Jagdwaffe - Luftwaffe Colours Vol. 3 Sec. 3
War Over The Desert - North Africa June 1940 - June 1942
by J. Richard Smith & Martin Pegg
a Classic Aviation Classic Colours Book
Book review by Steve Jantscher
This is the eleventh volume in the growing Jagdwaffe series which attempt to tell the history of the Luftwaffe fighter arm during the build up prior to war, and the war in all it's varied places. As the cover exclaims, this book looks at the battle of North Africa. Continuing the method of earlier volumes, there is a potted history of the campaigns, and the role of the Jagdwaffe in the see-saw battles between German and Allied forces. This is a better history than some of the others in the series. the North African campaign is a more isolated campaign in space and time than most seemingly arbitrary divisions of the war. Here are the knights of the air, in the last "romantic" battlefield of the war. Very few civilians, just combatants to fight and die.
For those of you who like their Messerschmidts brown, this is the book for you. However in addition to the traditional RLM 78/79 schemes, there are many non standard aircraft schemes presented by the authors and the artist (Thomas Tillis I believe). These are really the true strength of this book, the collection of photographs, and the snaps of the smiling and alive young men who fought under the swastika populate this book. If ever a campaign can be thought of "romantic", I suppose the North African campaign fits the bill. Not only do we have Rommel and Montgomery, but the Star of North Africa, Lt. Hans-Joachim Marseille.
In addition to the photographs and full color profiles, I especially like the one and two page short stories the authors use to give a personal touch to the war. these short stories of the men who flew and fought add just the right spice to the collection of photos that make this history collection come alive. One point I must make is that this book, and by extension the whole series, is to be valued above most all other resources the modeler is likely to come across for the quality of the material (photographs) presented, and the high quality of the overall production. No mere collection of "In Action" books. These are for the most part new photos. the variety will be a blessing to the modeler who not only wants some different paint schemes, but also is interested in some of the small period details that more exhaustive "Detail" type books can't provide.
The 12x9 inch softcover book is almost 100 pages of heavy stock semi-gloss paper. The printing quality is top notch. There are also 26 color profiles and about 200 photographs, a handful of which are in color.
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