David Knights' Weblog

July 27, 2013

Book review: German Jets of World War II by Dominique Breffort

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:41 pm
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German Jets cover

German Jets cover

Book review: German Jets of World War II by Dominique Breffort
Planes and Pilots #17 Published by Histoire & Collections
90 pgs
Retail Price $22.95

One area I’ve always found interesting is the technologically advanced weapons developed by the Germans at the end of WWII.  This book is designed to appeal to just that area of interest. I have actually been (slowly) working on a collection of models of these weapons.  The level of technology they demonstrate is just really interesting.

I have several books from this publisher. This book is typical of this publisher. It is a  softcover book printed on high quality paper.  The photographs reproduced in the book are of high quality.  One of the main attractions of the series is the very nice camouflage and markings illustrations that these books contain.  The aircraft covered by this book are the Me-262, the Ar-234, the Me-163 and the He-162.  Each section focuses on a particular aircraft, starting with a brief history of its development followed by a brief history of the aircraft’s operational career in the closing year or two of the war.  After the text in each section are multiple pages of color sideview illustrations of the subject aircraft.  For the Me-262 this color sideview section runs 24 pages and covers aircraft form the early prototypes to the final combat aircraft.  For the He-162, which saw almost no operational service, there are 10 pages of illustrations. The illustrations are generally left side views and are very attractively done. Each section contains some illustrations of aircraft markings and camouflage that I have never seen before.  Also, each section also has a couple of illustrations of the aircraft in Allied markings after the war.  In addition for each aircraft there are one or two illustrations of a typical top view camouflage carried by these particular aircraft.  For a modeler looking for inspiration, the illustrations in this book should provide plenty.

The publisher of the book is French and I suspect that the author’s first language is French and the text appears to have been translated from French.  It is a good translation, with only a few syntax errors making the reader aware of the language translation.  The author/publisher does make a few mistakes/typos.  These are things like citing the wrong year (1945 instead of 1944) or translating Jagdgeschwader as fighter squadron rather than fighter wing. However, these few errors, while sometimes jarring to read, don’t really provide much of an impediment to enjoying the book.  My one issue with this book, as well as a lot of books and magazines lately, is the price.  The retail price of this book is almost $23, which frankly is just part of the trend of higher and higher book prices. Given the advances in publishing and printing technology, I’d have thought that we’d have seen prices drop.  However, that hasn’t seemed to be the case.  In any event, I was able to pick the book up new off Amazon.com for $16.  For that price, the book is worth it.  If this is in your area of interest, you should pick it up.

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