Early Jet Fighters 1944-1954...

 

...The Soviet Union and Europe, an 'Images of War' title from Pen & Sword

 

Title: Early Jet Fighters 1944-1954

Author: Leo Marriott

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52675-393-9

 

This is a follow-up/companion title to an earlier book in the Images of War series by author Leo Marriott looking at the early jet aircraft built after WW2. The previous title just looked at the UK and USA wheras this new one looks at designs for a mix of the efforts from other countries, including Germany itself, whose late war designs had so much influence.
After an introduction, the first of the five chapters does start with those late war jet designs from Germany itself, designs which the various Allies were keen to get their hands on. Well known examples which are featured do include the well known types such as the Me 262 and the He 178 but there are also the He 280 and the Me 328 plus the futuristic looking Horton IX. The next chapter takes us to Russia, where many of their designs were shrouded in secrecy for many years that the Mig 15 & 17 performance came as a surprise when it got to the Korean war. Less glamorous or well known though are a ram-jet powered La7, the BMW engined Mig-9, the Yak-15 and the La-150. All are pictured with extra information included in the useful captions. In chapter 3 the focus turns to France. Here we see French Vampires, along with other designs, some well known and others not. It is certainly the first time I had seen the Sud-Ouest Espadron among others such as the Baroudeur and Nord Gerfaut and Griffon. For chapter 4 we travel North, to Sweden, and their unusual designs like the twin-tail Saab J21, the Saab J29 (the 'Flying Barrel') and the Saab 210, a flying test-bed which resulted in the well known Draken. That leaves chapter 5 to catch up with 'Other Nations', an assortment of other designs including Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Japan and Argentina.
The early post-WW2 years were a period of experimentation in the application of new jet technology for aviation design, a lot of it based around the advanced German designs that the various allies captured at the end of the war. Lots in here showing aircraft that are well known, but equally many that have remained largely ignored. A really interesting book for anyone interested in the history of military aviation, and modellers of course.
 

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin