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The "Fw 200 Condor": A Complete History Hardcover – Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Crecy Publishing (Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859791319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859791311
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 326,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wulf on 14 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a thick book - 260 packed pages, full of information, some useful, some reliable, but unfortunately this is mixed with questionable conclusions and downright wrong assertations. A complete list of wrong information would entail rewriting this book, but here's a few examples; the author does not distinguish between arabic numerals (e.g. 3. Staffel) and roman ones,( e. g. III. Gruppe) which is essential to understanding German unit nomencalute (as if mixing companies with battalions). On page 184 he states that a III./KG 40 crew found convoy PQ 17 on 1.July 1943, which is a year late, and still a year early for III Gruppe to operate against Murmansk convoys - this should of course be 3. Staffel/KG 40. Dates are mixed,e.g. on p.153 the date of the loss of Oblt. Rebensburg's Condor is given as 17th January 1943, while in Appendix V it is given (correctly) as 1944. The most useful part is actually the almost complete list of Fw 200 losses in WW2 with a full name list of crews from the Luftwaffe losses reports, indicating that a lot of work was put into this book, if not thought or intelligence. The text is overflowing with words, reminiscent of small talk, but often meaningless and without foundation in facts - a sad thing for a worthy subject. Juan Carlos Salgado's book "Fw 200 Condor - The Airliner that went to war" is actually better on facts, but has less information on losses.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Valuable addition to my FW-200 library 9 Oct 2010
By Plankwing - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I already had several books about the FW-200 and ordered this (evidently, as it took three months to arrive) before it was published. My purpose was to seek information for building a 48th scale model as used in the Battle of Britain.

I suspect the author died before the book was in print (info from book) because there are a number of minor errors (thus the four stars) which I presume would have been corrected with a round of proof reading. An example is a statement that the superchargers engaged at 3000 RPM when it should state 3000 (presumably meters) elevation. Notwithstanding the errors, there were several items of information not in my other books, and it is otherwise quite comprehensive. The appendices include a chronological order of aircraft losses including many details of crews and circumstances of the loss. And, a reference to the Condor recovered and under restoration lead me to several web sites and photos of restoration progress.

Whether for a library specific to the FW-200 or for general aircraft, I consider this book to be well worth the price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A "must-have" for serious aviation history and military collections 18 Oct 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Fw 200 Condor: A Complete History is an exhaustively in-depth history of the Fw 200 Condor, a German aircraft used before and during world War II. The Condor was well known for being capable of long air routes before the War broke out; its accurate navigation capabilities over long tracts of ocean took a special toll of discipline among its pilots and crew. The Condor was used to target allied vessels so far out to sea as to scarcely expect attack, and several hundred thousand tons of war material to the bottom of the ocean. This continued until the arrival of escort carriers and merchant ships armed with Hurricane fighters and long-range bombers to counter the Condor threat. The Fw 200 Condor is a story of maritime reconnaissance, the transition from peace to war, and more. Over 200 vintage black-and-white photographs illustrate this meticulous accounting of how the Condors were constructed, how they were used, and their ultimate effect upon aviation history. A "must-have" for serious aviation history and military collections.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
fantastic 12 May 2013
By Hamish Affleck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like the FW200 then this is the book for you
lots of great pictures and history on all losses during the war
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