Monday, November 23, 2020


Hawkeye: The Enthralling Autobiography of the Top-Scoring Israel Air Force Ace of Aces by Giora Even-Epstein (Grub Street Publishing 9 November 2020)

Fascinating book by and about the Israeli Air Force’s top-scoring pilot. The boo is a good read with very little politics and propaganda from an ongoing conflict. In fact, Giora Even seems to have been in as much conflict with his own air force as with his country’s enemies. Rejected due to medical issues, he initially trained as a paratrooper (with tougher medical exams than the air force!) before managing to join pilot training as the oldest pilot ever in the air force. Sent to helicopters after initial training he struggled his way to fighters and to his life-long love, the Mirage (and variants). He started his claims during the Six Day War, continued in the War of Attrition before becoming the top-scorer during the Yom Kippur War. All his claims were against the Egyptians (which he regarded higher as pilots than the Soviets).

What’s interesting is that he mentions names on co-pilots, dates of claims, type etc and is thus very detailed, which is not very common in books from more “modern” conflicts.

Of course, you can always argue, which you always can in books about fighter pilots, about whether the claims were legit or just wishful thinking but overall, it comes through as a honest description of Even’s career. In fact, the book is very much a typical fighter pilot’s book in that you could easily exchange the Mirages and MiG-21s with Spitfires, Bf 109s or P-51s!

Recommended reading if you’re interested in these conflicts from a pilot’s view!

I wish there would be any fighter memoirs “from the other side” available in English!


Rating: 9/10


The book is available from Amazon: Hawkeye: The Enthralling Autobiography of the Top-Scoring Israel Air Force Ace of Aces: BG Giora Even-Epstein: 9781911621966: Books

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Eagles over Gazala

Michele Palermo has written a new book about the air battles in North Africa in May-June 1942. This is his third book about the air war in the area in 1941-1942 and it’s written in the same excellent detailed style. If you’re the slightest interested in this subject this book is a must and it’s highly recommended!

Rating: 10/10

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My friend and colleague Ludovico Slongo has written an new book together with Maria Teresa Bobba and Bruno Maggiore about the Italian ace Guido Bobba.

Bobba was a pilot that we discovered was a previously “unknown ace” while writing the Desert Prelude books.

The book is in Italian and includes many previously unpublished photos. It costs 22€ and can be ordered from

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Found this very interesting link on a Youtube-film with Ki-27s and Ki-10s in mockcombat (footage from a 1940's film).

Ki-27 and Ki-10 in mock combat

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Desert Prelude: Operation Compass

A nice review of Desert Prelude: Operation Compass from Storia Militare July 2011 (in Italian)!

Desert Prelude: Operation Compass

A very nice review of Desert Prelude: Operation Compass from Aeroplane August 2011!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Books for sale

I’m selling of some books, which I’m having more than one example of. A list of books is available at: 
I’m interested of exchanging them with other books and/or selling them for the indicated prize.
I’m also interested in buying whole collections of aviation books.

Please contact me with any questions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945 (2011) – Barrett Tillman

Barrett Tillman’s book about the air war against Japan has been available for a while but for some reason I haven’t bought it until now when it was available as a paperback. The book covers the bomber campaign against Japan by the U.S. (and to lesser extent the U.K.); first from China and later from the Pacific (Guam, Saipan etc). The layout of the book with a beginning describing the background, the main part covering the operations and a nice final analysis is very good and gives an excellent overview of the campaign. As in all books about the Pacific war, I’m always fascinated by the cultural differences between the Allies and Japan and especially the willingness of the Japanese to sacrifice their own people to a lost cause and the rivalry between the Army And Navy (which in fact also existed in the armed forces of the U.S.). Sometimes I gets the feeling that the Navy started the Pacific war just because they were jealous that the Army got all the “glory” in China. Of course the political causes and the need for resources played a major part but still the Japanese strategically view was a failure from the beginning. In any case, the book gives good value describing the development of the strategically campaign by the U.S. and the vain Japanese attempts to thwart it. Highly recommended!

Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Swedish J 9s (Seversky P-35) on film

Marvelous color-clip of Swedish J 9s (Seversky P-35) being prepared in the Philippines in 1940. These aircraft were embargoed Swedish fighters re-routed from Sweden to the Pacific.

For more info on the J 9 in Sweden  (and the Philippines see Mikael Forslund nice book (

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Desert Prelude: Operation Compass

It seems that the book is available for order since I've received my "writer's copies" and according to MMP's webpage the book is available for sale ( ) even if it's only available for pre-order at Amazon ( ).

This book covers the air war during "Operation Compass" from December 1940 until the fall of Beda Fomm on 7 February 1941 and thus concludes mine and Ludovico Slongo's "Desert Prelude".

