This book is a great tale of life in service during throughout a major part of the cold war. The author manages to take you along with him on his journey from early life in Glasgow to his deployments in service in the Royal Air Force, and along with all the hard work came many amusing incidents that really shows the great comradery between colleagues that seemed ever present no matter where the author found himself stationed.
Whilst operational stories are always interesting to aviation enthusiasts, the authors stories of how these crews let off steam and really did live the work hard, play hard lifestyle are not only often funny, but I thought it showed a real human side to the RAF during a time when almost everything they did in training and practice sorties was ultimately aimed at preparing for having to go beyond the Iron Curtain in one way or another.
For me I ended up finding it was these anecdotes of lighter moments that really made the book, not to detract from the rest of it mind you, but they really seemed to make the book go beyond merely an operational history for the author to make it feel almost feel like an old friend or relative was recounting stories from years past over a drink or two. If you have any kind of interest in the RAF, or those that serve then this is definitely worth a read.
As always thanks go to Pen and Sword books for the copy to review, you can find the book for sale on their site for which a link can be found in the links section of this sites menu.
This book provides technical data along with a brief history of the development of each fighter type and it’s variants which are all organised by the country/bloc of origin. There are fighter aircraft from America, Russia, China and Europe covered with each being accompanied by some fantastic images of those airframes. The selection of aircraft included in the book illustrates the shift from the quest for greater speeds and altitudes for the worlds air superiority fighters to the quest for stealth and technological advancement instead.
Whilst the book does have a nice selection of photographic content, the images tend to be more generic images of the aircraft in question rather than the detail shots that modellers crave, this does not detract from the book though which is a great little title that should find its place on any aviation enthusiasts bookshelf.
Whilst this book may not be a modelling resource as such many modellers do have an interest in this period and its events and this book gives detailed accounts of some of the unforgiving meetings between the aircraft and crews of allied forces under Bomber Command and those of the Luftwaffe’s Nachtjagd during the latter years of WWII.
Much of the information provided of these encounters and the bitter aerial battles that resulted is given first hand, as experienced by aircrews on both sides of the conflict.
This wealth of information depth, first hand testimony and operational details along with the profiles of many of those involved from both sides of the conflict provides the reader a great insight in to the units and people involved during this period of the war.
This book unsurprisingly covers the development of the FW190, a German aircraft that really was a workhorse for the Luftwaffe during WWII with its many variants allowing it to be utilised for a wide range of mission, from air superiority to bombing missions in theatres from the Eastern Front to North Africa.
The book begins by concisely covering the development of the type from its prototype to production aircraft and the many variants developed for the various missions and theatres they were deployed for. This part of the book covers many of the improvements and alterations throughout the variants of the type, their armaments and their mission types; there is also an explanation of the colours and markings used on the type.
The book then contains over a hundred fantastic photographs, a few of which are even in colour, showing the aircraft in a huge range of situations, theatres and variants all of which are all captioned to explain what they show along with any other pertinent information about the photographs. The images published included some lovely detail shots and some images of rarely seen captured aircraft and a few other unusually marked airframes.
On the whole I found the book to be a great source reference material and information, whether it be for general interest or looking at it like myself as a model maker. The publication is a great source of inspiration and information about the type for anyone interested in aircraft of this era and is a superb resource for anyone looking for photographic reference material on this extremely important aircraft.
Well along with my first foray into the world of sci-fi modelling I am adding something new to the blog, I have been approached to review books for Pen and Sword who are publishers of a variety of military, aviation, martime, local history, true crime and nostalgia books which I have agreed to do with the focus of my reviews being military history and in particular aviation books.
As model makers we are always in search of reference material for our projects, whether this be in photographic form or the written word with first person accounts of missions, deployments and exercises so I thought I would add the my reviews of the books to the blog to try and help point people in the right direction for sources of reference material.