes like the Soviet Mosquito.

Photo illustration is just great - good quality, nice details and person data. In addition book contains 54 colourplates (from the well known Aircobras up to rarities like Soviet Lancaster). 

The book contains also this little gem of Stalin: "The lend-lease assistance played an important role and to a considerable degree contributed to the succesfull conclusion of the war against our common foe - Hitler-Germany". I call this a gem because it is one of the rare public statements (made in 11.6.1945), in which Stalin recognized the importance of lend-lease support for Soviet war effort. Later Cold War politics diminished the importance of Lend-lease aid in official Soviet history, but that is another story.
 

Edited by hanwind
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French Aces of World War 2 by Barry Ketley. Osprey Publishing 2008 (fourth reimpression of original 1999 book).

Another book of the series of Osprey Aircraft of the Aces with its well-known format. These books give in my opinion good entry-level or intermediate information for someone who is interested in their titles. However the books are quite thin (approx. 100 pages including all content) - so you can not expect them to go much to the depth of their subject. I have read various volumes of these series and I have noted that there are differences with the quality of their content. At best these books are surprisingly informative and interesting, at worst they resemble a heavily illustrated booklet with text content of bad editing and poor proof-reading.

This I think is one of the better volumes of the series. For me it was the first book when I really learned to know French fighter aces of WW2. The main chapters of book concentrate in following:

- the airwar against Germans in 1939-1940
- the Vichy Air Force and its combat against Allied 1941-1942
- the Free French Air Force and its affiliation to RAF
- the Normandie-Niemen Group in Soviet Union

Each of the above is interesting enough to have a entire book of its own. For me the reading left an appetite to get more knowledge and read more specialised volumes. The author could have made a favour to put more suggestions in Further reading section!

Book contains also minibiographies of some fighter aces in separate chapter. The official list of French aces and their victories is of course included. There are also small appendixes about the aircraft, organisation and tactics (each of these worth a book of its own).

The photo illustration is good as one can expect from these series. Book contains also 39 interesting colourplates.

Recommended entry-level book on the subject, of which more profound further reading would be interesting.



 

Edited by hanwind
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