He 111 Kampfgeschwader in the West Book Review
|Date of Review||June 2012||Title||He 111 Kampfgeschwader in the West|
|Author||John Weal||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||96 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$22.95|
Distinguished researcher and illustrator John Weal has produced another splendid Luftwaffe handbook in Osprey’s ever-growing “Combat Aircraft” series.
From initial service in the Spanish Civil War to final use as V1 (Fi 103) “Buzz Bomb” carriers, He 111 Kampfgeschwader in the West densely maps the scope of He 111 combat operations and unit deployments in Western Europe.
Coverage chronologically courses from Iberian actions to Poland’s conquest – the book’s lone “eastern” segue – through “Phony War” phases. Text resumes with the 1940 Blitzkriegs of Denmark, Norway, France, and the Low Countries before moving to the Battle of Britain.
After severe mauling by the RAF’s Fighter Command during daylight operations, He 111 units switched to nocturnal raids on English cities into 1943. Recapping these in an absorbing “Night Blitz” chapter, Weal then concludes with spellbinding summary of post-1941 Heinkel use – including the aircraft’s desperate role in Hitler’s “vengeance” schemes.
Dozens of photos and 30 color profiles – including seven of “step-nose” He 111 versions – season this solid study. The admirably indexed effort also includes informative appendices charting Heinkel unit strength in Western Europe.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!