7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not much about engineers,
This review is from: Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers who Turned the Tide in the Second World War (Hardcover)
Engineers of Victory would lead most potential readers to expect a book about the contribution that engineers made to the global Allied victory in the Second World War. Well, don't hold your breath. Any number of opportunities to explain, let's say, the engineering behind the Mulberry harbours, the laminar flow wing of the P51 Mustang, or the development of the R-R Merlin 61 are ignored in this book. In the case of the Mustang, the author writes that there was an aeronautical puzzle concerning the Mustang's greater weight but longer range of a Spitfire. Had he asked an engineer, Mr Kennedy would have been told that the designers of the aircraft had spent a long time testing a variety of laminar-flow wings developed by NAA-NACA, the fore-runner of NASA, in the USA, before selecting the one with the best lift to drag ratio. There was absolutely no mystery.
Further, in the second chapter, the author describes the Vickers Vimy as being four-engined, when it had just two, and refers to Elmer Bendiner, a survivor of the Schweinfurt raids, as Elmer Bendiger throughout the book including the bibliography. This may only be serious for Mr Bendiner's lost sales, but I started to wonder as I went through the book how much else might be wrong. I know a fair amount about aircraft, but know little about submarines. What errors might lurk there?
Finally, the book, at 436 pages, is at least a fifth too long, largely because of the repetitious writing style.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Oct 2013 20:37:02 BDT
J. A. Cook says:
With reference to Mr. Greensted's comment: concerning laminar flow wings- the Spitfire also had a laminar flow wing. The Mustang's greater range was due to something known as the Meredith effect. Indeed, consulting an engineer might be appropriate for others!
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Oct 2013 09:01:33 GMT
Mr. Stephen Greensted says:
I never said that the Spitfire did not have a laminar flow wing. Where is it in my review, please?
Posted on 17 Jul 2014 13:50:32 BDT
Stephen, couldn't agree more. I learned nearly as much from your review as I did from spending nearly £10 on the good Mr Kennedy's book.
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