6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2010
This is a book with an appealing cover and is of the 'pocket' book variety. However, I find 3 serious flaws with it: 1) This book is divided into sections by aircraft type and nationality. There is, for instance, a section on British fighters. But there is no section on single engine bombers/attack aircraft for allied nations. This means you won't find the Fairey Swordfish, Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik, Douglas Dauntless, Curtiss Helldiver, or Grumman Avenger mentioned in the book !! (There is a picture of an Avenger on the back cover, though !!) On the other hand, there is a section on Axis light attack aircraft, so planes like the Stuka and the Judy are covered. 2) The shape of the book is rather vertical in nature, and since this is a small book, the majority of the pictures are cut in half by the bookbinding! I find this ruins the esthetic lines of the plane which is pictured. It just doesn't make sense to make a vertical book about a subject (airplanes) which lies horizontally when photographed. Nice pictures but bad format, say I. 3) Finally, the book has no index or overall table of contents. Instead, each section (about 10) has its own mini- table of contents. This means that you end up spending time thumbing through the book to find the right section and then the right plane you're looking for. (Unprofessional, but it helps hide the fact that some planes are missing.)
The author does a fine job, however, covering obscure British and German warplanes. Here are some of these planes: Westland Whirlwind, Blackburn Skua, Bachem Ba-349,Blohm und voss BV40, BV155, FW-187, HE-100, HE-112,HE-280, HS-123, HS-129, HS-132, JU-388, ME-263, ME-328. I don't recommend this book for serious aviation enthusiasts (unless they like obscure German aircraft), but it's fine for those with a casual interest. Those interested in the Pacific Air War should steer clear of this book!
I haven't been able to find the PBY Catalina yet. I would appreciate if another reviewer could let me know if it's actually in the book.