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BOOK REVIEWS: Flyby of Six Aircraft Books

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, August 12, 2019

BOOK REVIEWS: Flyby of Six Aircraft Books

I should note that I was in the right place and right time to scarf up the following used WWII aircraft books for $1 each. Of interest was performing some spot comparisons of specifications in each book for a couple of the same aircraft. Just about everything was identical, but each book added, subtracted, or refined different specs. Just shows it's good to cross reference several sources when you're researching specifications. Most of them offered great painting references.

German War Birds: From World War 1 to NATO Ally

by K Munson. An older book (1986) with 113 aircraft profiles -- 58 WWI, 51 interwar/WWII, and four 1960s-1970s-era NATO -- each with specifications, history/anecdotes, and multiple marvelous sideview and top/bottom color illustrations. Top/Bottom meant that half the airplane is seen from the top down and the other half from the bottom up. The history and anecdotes were interesting; especially for WWI aircraft I never knew existed. Enjoyed it.

The Pocket Encyclopedia of Bombers at War

by Kenneth Munson. Compiled from two Munson books, it contained 150 pages of full color illustrations covering 147 different bombers of WWI and WWII. Short development history plus specs with great color illustrations (side plus top/bottom) plus additional details inserted in the text. Enjoyed it.

World War II Airplanes: Volume 1 (Rand McNally)

by Enzo Angelucci and Paolo Matricardi. This 1976 book covers European aircraft. Presumably Volume 2 covers US, USSR, Japan, and other countries. Digest sized, with fantastic full-color 3/4 illustrations and specifications of each major combat aircraft: 45 UK, 44 German, 34 Italian, 19 French, 3 Czech, 4 Netherlands, 3 Polish, 2 Swedish, 2 Yugoslavian, 1 Romanian, 1 Belgian, and 1 Finnish. Included foreign-made aircraft in service to the above countries, short section on camouflage patterns, and short, illustrated sections on engines. Short histories of the aircraft proved interesting enough. Enjoyed it.

British Aircraft of World War II

by David Mondey. This 1994 (originally published in 1982) book provided information and specifications on 113 UK aircraft. Provided 86 diagrams, 204 magnificent color illustrations (side, top, and front), and 126 photos. Short histories of aircraft included anecdotes of note. Enjoyed it.

British Aircraft of World War II

by John Frayn Turner. A 1976 book. No drawings, but plenty of photographs, including a central section with color photos. Covered 49 aircraft, many with variations, and including US models flown by the RAF, with short histories, specifications, and a number of Victoria Cross anecdotes. Last section contained 13 more extensive write-ups of various missions, including dam busters, sink the Bismarck, and so on. Hit or miss at times, but generally enjoyed it.

Brassey's Air Combat Reader: Historic Feats and Aviation Legends

edited by Walter J. Boyne and Philip Handleman. Offered 28 recaps of fighter, bomber, and rescue missions from WWI through Gulf War. Usual bell curve mix of good, bad, and ugly ranging from great writing to skipping to the next chapter.

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Tags:  Air  reviews  WW2  WWII 

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