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Book Review

Henschel Hs 129 Book Review

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review April 2010 Title Henschel Hs 129
Author Denes Bernad Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2010 ISBN 978-83-89450-46-3
Format 148 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £17.99 (about $27.33 USD)


Mushroom Model Publications is based in the UK. A lot of their books are printed in Poland in the English Language. Some also go under the publishing name of Stratus, whom is a partner of Mushroom Model Publications.

This new book is about the German Henschel Hs 129. The Henschel Hs 129 was a dedicated close-support and anti-tank aircraft, the only aircraft specifically designed for this role to see service with the Luftwaffe in WW2. This book describes the design, development and operations of the type, including the many problems with powerplants which dogged the design throughout its career.

Built in relatively small numbers, and suffering huge losses in operations, the Hs 129 nevertheless proved an effective “tank buster” and lingered on in service until the end of the war.

The Hs 129 was always limited by the lack of suitable engines. Because it was built in small numbers, the type was never able to make a significant influence at the front because of poor serviceability and a high casualty rate in training and on operations. Nevertheless, the Hs 129B proved to be an able tank-buster on the Russian Front, and soldiered on in service until the end of the war.

The book covers both the Argus-engined Hs 129A (only used in training) and the operational Hs 129B. Service with both the Luftwaffe and the Romanian AF are covered, including the short-lived and unsuccessful foray into North Africa. First hand accounts from German pilots are presented, plus the Russian assessment of Hs 129 tactics. All aspects of the airframe are illustrated, both internal and external, backed up with a cut-away drawing.

The book is profusely illustrated with 118 black and white wartime photos, and one color one on the cover. There are 42 color profiles in the back of the book. Three of these are 2 views. Two of them are 3 views. One is a 4 view and four are 5 views. One of the 5 views is in captured US “Foreign Eval” markings. One of the 3 views is of a captured Hs 129 in British marks. Finally, four profiles are of Hs 129 in Romanian markings.

The book also contains 33 1/72nd scale line drawings of variants of the Hs 129. There are 10 information lists and 58 illustrations out of the German wartime tech manual for this aircraft. The book is 160 pages long and in a 6 ½” x 9” page format.

As a bonus, there is inserted loosely into the book a large 23” x 16” sheet that has 1/48th scale line drawings of the Hs 129-1, 2 and 3 printed on both sides. This is folded a few times to fit inside the book. A real nice aid for modelers of this aircraft.

This book will prove to be an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians, modelers and aircraft enthusiasts.

I want to thank Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) and Casemate for this review sample.