on 11 September 2012
Those familiar with the Osprey series will know that they have a deserved reputation for packing an awful lot into a small, compact and reasonably-priced volume. Their occasional weakness is that some titles are written by "jack-of-all-trades" authors heavily reliant on other sources and often containing factual errors, mis-titled photos and light on specialist information.
Step forward Steve Davies. He has produced by far the most authoritative, factual, reliable and politically astute book in the Osprey series that I've read to date. It oozes authenticity, with extensive accounts of actual air combat written by the pilots themselves. The actual process of BVR air combat is accurately described, but in the sparse, urgent language of the combat pilot, putting the reader right on the F-15's wing.
Davies doesn't pull any political punches, and will delight his target audience with the pithy evaluations of Saudi Eagle operational performances, the truth behind that "first kill of Desert Storm", and the disparity in kills between the "talk the talk" 1st TFW and the rampant "walk the walk" 33rd TFW.
Davies uses his extensive primary sources (F-15C pilots) to their greatest effect, and communicates their respect for their Iraqi enemy, who often fought cleverly and bravely against their far superior foe. He also makes the F-15C the true hero of the book, paying great homage to a truly-world-beating piece of kit and its lethality and invincibility in air combat when coupled to an equally well-honed pilot.
So far the worldwide F-15 kills/losses score is 105-0. Steve Davies' remarkable book highlights exactly why that is the case, and why the F-15C and its pilots should rightfully hold the World's Greatest Fighter accolade, period.