Osprey Aircraft of the Aces No.52:

Sopwith Camel Aces of World War I

by Norman Franks

reviewed by Steve Jantscher


The Sopwith camel first entered my consciousness through the adventures of a certain precocious beagle. It was only later in my youth that I examined some framed prints my Father had hanging in his room. These were WWI fighters, depicted in true dogfights, balloon busting, and strafing attacks. Gradually I learned more, and in doing so the Sopwith Camel aircraft took its position as one of the most important aircraft of the Great War. It was with that sense of nostalgia that I read parts from this volume. Norman Franks, the well known and respected aviation author, has produced in less than a hundred pages a nice slice of life of this famous fighter and the brave men who flew her to distinction. Numerous small stories from the different aces give life to the times when aviation combat was in it infancy. Included in this book, as with others in the series, are forty well annotated side profiles, many with additional overhead plan-forms shown.

I like the Osprey books. Their overall quality is a known commodity, and this volume is no exception. Numerous black and white photographs, short biographies of the aces and 'Camel units, with special attention paid to including interesting stories of specific combats while flying the Sopwith Camel round out the book. This makes a nice addition to anyone whose interest tends toward WWI or who wants to continue their aviation library at an affordable price.

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