The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Foreign Service...

... from MMP Books

Title:  The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Foreign Service

Author: Jan Forsgren

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65958-21-1

This new softcover book in their White Series from MMP Books takes on a well known subject, but from a rather more unusual angle. In this one we see a marvellous selection of archive photos, some not brilliant quality but so unusual that it is great to see them. The B-17 Flying Fortress was used by a variety of countries other than the USA. A number of these were due to examples being damaged or suffering some other mechanical failure that they landed/crash landed on foreign territory. No surprise then the both Germany and Japan were able to get a few examples back in the air, for testing/evaluation purposes. In the case of Germany, some were used for clandestine operations by a specialist unit, KG 200.

Some countries, such as Sweden and Switzerland, retained their independence during WW2 but still had a number of US aircraft land in their territory. They were interned and not returned to the US until after the war. Other countries only got hold of small numbers of examples, some as small as 1, and sometimes via 'unofficial' sources. As well as the countries which operated them, as bombers, VIP transports, cargo, search & rescue or surveillance, we find out more about who used what and what for. The countries include Canada, Bolivia, Brazil, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Israel, USSR, Taiwan and others. At the back of the book there are a couple of pages of old colour photos, along with 9 pages of first class colour profiles, illustrating many of the foreign users. Coupled with the archive photos that provide additional visual reference, this forms a fine reference for modellers who will like the potential for expanding a collection of B-17 with a selection of more unusual colour and marking schemes.

I was very interested to read about these other users, rather than just the USAAF, and some of background behind them. I certainly can't recall seeing the photos of the Japanese trio in flight together.  MMP continue to provide some super books for the modeller and aviation historian alike.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin