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Brief reviews this time of four books about aircraft, air units, and air operations:
Tullis, Thomas A. Eagles Illustrated: Fighters of World War II. Hamilton, MT: Eagle Editions, Ltd, 2000
Tom Tullis is an illustrator of legendary ability, and this book is a showcase of spectacular color plates of American, German, and British fighters. Each illustration includes a brief caption identifying the plane, its colors, and references. The book concludes with a page explaining Tullis' process for creating these computer-crafted images. No other text. First in a series. Gorgeous.
Hall, Steve and Lionel Quinlan. KG55: The Photographic History of the Famous Luftwaffe Bomber Unit. Walton on Thames, Surrey: Red Kite (an imprint of Air Research), 2000
This being quite a departure from Air Research's usual minutely researched, text-heavy books, it has been released as the first of the new "Red Kite" imprint. Over 250 photos with captions; sidebars of first-hand accounts from airmen and other veterans; notes on OBs, dispositions, and movements; color illustrations of KG 55 aircraft; appendices of Knight's Cross holders and aircraft losses including aircrew casualties. Nicely done.
Forsyth, Robert with Jerry Scutts. Battle over Bavaria: The B-26 Marauder versus the German Jets, April 1945. Crowborough, England: Classic Publications, 2000
Although Classic has already offered a detailed history of the Me 262 jet fighter and its operations, this volume expands the story by focusing on both sides of the air-to-air battles involving the German jets and American B-26 bombers. Detailed text covering the aircraft, the units, the pilots, and the battles. Heavily illustrated. Sixteen pages of color illustrations and color photos. Many useful sidebars. As always with books from Classic, strikingly designed and laid out. A solid success.
Mackay, Ron. Ridgewell's Flying Fortresses: The 381st Bombardment Group (H) in World War II. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2000
The 381st was a workhorse of the 8th Air Force, flying almost 300 missions, losing 131 planes, and suffering over 1200 lost or missing in action. Mackay provides a workmanlike history of the Group from training to VE-Day with complete details on all the missions while placing the 381st's operations within the context of the wider bombing campaign, and keeping the human side of the endeavor firmly in mind. Crisply written. Thoroughly, but not overwhelmingly, illustrated with well-chosen, well-captioned photos. Data-intensive appendices. Valuable addition to any library of air unit histories.
All four titles are available from online booksellers, local bookshops, or directly from the respective publisher.
Thanks to the publishers for providing these review copies.
Reviewed 10 September 2000
Copyright © 2000 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone
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