Focke-Wulf Fw 190...
...The Early Years-Operations in the West, from Frontline Books
Title: Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Author: Chris Goss
Publisher: Frontline books
Another addition to the Air War Archive series from author Chris Goss. The Fw 190 was one of the best known Luftwaffe aircraft of WW2 and this new title in the Air War Archive series looks at the career of the aircraft in the first couple of years of it's service, between 1941 and 1943, and particularly in the West, which includes over Britain, Western Europe, Italy and the Mediterranean. After a useful Introduction the rest of the book is split into chapters covering Training, The Pembrey 190, Jagdgeschwader 2, Other Jagdgeschwader in North-West Europe, Jabo, Reconnaissance and The Mediterranean. Each of these holds a collection of archive photos with the information held within the extended captions.
The photo collection is first class, and the bulk of which I had not seen before. Apparently they come from the collection of the late Alfred Price who passed them on to the author. What we see is a wide ranging set of images which include aircraft in the air, on the ground, wrecked in accidents, and many showing us the aircrew who flew them. The aircraft was a fine weapons platform, and its' flexibility is demonstrated by use as a fighter, reconnaissance and 'Jabo' (fighter bomber used for intruder missions). Two aircraft among the illustrations are particularly interesting. One was landed by the disorientated pilot at an RAF Airfield at Pembrey in South Wales in 1942. Then in 1943 another 'lost' pilot landed another fully operational example at RAF West Malling in Kent.
Modellers will enjoy the details seen in many of the photos and there are some great diorama display ideas. The dispersal of aircraft among trees and with foliage arranged around the parked aircraft, plus some individual hangers just large enough for an individual aircraft. One detail which grabbed my attention in the final chapter shows an array of cannon ammunition laid out on a tray in front of the aircraft, and that tray has been fitted onto what is clearly on old civilian pram, or perhaps better described as a 'baby carriage'. All together another fine addition to the Air War Archive series from Chris Goss and Frontline Books.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for my copy.