The Alternate RAAF and RAN Fleet Air Arm John Baxter Price: see text
This is probably about as niche as a publication gets, at least if it’s likely to be reviewed in these pages. Author John Baxter has already produced three vol
Rumanian Aces of World War II Denes Bernard Warhawk Aces of the Pacific Carl Molesworth Osprey £12.99 each Just when you thought Osprey was running out of Aces subjects, two more turn up with, as usual, self-explanatory titles, plenty of illustrations and personal accounts and pages of colour side-views -32 aircraft in the case of the Rumanian title – to intrigue the modeller.
The Rumanian book perhaps deals with the more exotic subject, and types featured in their national markings, both cross and roundel, include Heinkel
Osprey’s excellent Elite Units series has hitherto confined itself to fighter formations, this being the first to feature a bomber unit. The 303rd BG, made up initially of the 358th, 359th and 360th Squadrons – they were joined during workup in the US by the 427th – flew B-17s from Molesworth, UK, arriving at the end of October 1942. The Group’s formation and somewhat patchy early pre-embarkation performance, during which it was assigned such unlikely training aids as C-39s, B-18s and A-20s as target tugs, is covered
umes, one on the Alternate Luftwaffe and two on the German naval air arm that might have been during World War II; here he as turned his attention to his native Australia, and a quick look at the dedication will give you some idea at least of the reason why.
The book’s subtitle is Australia’s little Asian Wars, 1951-1975 and, as before, he develops his historical scenarios from known starting points. However, some of these may be less well known in this hemisphere than they would be on the other side of the world. The main adversaries are Indonesia, unsurprisingly, and India, in a dispute over the Cocos Islands (maps, fortunately, are among the illustrations). Aircraft that feature in the campaigns are largely illustrated by models, and by side-view drawings of many of
He 112s, Hurricanes, IAR 80s and the Bf 109 E, F and G. Four of the aces are given individual histories, and appendices cover the Rumanian scoring
in the early text. Its subsequent service is dealt with largely chronologically, though there is one chapter devoted to the ground echelons. Illustrations are as always plentiful, and, in the case of photographs, largely concerned with the people. There are no less than 39 colour side views of the Group’s Flying Fortresses, and three further pages of nose art. (One of the illustrated nose arts is of Pogue Ma Hone – the Louisiana spelling, presumably – and if some kind soul will do the decal sheet, I’ll make the B-17G, complete with guided bomb).
The text is assembled from combat reports and personal
them in colour. Text covers pseudo-documentation of the time, and first-person accounts by some of the participants; tinted information panels distinguish between fact and fiction, and also identify the modellers. It will come as no surprise to find that one type that features heavily is the ВАС TSR.2, known here by its RAAF sobriquet of ‘Boomer’. The Hawker P. 1081, named ‘Falcon’, also has its place, but my favourite inclusion is probably the Rotodyne, not least in one episode as a RAN COD vehicle!
Considerable attention is also paid to the fleets involved, with explanations both of the real ships and those which have been added (and why). At the end of the book thare is a kitog-raphy compiled by Lee Bagnall, confined to 1:72 scale and sug gesting availability. As always system for counting kills, and a tabular list of the aces that resulted, the whole illuminating a little-known corner of the 1939-45 air war.
accounts and recollections, and a major credit is given to the 303rd Association and, interestingly, to its internet site. It’s good to know that the this is a snapshot at a particular moment, and I have reason to believe that there may well be additions available over the next twelve months. John writes entertainingly, and part of the enjoyment of reading this book for me has been in agreeing, and sometimes disagreeing, with his assumptions and conclusions. I’m not sure what general availability will be like, but I know that it will be carried by Lone Wulf’s Adrian Hampton, whose e-mail is [email protected] com, and from whom it will be £15.00 plus £2.50 p&p in the UK. Alternatively, you could contact John Baxter directly at [email protected] com. au. His price is $Aus 36.00, plus $Aus 11.00 p&p. I am assured that a second Alternate Lufwaffe is in preparation -1 wonder what John might have in mind for KG 200.
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