Top positive review
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A visual treat for those interested in the Bf 110
on 16 May 2008
This book is a photograph collection which follows the Bf 110 from its early B series (a few pages are devoted to this model, despite the title) through to the E version. Chapters cover all the variants from the Bf 110 C-1 to the E-3 and there are sections on night fighter variants (which for these early models were almost identical to the day fighter variants) and aircraft modified for towing gliders.
Unlike the excellent recent volumes Classic have published on German aircraft this book shows the evolution of the design purely pictorially. There is almost no text other than the picture captions themselves and no explanation of why the aircraft was created, what role it was meant to fill, why the various models were developed, or how they were used.
The photographs are an interesting and varied collection. A few pictures will be very familiar to anyone who has read anything on the Bf 110 or the Luftwaffe in general, but the majority will probably not be. The quality of the originals is somewhat mixed but all are reproduced very well and informatively captioned. The result is a visual description of the Bf 110 from nose to tail, inside and out, with each chapter showing the modifications made from the previous model in great detail. There are many examples of `composite' aircraft shown, as Messerschmitt seem to have wanted to use up the stock of components from the previous model on as each new version was introduced. Clear and elegant profiles show how features changed with each model. As with all Classic publication's recent books the physical presentation is excellent.
If you want description of the rationale, design and use of the Bf 110 in the same way as Classic's recent volumes on the Me 410, Do 335 or the superb volume on the Natter have done, then I would suggest this book is only going to be of marginal interest. If you are a modeller, or are interested in the minutiae of changes made for version to version, perhaps to identify the exact aircraft type shown in a photograph, then is will be a much more useful book. This is the sort of book the authors have aimed to create and they have done an excellent job at doing so, so on that basis I rate it at five stars.