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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars7
3.9 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2008
An obvious title in this interesting new series from Osprey, with its more 'graphic' style of publication, cutaways, three views etc...Opening with a chronological & a lengthy developmental overview of the two types Holmes presents an entirely conventional view of the classic aerial joust that was the Battle of Britain, but one that really deserved much more space than this - in fact there is so litle text here it is very easy to pick out where it has been borrowed from - mostly Bungay's fine 'The Most Dangerous Enemy'. While the author doesn't really commit himself on which of the two aeroplanes was the better fighter, he does argue that the Spitfire prevented the Luftwaffe from gaining aerial ascendancy, thus dashing Hitler's hopes of launching an invasion. There is of course no room in this slim volume's 80 pages for any wider discussion of the conflict - did Hitler ever have any real intention of mounting an invasion of England with his derisory collection of barges ? Hitler's aims were surely key for determining exactly how the Me 109 was deployed & indeed how it fared over England. As it was German invasion plans that were elaborated were essentially a subterfuge, a means of exerting political pressure & Goebbels states as much in his diaries. Me 109 pilots were sacrificed over England essentially in order to exert political pressure on Churchill and the British population in an attempt to 'facilitate' British acceptance of Germany's peace overtures. Does this diminish the achievements of the RAF in the 'battle' - no, not really. The Spitfires kept the upper hand while the Me 109s were shackled to the bombers which were then turned against London - in the end the margin wasn't even close. This was a defeat for the much-vaunted Luftwaffe and the Me 109 - Hitler's first of many..

To sum up, the book is meagre in size and scope and rather expensive for only 80 pages. Two of those are wasted on the Postlethwaite 'battle scene' painting - the book cannot even be opened flat to view it. The cover illustrations and other artworks are superb though..On balance just about worth adding to the library and one of the better volumes in this series
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on 23 January 2008
Like all the new duel series of Osprey I find them to be more of a means to introduce the subject or area of World war 2, which other books in the Osprey catalogue can give further insight to. The book gives some technical basics to give you an idea of the capabilities of the 2 fighters against each other and what they had in the way of advantages and disadvantages, along with development histories.

It features some very good artwork of the fighters and cockpits as well as some depicting combat manuevers and a "duel" between the planes. Information on the battles they were used in and how well they fared along with descriptions of training for pilots on both sides and information on aces.

Again Osprey already has books dealing with aces of certain fighters and books dealing with the fighters technical specifications and history and what theatre they fought in. This book is well presented and is a great way of introducing the subject to newcomers.
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on 8 May 2010
Very enjoyable with a concise summary of the main differences between the two aircraft written in an engaging way. Not an in depth study but enough for a good read.
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on 3 August 2013
A reasonably inexpensive introduction to the air combat over the UK in 1940, marred only by careless use of German words:

There is reference to the "A2- Schien [sic]" German pilot's licence. The German word is Schein (pronounced `shine') and spelled with a capital letter as are all German nouns. Schien (`sheen') is gibberish in this context as it means `appeared to be'. If German words are used to impress the reader, they should be spelled properly!
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on 28 January 2008
Nothing to rave about. Very basic book that tends to be a bit ME-109 heavy.
Pilot training and tactics subjects are mearly scratched due to space limitations.
Not a book you need to have.
Over priced as all Osprey books.
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on 30 July 2014
as advertised
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on 26 September 2014
realy nice
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