Romanian Fighter Colours 1941 – 1945 Book Review
by Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||October 2010||Title||Romanian Fighter Colours 1941 – 1945|
|Author||Teodor Liviu Morosanu & Dan Alexandru Melinte Pro||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||176 pages, softbound||MSRP (BP)||£24.99 ($39.60 USD)|
Mushroom Model Publications is based in the UK. Their books are printed by their associate Stratus Publications in Sandomierz Poland in the English language. Stratus also publishes books in Polish.
The Romania Air Force used an interesting variety of fighter aircraft during WWII. They fought initially with the Axis, but later with the Allies. Romanian, Polish, British and German fighters were used with great bravery and no little success against much stronger opponents.
This book describes in great detail the colors and markings applied to all fighter aircraft used by the Romanians from 1939 to 1945. It includes captured examples, illustrated with many rare photos. The book contains 236 black and white war time photos and 11 rare color ones. There are many color profiles, most of which look to be 1/32nd scale.
87 of the black white photo show the pilots, either in the cockpits or standing next to their planes. Another 30 of them show the crews standing around the planes. A very few shots show crashed and damaged aircraft.
It is a fascinating and invaluable look at a little known aspect of WWII aviation. Aircraft described are: PZL P.11, PZL P.24, IAR 80/81, Hawker Hurricane Mk. I, Messerschmitt Bf 109E, Messerschmitt Bf 109G, Messerschmitt Bf 110, Captured MiG-3 early type, Captured Polikarpov I-16 type 29 and Focke Wulf Fw 190.
In the PZL P.11 chapter an illustration of white fin numbers, showing their size and shapes is provided, there are 2 color four-views (one of these includes color chips and their RLM numbers), 9 color side profiles (one with skis) and an illustration of a personal marking and an illustration of a squadron’s special kill marking.
In the PZL P.24 chapter there are 4 color four-views (2 have the color ships and one of those 2 has the RLM numbers). There are 4 color side profiles.
In the Hawker Hurricane Mk. I chapter there is an illustration of tail numbers and their size and shapes in yellow, 4 color four-views (with color chips), 5 color side profiles, an illustration of the 53rd Squadron’s logo of Mickey Mouse on horseback (this marking is repeated numerous times in illustrations of it throughout the book. Walt Disney characters were very popular with the Romanian squadrons it appears).
In the Heinkel He 112 chapter there is an illustration of the black fuselage numbers and the white tail numbers used, with their size and shapes. There are 3 color four-views (with color chips and RLM numbers) and 7 color side profiles. The 5th Groups logo of Disney’s “Pluto” is shown and 2 pilot’s personal marks are illustrated.
In the IAR 80/81 chapter there is an illustration of the letters, numbers and factory logos used in white and black, showing their sizes and shapes. There are color illustrations of propeller spinner color and stripe patterns. Included are 3 color four-views (with color chips and RLM numbers), 2 color three-views, the Group 9’s logo of a four leaf clover in color, 18 color side profiles (3 of these in co-belligerent roundels, used after Romanian switched sides over to the Allies on 23 August 1944), 3 pilot’s personal markings of girl friend’s names and a skull and cross-bones and Group 1’s logo of a winged V. Also illustrated in color is the 61st Squadron’s logo of Disney’s Bambi, which is shown several times.
In the Bf 109E chapter the illustration of the 56th Squadrons logo of Disney’s Donald Duck is illustrated in color (this appears numerous times throughout the book). Also ground victory score marks are illustrated. Included are illustrations of yellow fuselage numbers used, with their sizes and shapes. There is 1 color four-view (with color chips and RLM numbers), 1 color three-view and 15 color side profiles.
In the Bf 109G chapter there are illustrations of color and stripe patterns used on propeller spinners, 5 color four-views (with color chips and RLM numbers) One of these is in co-belligerent roundels. There is 1 color three-view. There are 27 color side profiles. One of these has a large American flag painted down the side of the fuselage. An color illustration of Group 9’s logo of a shield is included.
In the Bf 110 chapter there are 3 color side profiles.
In the captured MiG-3 early type chapter there is 1 color side profile.
In the captured Polikarpov I-16 type 29 chapter there is also only 1 color side profile.
The book ends with a bibliography
This book will be of great interest to aircraft historians and enthusiasts and to modelers of these aircraft. Very highly recommended.