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Shipbuster - Mosquito Mk.XVIII 'Tsetse'

Shipbuster - Mosquito Mk.XVIII 'Tsetse' Book Review

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review October 2008 Title Shipbuster - Mosquito Mk.XVIII 'Tsetse'
Author Alex Crawford Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2008 ISBN 978-83-89450-45-6
Format 72 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £12.99

Review

The de Havilland Mosquito was one of the first true “multi-role combat aircraft” A superb design which excelled in many roles an was used by all RAF commands. The story of the “Wooden Wonder” has been told many times, but one variant has been rather overlooked. The Mk XVIII was armed with a 57 mm gun, intended initially as a tank-buster but then adapted for Coastal Command use in the anti-ship and anti-submarine role. Nick-named the “Tsetse” (like a Mosquito but with a bigger sting!). This variant was only produced in small numbers but served effectively with Coastal Command until the end of the war. This new book from Mushroom Model Publications/Stratus (MMP) describes the development of the Mk XVIII, its operational history, and details of every airframe. One aircraft ended up post-war in America, in civil guise (but without the gun…)!

MMP is based in Redbourn, Herts UK. Their books are mostly printed in cooperation with Stratus, which is based in Poland. The books are in the English language however. This new book is in 11 ¾” x 8 ¼” soft-cover format of 72 pages.

The heavy gun installation is described and illustrated with 20 color walk-around type photos. There is a 1/72nd scale 3-view illustration of the Mk XVIII, 48 black and white wartime photos of the Mk XVIII and some of it’s enemies and some of the pilots, 4 illustrations from tech manuals. The color profiles are of 5 XVIII’s in British markings, a two-view showing the top and bottom of one in invasion stripes, a Ju-88, a Z23 escort ship for the Japanese I-29 submarine, a German “Sperrbrecher” convoy escort vessel, a Fw 190A-3, a VIIc and VIIc-44 U-boat, a Norwegian convoy escort German vessel, a type XXIII U-boat and a post-war Mk XVIII in the “Silver Streak” markings of the Mosquito that went for the around the world speed record. There are 3 information charts and 5 color photos (including the cover art).

Chapters in the book are:

  • Introduction
  • Molins 6 pdr gun
  • Gun trials
  • Area of operations
  • Portreath
  • Success against the U-boats
  • A new lease on life
  • An American Tsetse
  • Colours and markings
  • Appendix 1
  • Appendix 2
  • Appendix 3
  • Mosquito bibliography

This book will be an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians and enthusiasts, and scale modelers. Available at most good book stores.

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

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