Sunday, December 27, 2009

Italian War Graves

A couple of weeks ago, Gianmaria Spagnoletti tiped me about the "Italian version" of the The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( which can be found at the Ministro Della Difesa ( - select: "Banca Dati sulle sepolture dei Caduti in Guerra" and when the new page opens select: "Accedi al sistema di ricerca". A realy useful tool!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Courage Alone: The Italian Air Force 1940-1943 (2009)

This is revised and updated version of Chris Dunning's since long time sold-out "Courage Alone" from 1998. The new edition includes many new images but so far I haven't found any new information (I haven't gone through all unit histories yet). The book covers every Gruppo and Autonomo Squadriglia histories, areas of operations, allocations, OOBs, aircraft types etc. Two new things in the book are two appendices with extracts from the technical manuals for the Ca.310 and CR.32 (not adding very much). It also list the Regia Aeronautica aces (which still unfortunately includes the error that Franco Lucchini ( claimed five victories in Spain - in fact he only claimed an I-15 as a solo victory on 21/02/38. It is still the best reference source on the Regia Aeronautica available in English but if you have the first edition, there is no need to buy this version (if you're not like me, who wants to buy everything available on Italian aviation, that is...). However, if you don't have the previous edition and is the slightest interested in the Regia Aeronautica, this is definitively a must! Highly recommended!

Rating 5/5

Available from:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ali Antiche no. 87 (2009)

The latest number of this Italian magazine produced by the Gruppo Amici Velivoli Storici includes as usual a number of interesting articles. The magazine includes translations to English of the main articles. This number includes an interesting article about the Caproni Ca.114 in Peru during 1935-1944. The Ca.114 was the "loser" in the competition for a new fighter to the Regia Aeronautica that was won by the Fiat CR.32. 12 aircraft were exported to Peru and used up until 1944. Another article covers the development of the Fiat 7002 helicopter from 1957 until the project was cancelled in the early 60's. The helicopter was powered with a "jet" configuration, i.e. jet efflux from the rotor blades tips. Recommended for anyone interested in the more unknown parts of Italian aviation.

Rating 4/5

Available for subscription from:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hitler's Gulf War: The Fight For Iraq 1941 (2009)

This book, written by Barrie G. James, covers the war in Iraq in 1941 when the Iraqis opportunistically revolted against the British after vague promises from the Germans and Italians on assistance. The British were in a grave situation in the spring of 1941, being hard pressed by Rommel in North Africa, having been pushed out of Greece and awaiting the invasion of Crete. At this time, the Iraqi government decided to revolt against the British, trying to push them out of the country, which would have placed the British in a very dangerous situation cutting the communications between the Middle East and India. This is a little known campaign, which have only been covered in a few books. This book doesn't add anything new regarding the air war (excellent covered in C. Shores' "Dust clouds in the Middle East" and Tony Dudgeon's "Hidden victory" and "The war that never was") while the ground war is equally good covered in Robert Lyman's "Iraq 1941". However, what it does add in an easy way is the political background and play of the situation in Iraqi before and during the campaign. This is very interesting reading given the situation that have prevailed in the country up until today and the situation in the whole Middle East. Unfortunately the book doesn't have any images nor any maps and suffers from having been dramatized by having dialogue added, which feels strange in a history book. The book ends with a good epilogue with the fate of the main participants after the campaign, a good bibliography and a usable index.
The verdict is a good book that in an easy way covers a dramatic campaign and complex situation but without adding anything new about the air war. Recommended.

Rating: 3/5

Available from:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gladiator: Finn Thorsager - fra jagerpilot til flykaptein (2009)

Tor Idar Larsen has written a biography over Finn Thorsager ( ). The book is on 209 pages and covers Thorsager's career from his youth via the Norwegian Air Force and the RAF to the end of his career in the SAS. It's a very nice book and includes some unique images. Books about the Scandinavian pilots in the RAF are very rare and this book covers this period very well. Unfortunately, the book is written in Norwegian and thus will only be accessible to a Scandinavian market. In addition, it lacks an index, which makes it difficult to use as reference in the future (many other Norwegian pilots features in the book). However, these are only minor issues and if you're a Scandinavian with interest in this period this is highly recommended book!

