The full story of the type as one would expect from a monograph, starting with its development as an elegant and streamlined pre-war passenger transport for German, Brazilian, Danish and Finnish operators. It flew long-range proving flights from Germany to the USA and Japan whilst one example ended up on the British civil register after a Danish machine was impounded at Shoreham airport after an inward flight from Denmark in April 1940. With the outbreak of war in Europe, the Luftwaffe had a requirement for a very long-range military version of the Condor so that its crews could range far and wide into the Atlantic to attack shipping beyond the range of Allied fighters. The previously smooth lines of the type were interrupted with dorsal gun gondolas facing forwards and rearwards and upper gun turrets fore and aft whilst the large single mainwheels of the civil airliner were changed to twin wheels on each side in the production military version. The Condor caused havoc in the Atlantic against Allied shipping but suffered high loss rates.
Eventually, the type was relegated to transport duties and use as a VIP aircraft but in its heyday it had been considered by Churchill as a very real threat. The interest in this book for Catalina fans is of course the fact that the Condor was used so extensively in the Battle of the Atlantic although actual skirmishes involving Condors and Catalina's seem to have been few in number - those that occurred are covered in the text. The book includes many photos, including a few in colour, and a good number of colour profiles as well as appendices covering operational losses (incorrectly indexed as a production listing). The Condor has not been a common subject among aviation writers so this hardback volume is welcome. -- David Legg - Catalina News Oct 2010