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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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REVIEW
More Bf 109 Aces the Russian Front
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,402 posts
AeroScale: 3,058 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 04, 2007 - 04:50 PM UTC
The four-year long war fought between Germany and the Soviet Union produced not only the greatest number of aces, but also the highest individual and unit scores ever recorded in the history of aerial warfare. An ideal complement to its bestselling predecessor, this fully illustrated volume covers the Luftwaffe fighter pilots credited with scores of between 50 and 100; every single one of them amassing a greater number of victories than the highest and most celebrated of any British or American World War II ace. Despite these huge personal totals, the names of these pilots who fought against the Red Air Force remain almost unknown to many English speaking readers. More Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front rectifies that omission, providing first-hand accounts from the combat veterans themselves, as well as never-before published photographs, vividly conveying the terrible experiences of the protagonists in this difficult theater of war.

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Thanks!
alpha_tango
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Germany
Joined: September 07, 2005
KitMaker: 5,609 posts
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Posted: Saturday, August 04, 2007 - 07:59 PM UTC
Hi Fred

nice review on that booklet, though your statement about Mr. Weal also shows the downside of the Osprey Luftwaffe books. He is mainly an illustrator and works from secondary or tertiary sources and thus often repeating old mistakes and myths.

I collect those series too (AoA and CA), but I cannot agree on 95% in terms of contents (for the Luftwaffe booklets). Also be aware, that the profiles are often wrong (over all or in details).

Still the Osprey series may be a smooth entry to the world of aviation, air warfare and Luftwaffe in this case. Just be aware that these booklets are not the source to cite when it comes to c&m or history discussions .

best wishes

Steffen
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,402 posts
AeroScale: 3,058 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2007 - 05:49 PM UTC
Hallo Steffen,

Thank you for the insight. Useful to know.

Much of my references are pre-1990s. Osprey's books are generally my latest forays into new sources. In the past 15 years I've been buying new works as they come available, but am not up to date as to who is considered THE authority.

TTFN,

Fred
FalkeEins
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 07, 2005
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AeroScale: 682 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2007 - 10:06 PM UTC

Steffen is right...if you've got a decent library proceed with caution - Mr Weal himself (yes, I do know him) readily admits that these slim volumes are 'potboilers' ...
This particular volume is a little bit more interesting & detailed than some of his recent aces titles - if you can call Osprey Aces volumes "detailed" at all. Weal makes good use of German language sources and as Fred notes, he writes very fluently and with a certain flair.
One thing I find strange are the sources quoted - the author relies on rather older works as references, and his views seem a little out of touch with the latest research - he still labels VVS equipment in 1941 as outdated and obsolete, while Christer Bergstrom's latest works for Eagle Editions and Ian Allan draw new conclusions.
..Elsewhere it is also strange to note that Weal´s account of the shootdown of Heinz Ewald by his own flak differs somewhat from what Ewald has to say about this episode himself. In fact I have just been reading the account of Gustav Denk's loss (II./JG52) as provided by the unnamed 'fledgling wingman'....bizarrely I had to go to another book to find out that his wingman was Helmut Lipfert and that this account was lifted direct from Lipfert's book published by Schiffer, uncredited in Weal's text - no footnote, nothing..
I'd also say that in this age of superlative computer artwork renderings, say the latest works by Tom Tullis or Claes Sundin, Weal's profiles look rather amateurish and outdated and I thought the book was a little slimmer than the usual Osprey aces titles...only 86 pages of text & profiles...
a good basic reference work to get the names and some info about the service life of the pilots, but only a taster for more detailed research .. I'd give it a 6 (out of 10).