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Luftwaffe pictures

I found some interesting pictures taken by Luftwaffe pilots in Russia.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In the Skies of France, a Chronicle of JG 2 "Richthofen": Volume 1: 1934-1940

The book is written by Erik Mombeeck and Jean-Louise Roba with Chris Goss and has 316 pages. The book covers the history of JG 2 from 1940 until the end of 1940 and includes the units operation in the battle of France and Britain on a day-by-day basis. What I likes is that it tries to verify when possible the units it fought against and made claims/suffered losses to. It also includes many personal recounts. The book is ended with appendix with losses and an index. Recommended!

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Air War Over Finland 1939-1945

Kari Stenman has made "Air War Over Finland" available on DVD. This is an old gem that I've had on VHS for years. Actually, I spent plenty of money and time trying to convert into some format useable on the computer last Christmas but to avail, thus this release is a most welcome one! The DVD is in black and white and is 62 minutes covering the Finnish Air Force during the Second World War thus including many unusual aircraft filmed both on the ground and in the air (including Gladiators and Fiat G.50s). The film includes Finnish, Swedish or English narration. This is a real must if you have the slightest interest in this subject!

Rating 5/5

Available from:

Storming the Bombers, a Chronicle of JG 4, Luftwaffe's 4th Fighter Wing: Volume 1: 1942-1944

An English edition of Erik Mombeeck's book. The book has 242 pages and covers the operations of JG 4 from the establishment in 1942 until September 1944. The book covers the operations in a day-by-day account with all losses and claims made by the Geschwader. Unfortunately there is now attempt to verify either losses nor claims against Allied records. Especially interesting (at least to me) is the operations over Italy from 28 December 1943 until 1 August 1944 where the book partially covers a gap among my books. However, again no verification against Allied records nor anything about the Italian forces. A must for anyone with a deep interest in the Luftwaffe and a useful addition to anyone interested in the operations over Italy.

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Hart: In Combat with the Swedish Voluntary Wing F19, Finland 1940

The Swedish author Mikael Forslund has written a book in English about the voluntary Swedish unit F 19, which took part in the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939-40. This is a most welcome addition to the literature about the air war between Finland and Soviet Union in 1939-45 and this is the first time a Swedish author uses information from the Soviet side as well. The book is written in Mikael’s usual style with many images and individual profiles of all combat aircraft used by the unit.
Highly recommended!

Rating 5/5

The book is available directly from the author at

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ki-43 ‘Oscar’ Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces)

Number 85 in Osprey’s Aircraft of the Aces series. This one is written by Hiroshi Ichimura, which is a new name to me but a most welcome one since Japanese writers writing or translated into English are rare. The Ki-43 is a subject that interest me much since I’m writing quite a lot about the Sino-Japanese air war and the type was very prominent from the summer of 1942 until the end of the war. This period is very good covered in the typical style of the series. Included are also the IJAAF operations with the type over Malaya, Burma, New Guinea and Philippines. It’s very nice to read a book written by a Japanese about a Japanese type since there is a lot of books covering these theatres but the are mostly written by US/British writers with focus on the Allied side of operations and the ‘other side of the hill’ is not well covered in English.

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

P-36 Hawk Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces) (2009)

Number 86 in Osprey’s series ‘Aircraft of the Aces’ is written by Lionel Persyn, Kari Stenman and Andrew Thomas. The latter two is among my favourite writers while Persyn is new to me. The book is written in the typical Osprey style. The book covers the operational use of the P-36 in France, Finland, the UK, South Africa, and the US. The P-36 is not well-published and since I’ve previously mostly focused on the P-36 use in Finland much of the info is new to me. If you like the books in this series, this one is a nice addition.

Rating 4/5

The book is available from

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Air war in East Africa 1940-1941: The RAF versus the Italian Air Force

I bought this book written by Jon Sutherland and Diane Canwell with high expectations since the subject is one of my big interests. Unfortunately I was very disappointed when I started to read it since the authors has not used any Italian sources in the book (and it seems also like they have not used any official RAF or SAAF records either). This means that the book by all means could have been written in the 50’s or 60’s when all books took the Allied claims for fact without verifying with the other side (i.e. prior “Fighter over the Desert”). C. Shores’ 13-year-old “Dust Clouds In the Middle East” is much better and if you have this book there is no need to buy “Air War East Africa 1940-1941”. The only ones I can recommend this book to is the ones who have never read anything about this conflict and still I would recommend to go for “Dust Clouds…” first.

