Stuka Luftwaffe Ju-87 Dive-Bomber Units 1942-1945 Vol 2 Book Review
|Date of Review||May 2007||Title||Stuka Luftwaffe Ju-87 Dive-Bomber Units 1942-1945 Vol 2|
|Author||Peter C. Smith||Publisher||Classic Publications|
|Format||192 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
I have been impressed with Classic Publications since their first efforts on this subject. Their Battle of Britain series kept me busy for some time. Luftwaffe colors are enigmatic at best and this subject is a monumental task to want to take on. Bang for buck this series of books simply can not be beat. I think that Classic Publications could not have picked a better champion for this subject than Peter C. Smith. His study of dive-bombers and the Stuka in particular are legendary in the world of Luftwaffe history.
While working with the always amazing Tom Tullis to help illustrate Peter’s color conclusions, constantly gives the reader vivid and significant weight to the book. Peter Smith relied on first person accounts of the aircraft from ground crew and pilots to reconstruct a compressive story of this famous aircraft.
Starting off in 1942 and the Dora series of the vendible Sturzkampfflugzeug and running through to 1945 and the Gustav and specialized versions of this subject, the author makes reading this book a pleasure. More never published photos show up continuing to stun the educated late war Luftwaffe historian in me. I am always amazed at what comes out of the file cabinets of these guys and Mr. Smith doesn’t disappoint.
Done in the standard Luftwaffe Colors series more familiar to us as the Jagdwaffe publications, Stuka Volume Two is printed on high quality paper with fantastic color transfer and very clear black and white photos. Although almost all the photos are in black and white, the color profiles sprinkled throughout the text compliment the page and augment the information present.
The ability to gleam out colors from black and white photos using many resources crossed into very educated conclusions is getting better and better. In the beginning of the book Mr. Smith tells you what everyone should keep in mind. It is still guess work. Unless you were there and cared what shade of RLM 76 the bottom of your plane was painted, you probably do not have a definitive proof of the subject.
Guys like Jerry Crandall, Eddie Creek, Brett Green and others at the top of their game will be the first to tell you that nothing is certain. Things change, opinions oscillate and theories are crushed all the time. Facts change and research yields new information all the time. And this is coming from the experts in the field.
I really enjoy these series of books and highly recommend them to anyone trying to become educated in the art of Luftwaffe color schemes. The Stuka has held a particular fascination with me for sometime. It is what I call “Cool Ugly” and is the granddaddy of aircraft like the A-10 Thunderbolt II. (Another “Cool Ugly” airplane). The book can be found for less than 30 dollars a pop, this book is worth every cent.