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German Guided Missiles of World War II...

...Fritz-X to Wasserfall and X-4, from Osprey Publishing

Title: German Guided Missiles of World War II

Author: Steven J. Zaloga

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-3179-8

New Vanguard 276 from Osprey is a particularly interesting subject, the German development of Guided Missiles in the second half of WW2. Some entered service and had some success, whereas others never got beyond the development stage. It was their anti-ship missiles which first made their presence felt.  All the same, just like the V-1 and V-2, their designs had a lot of influence on post-war weapons development.

The first section of the book focuses on the Anti-Ship Missiles, and these include both the Hs 293 and the Fritz-X, a 1400Kg radio guided bomb. It's best known success was in sinking the Italian battleship 'Roma' as it was sailing to surrender to the allies. That's followed  by the Hs 293, of which over 11,000 examples of the different variants had been manufactured. There were others, including the large Mistel combination. Then it moves on to Flak missiles, attempts to tackle the huge bomber streams that were attacking Germany on such a regular basis. They had little impact though some interesting trials, such as the Rheintiochters and the Hs 117 Schmetterling. The final section covers air-to-air missiles, including the wire-guided X-4.

Informative text, accompanied by a good selection of archive images, coupled with some modern colour images of preserved examples in various museum collections. Add some of Osprey's excellent artwork, in this case by Jim Laurier. and there is a lot to attract anyone with an interest in missile development, and how these designs influenced what has come onto the battlefield since. Lots to attract the modeller as well, as there are a number of fine model kits on the market today, in both large and small scales, of missiles such as the Rheintochter variants. Another useful book from Osprey and author Steve Zaloga.


Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.


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