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on 24 February 2009
I was surprised by this book, very informative, excellent printing quality, excellent photographs and illustrations. Its only shortcoming is a not so detailed operational history of the type, in fact, it covers the 210 and 410 operational history in a relatively superficial way. This would probably mean adding 2 or 3 more chapters to the book however, for operations of the type in the different theaters of war, but even if this would result in a higher price tag, it would make this the reference book for the Me210/410.
As it is however, it's still well worth buying, an excellent value for the money, and mandatory for any aviation enthusiast, altough it'll probably be of more relevance to the model builder, than to the historian.
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on 19 April 2008
The Me 210, and its development, the Me 410, have been little written about. Dismissed as costly failures that had little influence on the air war the type is now mostly known for having been as dangerous to its crews as to the enemy in its first incarnation, and carrying a heavy 50mm cannon in its second. This handsome volume goes some way towards rescuing the type from obscurity.

The book is neatly split into five chapters. Chapter one is a well-illustrated 44 page history of the type from its inception to the end of the war. It looks at how the aircraft evolved from a multi-role replacement for the Bf 110 through a seemingly endless series of troubles into a heavy fighter combating American bombers over Germany. The chapter describes the struggle among the Luftwaffe's planners to rescue the design from its initial disastrous introduction, to find a suitable role for the aircraft, and where to place it among constantly changing production priorities, all of which makes interesting reading. The text emphasises the development history of the aircraft rather than its operational use, and tends to concentrate on the use of the aircraft as a heavy fighter rather than in its bomber or reconaissance roles. Initial operations by the Me 210 over England and Tunisia are barely mentioned and there is very little on the use of the Me 410 in the `baby blitz' of 1944. Small sections deal with the Hungarian experience of operating the Me 210, and biographies of some Me 210 and 410 aircrew which range from a few sentences to a whole page. There is a larger section on the famous 50mm BK 5 cannon.

The second chapter is 36 page list of all the Me 210 and 410s produced by Werknummer (serial number), with notes on each individual aircraft's fate if known. This is an impressive piece of research but no effort has been made to use the information in it - why not present tables showing production split by sub-type, or by month, etc? (This chapter also holds the only references in the entire book to the two surviving aircraft, one preserved at the Smithsonian in America, W.Nr 018, and one on display at RAF Cosford in England, W.Nr 420430).

The third chapter is a 54 page photo gallery containing many fine pictures of the aircraft under construction, in use, or focusing on its components. The occasional colour photograph supplement the black and white pictures, most of which are very good, a few grainy, but all reproduced very well and informatively captioned.

Chapter four covers the design evolution of the type in 22 pages, though is mostly manufacturer's drawings and photographs with little text, and the final chapter looks at proposed developments of the Me 410 in 13 pages. Again this is mostly by reproductions of original drawings with little explanation.

The physical production of the book is superb. There are colour profiles of some of the aircraft illustrated in black and white photographs, which are themselves numerous and informative. A nice touch is the reproduction of the hornet emblem in colour on each page's heading.

Overall this is an impressive volume, if not quite definitive. Its strengths are many - the text is informative, the illustrations excellent, and there is much fascinating detail - and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the aircraft, but there are a few omissions and missed opportunities which could have made it more impressive still.
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VINE VOICEon 20 December 2010
The sub-title to this volume is 'An Illustrated Production History' and you get what is on the label; there is no operational history or personal reminiscences. Crammed with b&w photographs (unfortunately the tonal quality of some renders them almost useless to the modeller), some colour plates & many technical drawings, providing a full technical description of the Me 210/410. There is even a full chapter recording Werknummer, Factory Code, Unit Allocation & Operational Summary of each aircraft produced (a modeller's dream). Another must for the Luftwaffe modeller and those interested in German wartime aircraft. An excellent book published by Midland for the aviation enthusiast.
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on 18 January 2011
This book is a production history - it doesn't really cover its operational history.

Frankly I felt a bit let down by this book. It is rather dull, plenty of great photographs / cutaways and colour profiles - but it is a combat aircraft and this area is missed completely.

One chapter lists every me210/410 produced - which some people may find interesting, but it's about 20+ pages and adds little.

The me210/410 was not, at the end of the day, a successful aircraft, either in design nor a combat aircraft - we are told about production problems, but little about its combat record.

I read it once and other than the photos/profiles there is not much to go back for.

As a book on a production history - I can't fault it, but it is like writing a book on the history of a racing car, excluding all about the races, dull.
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on 25 October 2011
I have to agree with "Barry" read the cover - it is not an operational history of the aircraft but one told from a developmental point of view, having said that there is a short section in the book which gives voice to some of the men who flew the aircraft and all aircraft which appear in photos are linked to the "Werkenummer" listings which cover the fate of all of those produced.

In terms of photographic coverage and diagrams the book comes into its own but had it been expanded to cover the operational aspect it would have been a fantastic book.

Price has gone up on Amazon in the last year but I still think you get good VFM, for me this was not an aircraft I knew a great deal about so this book was a welcome addition for me.
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on 8 November 2013
If you have an interest in the Me210/410 or planning to build a model of one (like me one day soon....ish) then this book is a must. Well written and features some very useful photos. Highly recommended!
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