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Aircrafts of the Spanish Civil War

Aircrafts of the Spanish Civil War Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2021 Title Aircrafts of the Spanish Civil War
Author Carlos Fresno Crespo, Artemio Mortera Pérez Publisher Abteilung 502
Published 2021 ISBN n/a
Format 232 pages, hardbound MSRP (Euro) €45.90


Just in time for the 85th Anniversary of Europe’s “dress rehearsal for WWII ” comes Aircrafts of the Spanish Civil War: 1936-1939 – publisher Abteilung 502’s sumptuous survey of the internecine conflict’s vast, variegated range of warplanes.

The colorful contents specifically sport 262 aircraft profiles across 232 lavishly illustrated pages. And coverage courses chronologically through nine informative chapters:

  • The Military Aviation on the Eve of the Spanish Civil War
  • The Naval Aviation on the Eve of the Spanish Civil War
  • Commercial and Sports Aviation
  • Distribution of Aviation Material
  • The First Acquisitions of Aircraft From Abroad and the Non-Intervention Commission
  • The Opposing Forces Are Formed
  • The Soviet Contribution
  • The Legion Condor
  • The Heraldry of the Legion Condor

In addition to color plates, period photos and extended, explanatory captions accompany main text.

Gremlins, though, stalk this otherwise informative, illuminating account.

Many larger subjects annoyingly span the gutter of some spreads – occasionally obscuring aircraft and markings detail.

Illustration accuracy also proves suspect at times. So fact-check artwork against photos.

Camouflaged Vickers Vildebeest “T-23”, for instance, includes a red Republican identification band beneath the port top wing. A clear photo in Aviones en La Guerra Civil Española 1936/1939 (Vol. 2) disputes this depiction.

Converted Dragon Rapide bomber “40-1 Capitan Pouso” also shows two fixed nose guns instead of one – and a single dorsal color instead of two. And starboard-side shots of Dragon Rapide “40-2 Capitan Vela” cast doubt on the profile’s port paint demarcations.

Finally, a glaring omission taints text.

While authors supply a surprising six Vickers Vildebeest profiles, not one Savois-Marchetti S.79 plate seasons the study. Yet Sparvieri proved the most numerous of bombers with Italy’s Aviazione Legionaria in Spain.

Still, if you’re seeking a vibrant theme build, look here. Aircrafts of the Spanish Civil War: 1936-1939 promises hours of colorful contemplation and piquant planning.

One last note: in penning this assessment, I saw online cover illustrations showing both “Aircrafts” and “Aircraft” in the title. So Google both!