Thursday, January 27, 2011

53o Stormo (Aviation Elite Units) (2010)

All new books about the RegiaAeronautica in English are welcome and Marco Mattioli's new book in Osprey's Aviation Elite Units series is no exception. Mr. Mattioli is a new writer to me even if I know that he is a writer that has made some books and been published in several Italian history magazines. The book, in Osprey's well-known format, follows the 53o Stormo from the formation in 1936 until the surrender in 1943 in all the theaters of war that they fought in. During its time, the unit flew Fiat CR.32s, Fiat CR.42s, Fiat G.50bis, Macchi CMC.200s, Macchi MC.202s and finally Bf 109s. Several pilots covered on my site (which is credited in the bibliography)  is present in the book including Medaglia d'oro winners Giorgio Graffer, Luigi Mariotti, Ernesto Trevisi, Guglielmo Chiarini, Giovanni Accorsi and Furio Lauri; the last of them being the only one "surviving" the award! The book includes some to me new photos and some well known. All-in-all the book is a nice addition to my library of books about the Italian Air Force. Recommended!

Rating 9/10

Monday, January 24, 2011

Desert Prelude Part 2 "Operation Compass"

Latest news from the publisher is that the book will go to the printers during the first week of February.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces (Aircraft of the Aces) (2010)

Mikhail Maslov's new book in Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series is a welcome addition to the books about Soviet pilots. Especially interesting is the chapters about the Spanish Civil War, China and Nomonhan. The book includes many to me new memoires from Soviet pilots remembering flying the Polikarpov fighters. However there are some faults in it. For example the 'aces' listing in the end of the book doesn't correspond with the text and some of the dates on claims are strange (at least compared with my own research). It also a pity that the claims isn't checked at all against known losses and claims from the Finnish air force and the Luftwaffe. All-in-all however, it is still a book worth having and is another one that slowly tears away the fogs of propaganda and myths regarding the Soviet Unions involvement in the conflict in the 30's and 40's. Now we only waits for a book by one of the real experts to be available in English - I know they exist since I have a couple in Russian but this is a language that is too difficult to penetrate to get an understanding.

Rating: 7/10

Available from:

Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War (Aircraft of the Aces) (2010)

Alfredo Logoluso's long awaited book about the Italians and Spanish that flew Fiat CR.32s in the Spanish Civil War is finally here and it has been worth the wait. A very good book that covers an area that is very difficult to find information about in English. Well-written by an expert with much (to me) new information (which will force me to do many additions and some changes to my site...). The book also includes many new images in Osprey's well-known format. I rank this one as one of the best in the whole series (and this is book number 94 in the series). This book also shows that it's time for a new book about the air war of the Spanish Civil War that covers the whole conflict to replace Jesus Salas Larrazabal's 41-years old "Air War Over Spain", which is still the best available in English.
If you the slightest interested in the SCW or in Italian aces from both the SCW and WWII this one is a must!

Rating: 10/10

Available from:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Desert Prelude: Vol 1

We have received a wonderful review from Stone & Stone on Desert Prelude: Vol 1 -

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Desert Prelude: Operation Compass

Today I've seen the first version of Desert Prelude Part 2. It looks very good even if there's much work to do with the index etc.
The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon at:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Regia Aeronautica (2010)

Chris Dunning's latest book covers Regia Aeronautica's operational history from 1923-1945. Well done and well written it covers almost all aspects of the Italian Air Force from the mission to China in 1933-1937 and the occupation of Ethiopia in 1935-1936 until the Co-Belligerent Air Force and the A.N.R of 1943-1945. Each chapter is followed by a chapter on camouflage and markings done by well-known aviation artist Richard Caruana. The book also includes a chapter about the ace Ugo Drago ( ). The book also has an appendix about the aircraft production which includes types produced, numbers and when they were produced; a very nice addition in a subject that's difficult to find information about.
However in my opinion the book is thin in the text with focus on images and profiles as if the scope is modelers and not the ones with (deep) interest in the Italian Air Force. As an example the marginal CAI operations is covered on roughly 4 pages of text while the remaining operations of the Regia Aeronautica in 1940-43 (North Africa, Malta, Albania/Greece, Russia and Italy) receives the same number of pages of text! The texts about the markings and camouflage (which a very well done) cover almost the same number of pages, i.e. the book is more a modelers guide than an operational history.

A slightly missed opportunity to produce THE book about the Regia Aeronautica given the expertise of the author but all-in-all a nice book, that's a must for anyone interested in the Italian Air Force due to the scarceness of books about this subject in English.

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Ali Antiche no. 89 (2010)

The latest number of this nice Italian magazine includes articles about the Fiat G.46 under restoration in Suffolk (UK), the restoration of the DC-3 at Caselle and an article of the craftsmanship involved in restoring vintage aircraft, which included images of the work on the landing gear spats of the Fiat CR.42. As usually very interesting and including many nice photos.

Rating 4/5

Available for subscription from:

Monday, May 3, 2010

One more nice review of 'Desert Prelude'

A very nice review of 'Desert Prelude' from Scale Aviation Modeller.