Jagdwaffe - Luftwaffe Colours Vol. 3 Sec. 2

Barbarossa - The Invasion of Russia, June - December 1941

by Eric Mombeek, Christer Bergstrom & Martin Pegg

a Classic Aviation Classic Colours Book

Book review by Steve Jantscher


This is the tenth volume in what is supposed to eventually be a very long and detailed history of the fighter arm of the Luftwaffe. Covered in this volume are the first seven months of the war against the Soviet Union. To say this is a "nice to have" series is an understatement. The value of the photographs to the modeler is almost priceless, that is if you like Me 109s. Of course other aircraft are represented, but for the most part, the vast number of aircraft depicted in this volume are of the Messerschmidt 109, in all of its varied and gloriously different paint schemes. Of less value is the text, which I feel is neither feather nor fowl. I've read many better histories of the war in Russia, and the closer focus to just the Luftwaffe fighter arm, is a strange attempt at history with a capital "H". In a macro look at the war, the text covers general movements and actions. This is so so information, and in the most case is superfluous. The average reader these days is better served by other better focused histories of the War in Russia. That is not to say that the history is a big distraction. It isn't, only representing perhaps 5% to 8% of the total pages. Most of the book is taken up by photographs and profiles.

It is in the picture captions and the one-page short stories that this title really shines. The detailed photo captions are worth the price of this volume alone. It is here that the authors share their stash of priceless one of a kind, mostly never before seen pictures gathered from veretans over the years. One can spend an hour just browsing from page to page, reading the captions and studying the photos. As previously mentioned, there are many one page stories by and of Luftwaffe personnel. These are the areas also where the authors have done their homework. It is a shame that more of the book wasn't done this way, without the potted history of the "big picture".

The subject matter covered by this book is the war in Russia during 1941, and as such one gets to see those varied and highly "unofficial" Messerschmidt paint schemes, and not just those of JG 54.

Of special note for the modeler are the many color profiles of select aircraft. These are beautifully painted by (I believe) Thomas Tullis. As shown in the sample page below, the profiles are always displayed next to the photograph that the artist drew the profiles from. With each profile, there's a large paragraph of extra information that is most commonly of interest to modelers. There are 28 of these beautiful profiles. The softcover book is almost 100 pages long, measuring 12x9 inches.

Over the course of the many volumes in this Jagdwaffe history, one will gather an irreplaceable collection of the finest captioned photographs of Luftwaffe fighters. I myself can't wait for the volumes dedicated to the defense of the homeland from the combined bomber offensive.

sample page

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I'm sorry, but since the review has been published that product appears to have gone out of production.