Rating 2/5

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nachtjagd War Diaries Vol 2 An Operational History of the German Night Fighter Force in the West, April 1944 - May 1945

Part 2 of Dr. Theo Boiten’s masterpiece (this one written together with Roderick J. Mackenzie. The same comments goes for this volume as for volume 1 (see below). Unfortunately, there is no searchable index in the book which is a pity and somewhat limits the use of the book as a reference. However, volume 2 ends with and index on all Luftwaffe night-fighter pilots with one or more victories and their fate, which is most useable.

Rating 4/5

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nachtjagd War Diaries Vol 1 An Operational History of the German Night Fighter Force in the West, September 1939 - March 1944

Dr. Theo Boiten has written an excellent book about the German night-fighter force during the Second World War. The book is a nice combination of detailed information of each night’s operations and lists with all German claims made during each night. All claims is also verified, if possible, with Allied losses. I like very much this kind of book with with day-by-day texts followed up with lists of the claims. The only thing I miss is an additional listing on the losses of the night-fighter force (like in Keskinen/Stenman’s Suomen Ilmavoimat series) and an index (but that is perhaps in Vol. 2, but that volume, I will order as soon as possible.

Rating 4/5

The book is available from:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ali D’Africa

Exciting news!

During March, the book ”Ali D’Africa” will be available from Istituto Bibliografico Napoleone IBN.
This book is written by Michele Palermo and my friend and co-writer on this blog Ludovico Slongo and covers the 1o Stormo C.T. in North Africa from November 1941 to July 1942.
I have had the opportunity to read the manuscript and it’s very good with lots of interesting information. Still today, the best source to the air war over North Africa is Christopher Shores and Hans Ring’s now out-dated “Fighters over the desert” from 1969. In this book the Italian units is very poorly covered and almost all Allied combats/losses are verified against Luftwaffe records and the part taken by the Regia Aeronautica is neglected (must possible due to lack of sources at the time of writing). “Ali D’Africa” remedies this regarding the 1o Stormo and compares the unit’s combats with available Allied and Luftwaffe records showing that the Italian units played an important part on the Axis side.
This book is, to my knowledge, the first covering this period in detail written by Italian researchers/historians made available in English. This is a very important event!
The book is written in dual Italian/English and will cost € 18. It’s available for pre-orders from

Rating 5/5

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Catalina to Sweden

Interesting news!
A Consolidated PBY-5A Cztalina is on its way to Sweden. It's a former Spanish waterbomer, which will be flown to Sweden during the spring/summer.
For more info see:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bagration to Berlin: The Final Air Battles in the East 1944-1945

I’ve finished reading Christer Bergström’s “Bagration to Berlin’, which is his fourth and last book in his series about the air war over the Eastern Front in WWII for Classic Publications. This book covers the period from summer 1943 until May 1945. As with the three other books, this one is excellent, covering the operations from both sides. Together with the three others, it gives a very good overview of the air war on the Eastern Front and is a must for anyone interested in this area.

Rating 4/5

Monday, February 16, 2009

Keith Park

It seems like Sir Keith Park is on his way in from the 'cold':

Frantisek Cyprich

The Slovak fighter ace Frantisek Cyprich ( passed away on 31 January 2009 as the last of the Slovak aces.
Cyprich has long been thought to be the last pilot to claim a biplane victory when he shot down a Ju 52 on 2 September 1944. However, during mine and Ludovico Slongo’s research for our CR.42 aces book we were in contact with the Hungarian researcher and historian Csaba Becze. His research has shown that one of the NSGr. 7’s pilots claimed a P-38 during combat on 8 February 1945. Unfortunately, his name is not known and nothing more remains about his identity in the existing documents. What is known is that the 14th FG lost two P-38s in this mission.
This combat seems to be the last biplane victory ever claimed.
For more info see:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Aircraft over Sweden and Scandinavia

A real cool page, which shows all aircraft in the air over Sweden and Scandinavia. It’s in Swedish but is really easy to understand – just click on one aircraft and you’ll see were it’s coming from (Från) and where it’s heading (Till), type, carrier, speed, height etc. Updated every 5th second!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

P-35A, AT-12 and P-66 in Swedish Service as J9, B6 and J10

The Swedish author Mikael Forslund has written a new book and this time in English! In 1939-40, Sweden ordered 120 Seversky/Republic P-35s, 88 Seversky/Republic AT-12s and 144 Vultee Vanguards but due to an U.S. embargo on export of armament due to the ongoing war only 60 P-35s and 2 AT-12s were delivered to Sweden. The book covers the use of these aircraft in Sweden were they were put in hard use. The book has a multitude of pictures and covers the fate of all of the aircraft.
Nice effort to cover a couple of unusual aircraft in a small Air Force and highly recommended!

