The F-4 Phantom...
...another 'Images of War' from Pen & Sword
Title: F-4 Phantom
Author: Martin W. Bowman
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Another new title in the popular Images of War series and one which I think is bound to be very popular.
This 117-page softcover book is packed with an excellent collection of historic images. Written by well known author Martin W Bowman. Each of the 4 main chapters is introduced by a couple of pages of background text and then as we expect from the Images of war format, there is much more of interest included in the individual captions to each image. The 4 main chapters capture the Phantom in use by the US Navy, then the USAF, the RAF, and at the end, a final section which shows examples in use with the many export customers who also used this genuinely multi-role aircraft. With both the US Navy and USAF sections, we see them on board carriers, secure in blast shelters on airfields in Vietnam, or in the air intercepting Soviet bombers. From the pale grey colours of the USN to the multi-colour camouflage pattern of SE Asia to the later grey schemes of the Wild Weasels there is a lot to see and read. In chapter 3 we see the Phantom in use by both the Royal Navy and the RAF. With the extending nose-wheel olio on a carrier to the RAF camouflage variants in front of their HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelter) in West Germany. The British examples were powered by Rolls Royce engines rather then the US built engines. In the final chapter we see a selection of foreign operators, including West Germany, Japan, Greece, and the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) amongst others. There are still some examples in use around the world, though most have been retired now.
The book provides a useful introduction to the F-4, what it was like to fly in combat, what were the good and bad points of the design as well as the basic history of the design. With the ever popular F-4 Phantom as the subject, this one deserves to be popular among many aviation enthusiasts who still have a love of the 'Phabulous Phantom', with a very good photo reference that will also please many aircraft modellers.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.