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.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Goon in the Block (2010)

New book written by Don Edy about his exploits with 33 RAF Squadron in the Western Desert. The book can be ordered from:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Desert Prelude

"Desert Prelude: Early Clashes" is now available from Motor Books - .

Monday, April 12, 2010

Piece of Cake (1988)

I bought a copy of 'Piece of Cake' on DVD. This 6-episode TV-series based on Derek Robinson's novel covers the 'Hornet' Squadron during the phoney-war and Battle of Britain. The story is highly fictionalized (typically no Spitfires in France etc.). But what the series do is delivering some stunning flying (and some bits and pieces from the Battle of Britain movie), but the new flying really stands out and it's incredibly 'cocky' - no display flying here and the Hanna's is on top of this game. A true feast for the eye! This old series was made in the 80's and has not been surpassed in view of the flying -why can't they do more series like this with real stuff? Nowadays there are large numbers of Spitfires flying with the odd Hurricane, Bf 109 and even Japanese aircraft. Isn't it time for a high quality aviation movie/TV-series in the style of Band of Brothers/The Pacific?

Also a couple of words on Derek Robinson. A highly recommended writer of fun aviation novels. He's not always kind to the RAF but he has a very typical humor always with a twinkle in the eye.



Available from: (this version includes subtexts)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First review of Desert Prelude

The first review of Desert Prelude has arrived!
See more at: title&type=2

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Arawasi International Extra 1 (2009)

Arawasi International Extra 1 is a 50-page compilation of the five first numbers of the Arawasi magazine stating in 2007. This is an excellent magazine, which primarily concentrates on the IJAAF, filled with hard to get material (at least in English and to me) on Japanese aviation. In my particular interested there are articles about the Kawasaki K-10 'Perry', the attack by the 10th I F Chutai' attack on Kai Tak airfield on 8 December 1941 (see: ) and the Nanking Nationalist Air Force. I will for certainly buy more magazines from this publisher!

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Air War over Spain (2009)

Books about the air war during the Spanish Civil War are always welcome. Thus is this book by Rafael A. Permuy Lópes a nice addition in my library. The book covers aviators, aircraft and air units of the Nationalist and Republican Air Forces during 1936-1939. It includes many to me new images and profiles but unfortunately (in my opinion) it gives too much of an overview, i.e. no details on pilots (or very limited) and/or combats. Recommended to anyone new to the subject.

Rating 3/5

Available from:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Desert Prelude: Early clashes (2010)

Mine and Ludovico Slongo's latest book "Desert Prelude: Early clashes" is now available from the publisher MMP at:
It will be available from amazon in a week or so.

Hawker Fury & Nimrod (2006)

Another book written by Alex Crawford. This time about the Hawker Fury & Nimrod in MMP's Orange Series. Again well-written and full with interesting information and images. The use of the Fury during the SCW and WWI is well covered and for anyone interested in British 30's fighters this is a must. Recommended.

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hawker Hart Family (2008)

A book in MMP's Orange Series written by the expert on British 30's biplanes, Alex Crawford. As all his works, it is well-written and full of interesting and new images. The book covers the Hawker Hart, Osprey, Demon, Audax, Hardy, Hartbeeste, Hind and Hector with their service in various Air Forces prior and during the Second World War. As a Swede, I was particularly interested in the service of the Hart (Swedish Harts in combat: and Osprey in Sweden and this chapter is well written even if it's a little short (probably due to space limitations). The book has 172 pages with the story of the use etc and these pages are followed 84 pages with on various survivors and restoration projects for a total of 256 pages. Recommended!

Rating 4/5

Available from:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Douglas Bader

Interesting article on Douglas Bader in todays Express:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blackburn Skua & Roc (2007)

An interesting monograph about the FAA's first monoplane, the Skua, and turreted version Roc written by Matthew Willis in Mushrooms Orange Series. Well-written in the series typical style even if a little thin (i.e. none) on appendices with squadron use and claims etc, which had made the book excellent. Still a nice addition to the collection and recommended to any interested in the FAA.

Rating 3/5

Unfortunately it seems to have been sold out (it seem that I've bought one of the last on Amazon).

Gladiators over Norway (1942)

A small 42-pages gem from1942 written by Victor MacClure, who apparently interviewed a number of the survivors from 263 Squadron. The book covers the Squadrons operations during the two fateful campaigns in Norway in 1940. The name of the Squadron is not told in the book, probably due to wartime censorship. It's the same for the pilots but with little knowledge in the campaign and unit it is easy to decipher the nicknames on them. I'm slightly surprised in the honest way this British fiasco is described and thus it's interesting read. A very nice addition to my library.

A good start to read more about the pilots in the Norwegian campaign is my site at:

Rating 4/5

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Desert Prelude

After a long wait and hard work, it finally seems that Ludovico Slongo's and mine "Desert Prelude" will be published during the spring of 2010. The size of the book has caused the publisher MMPBooks ( to split it into two parts and it's the first part that due for publishing this spring. This first part will cover operations from 10 June 1940 until 30 November 1940. It will have around 220 pages in A4 format. I recently finished working with the names that are to be included in the index and this includes more than 1200 names (more than 700 Italian and 450 Commonwealth).