Rating 4/5

The book is available directly from Mikael at: or from Amazon.


A recommended military magazine from Norway. Unfortunately it only in Norwegian but if you’re a ‘Scandinavian’ it well worth to have a look at this well-produced magazine!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Searching the CWGC more easily

Well hidden inside a site about crypts is this nice little page, which helps you search through the CWGC ( ) for a specific unit.
A very useful tool!

Giuseppe Ruzzin

I’ve been reached by the sad news that Giuseppe Ruzzin ( passed away on 6 February 2009.
Giuseppe Ruzzin was one of the first pilots I managed to get in contact with when I started to research biplane fighters aces more than 10 years ago when he kindly replied on an mail from about his experience during the Spanish Civil War.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Italian-French air war in June 1940

An interesting topic on the TOCH-forum - regarding the Italian-French air war in June 1940. On my site, I have the following pilots making claims during this period:

13 June
Teresio Martinoli -
Dino Carta -

15 June
Anelli, Giulio - (the whole action on 15 June is described on this page and respectively pilots page)
Benassi, Bruno
Benedetti, Mario
Bobba, Guido
Bodini, Virginio
Bortolini, Gaetano
Caselli, Nino
Clerici, Lorenzo
Colombo, Francesco
Daverio, Mario
Ferrari, Giovanni
Fibbia, Guido
Fratini, Delfino
Garfagnoli, Pietro
Gatti, Franco
Giuntella, Giulio Cesare
Giuntella, Giulio Cesare
Graffer, Giorgio
Grillo, Giacomo
Guidi, Ugo
Lazzari, Antonio
Lodi, Gino
Lolli, Carlo
Longhi, Felice
Magaldi, Nicola
Mariotti, Luigi
Marzocca, Raffaele
Molinari, Eduardo
Negri, Giovanni
Pacini, Achille
Parmiggiani, Eudo
Pasquetti, Luigi
Pongiluppi, Virgilio
Pratelli, Rolando
Rolando, Fortunato
Rossi, Paolo
Ruzzin, Giuseppe
Salvadori, Giuseppe
Salvi, Eugenio
Sozzi, Felice
Spigaglia, Alberto
Squassoni, Felice
Stefani, Emilio
Tessari, Arrigoto
Viola, Natale
Vosilla, Ferrucio
Zotti, Bruno
Zuffi, Giuseppe Enrico

23 June
Clizio Nioi -

If anyone can provide additional info on this period, please feel free to contact me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Red Baron

New techniques (CGI) bring new possibilities to do films with aircraft not available any longer. “The Red Baron” from 2008 is one example of this and as an aviation and movie enthusiast, I’m always eagerly awaits new aviation movies. Unfortunately this movie suffers from the same problem as “Flyboys” from 2007, in that the massed scenes with aircraft in the air isn’t convincing, this both from directional and technical aspects. However, the movie points in the right direction and hopefully the CGI technique will improve quickly and that a good director comes along, who can make an aviation movie that truly competes with “The Battle of Britain” from 1969 as the best aviation movie.

Rating 3/5

Since Peter Jackson (“Lords of the Rings”) is a big aviation fan, perhaps he would be the right one to do a real epic about/with aviation?

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I’m looking for photos from the Commonwealth Air Forces (RAF, RAAF and SAAF) in North Africa and Greece during the period 1940-41 for a couple of book projects. Any contributions would be most welcome!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A History of Chinese Aviation

Lennart Andersson is a Swedish historian/researcher, who’s an expert on the period between the wars. Recently he published “A History of Chinese Aviation: Encyclopedia of Aircraft and Aviation in China until 1949”.
Highly recommended about a topic which is difficult to find info on.

Rating 4/5

The book is available through:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Suomen Ilmavoimat

I received part six of Keskinen/Stenman’s excellent “Suomen Ilmavoimat” recently. This dual language series is a must if you’re interested in Finnish Air Force during the Second World War!

Rating 5/5

The books are available from
In an interesting discussion at the TOCH forum a interesting link turned up:
At this site several interesting books are available for download as pdf.

My blogg

This is an attempt to start a blogg about aviation (and other) matters slightly out of the scope of my site, to promote good books, interesting web-sites etc.