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Focke Wulf FW190 1944-45: Vol 3 Hardcover – 1 Oct 2014
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"What a book! What a series! Appendices, endnotes and indices neatly wrap things up. Roundly recommended!"--David L. Veres"Cybermodeler" (12/15/2013)
"The amount of information presented is simply amazing."--Chris Banyai-Riepl"Internet Modeler" (10/18/2015)
-What a book! What a series! Appendices, endnotes and indices neatly wrap things up. Roundly recommended!---David L. Veres-Cybermodeler- (12/15/2013)
-The amount of information presented is simply amazing.---Chris Banyai-Riepl-Internet Modeler- (10/18/2015)
About the Author
J. Richard Smith and Eddie J. Creek have been researching Luftwaffe aircraft for over forty years, publishing their first book, "German Aircraft of the Second World War," in 1972. After retiring as an architect in 1991, Eddie Creek established Classic Publications with Robert Forsyth. He again cooperated with Richard Smith in the production of an acclaimed four-volume history of the Me 262, published by Classic, and this was followed by several volumes on the Luftwaffe fighter and bomber units and their markings for Classic.
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This volume continues from where volume 2 left off, detailing the late war history of the 190. The late A, D and F series are covered in detail. Further sections cover some fascinating weaponry that was tested on the 190. Night fighters, Sturmgruppe and the Sachsenberg Shwarm are also covered.
The book also has a very interesting section on captured aircraft and the 190 in foreign service. A comprehensive list of surviving 190s is also given.
Great colour profiles compliment the many photographs and while some have been seen before there are also newly published photographs. Add the informative and very readable text and there is little left to want. The book also suggests that the potential for a 4th volume looks likely to be realised in the future
Highly recommended to all aviation enthusiasts.
First impressions - this is a lovely book, nice glossy paper, pages crammed with pics and artwork except for the occasional photo reproduced large. The Dora content is actually not that extensive - although there appears to be more on the developmental history of the Dora than in other publishers works. The first chapter (chapter 21) covers the development of the Jumo 21, 213 and DB 603, the D-9, D-11, D-12 etc, with an array of handbook drawings, manufacturers' photos and a translation of the Baubeschreibung for the Dora-9 over four pages along with selected pilot reports;
" ..any advantage that this aircraft may have in performance over other models of the Fw 190 is more than offset by its poor handling characteristics..."
Chapter 22 moves the story to D-Day, Arnhem and the arrival of the first Doras at III./ JG 54 while chapter 23 covers the Sturmgruppen in the defence of the Reich. Chapter 24 moves us back to the Eastern Front and features an excellent sequence of full page pictures of JG 54 machines undergoing maintenance with a five-page profile of Otto Kittel including rare images of Kittel at Riga in June 1944, although not unfortunately of his Fw 190 - a lovely sequence of these do exist in at least one collection I am familiar with..Chapter 25 by Nick Beale covers various SGs, NSGrs and other 'special' Fw 190 units including KG 200. Chapter 26 takes us from September 1944 to 01 January 1945 and includes a four-page profile of Walther Dahl but repeats the 'myth' of Bretschneider's ramming of 7 October 1944.. " he was later found safe hanging from his parachute on the edge of a ravine.." While admitting that Dahl's memoir was 'colourful' the authors fail to take the opportunity to set the record straight on Dahl's combat record - Lorant in his history of JG 300 singularly failed to find evidence of even 100 combat victories for Dahl far less the 128 victories ascribed to him just about everywhere, a figure drawn from the same 'colourful' bio. Chapter 27 covers in-depth over 35 pages the 'special' weapons (Sonderwaffen) which were produced to arm various marks of the Anton including the Hagelkorn glider bomb and the Ruhrstahl X-4 missile and the SB 800 Kurt 'bouncing' bomb. Chapter 28 covers the end in the West and there is a superb chapter on foreign use and proposed 'jet' variants and various 'what-iffery'. In summary then this latest addition to Smith & Creek's Fw 190 trilogy continues the operational and developmental history of the type and extends the page count to over 1,000 for the three volumes - the results of over forty years study according to the authors preface! Hard then to argue that this will not become the definitive work in English. There is of course the occasional howler too as is probably unavoidable with such a high page-count - an entire page (p.817) is given over to Hannes Theiss' 6./ JG 300 'yellow 9' 'roter Hahn' ('Red rooster') - the inscription is quite visible in the pic- along with artwork ..but both are captioned as belonging to 7. Staffel JG 1!
To sum up, photo content and reproduction, layout, text and artworks are all excellent here - the bonus was the fair number of photos that were new to me, especially from the Eastern Front Schlachtgruppen. It goes without saying that all enthusiasts should be looking forward to a possible volume 4 featuring the scale drawings absent thus far in this treatment. And more artworks - if I have one criticism of Volume 3 it is the relative paucity of colour side views (only about five or six Doras for example). At the time of writing this volume is currently the 'best-selling' military aircraft book on amazon - and now the pre-orders have shipped (£34) they've even dropped the price to £27 !! (indicated RRP is £55 ). While I personally don't believe that this sort of aggressive pricing is good for the publishing industry (definitely not the retail side of it anyway..) how can you pass up such a bargain..
And if interested, this link will take you to a chat I had with the author a while back
I paid a fair price for this book and feel I got good very value for money.
Do I consider myself "an expert on the FW-190" - no I do not , which is the reason why I have invested in the two previous books and this third volume.
The book itself is produced to a very high standard, it is illustrated with a wealth of fine photographs and line drawings, the text reads well and the pick up from Volume two is seamless I simply cannot fault it.
In terms of production quality the same high standard has continues , you get a really good deal on this fine book.
Volume four.... well this company and its authors did four books on the Me 262 and I can't think that I need to buy another work on the 262 , my only regret was having to pay handsomely for the first 262 book on the second hand market, I do not want to do the same with a potential fourth "190" book and within the numbering sequence space has already been made for Volume four.
Looking forward to seeing Volume two on the JU 88 which will (I hope) shortly be in print.
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