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Wings of the Malvinas

Wings of the Malvinas Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2012 Title Wings of the Malvinas: The Argentine Air War over the Falklands
Author Santiago Rivas Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2012 ISBN 9781902109220
Format 384 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $56.95

Review

Pull no punches: this terrific tome captures kudos as the supreme summary of Argentine military aviation during 1982's brutally brief Falklands fighting.

Available in North America from SPECIALTY PRESS, Wings of the Malvinas clearly aims at hitting all major matters in one bulky book.  Text begins with a helpful précis of Argentine military aviation, warplane production, political history and hostilities preparation.  Coverage then seamlessly segues through organizational structure to aircraft types and wartime operations – Air Force, Navy, Army, Prefectura and civilian.

Audacious exploits of Argentine Skyhawk, Dagger and Super Etendard pilots remain renowned.  And HIKOKI's hefty handbook naturally features their feats.  But less familiar are fliers of Pucarás, Canberras, Learjets and other Argentine aerial assets.

That's where this volume really shines.  Author Rivas capably covers CANA T-34C and MB-339 COIN birds at Pebble Island, Fuerza Aérea Pucarás on East Falkland, and the Escuadrón Fénix aviary everywhere.  Supporting players like the sole C-130H "Hercules bomber", borrowed Brazilian Embraer EMB-111 sub hunters and agile, attractive Augusta A-109s also take bows.  Almost every page offers evocative insights.

Unfortunately, politics sometimes pollute this otherwise admirable account.  And Wings of the Malvinas remains weakest when lending credence to canards like the supposedly successful attack on HMS Invincible.

Still, I loved this book.  Color profiles and nearly 500 photos – many hitherto unpublished and most in color – moved my modeling muse.  Maps and diagrams season this sumptuous study.  And detailed appendicies with index complete coverage.

"Falklands" or Malvinas", make this major monograph your prism for Argentina's perspective on 1982's brief, bitter South Atlantic air war.

Robustly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!

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