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Operation Overlord Vol 1

Operation Overlord Vol 1 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2011 Title Operation Overlord Vol 1
Author Neil Robinson Publisher AIRfile
Published 2011 ISBN 978-0-9569802-0-5
Format 72 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) €17.99


Operation Overlord – popularly known as the “D-Day Landings” – remains history’s largest seaborne invasion.   From June to September 1944, over 3 million Allied military personnel arrived to free Northern France from Hitler’s yoke.  And thousands of Allied warplanes formed critical components of liberation forces.

Neil Robinson covers those colorful machines in Volume 1 of a superbly convenient, two-part compendium, OPERATION ‘OVERLORD’: June – September 1944.  The first in a new series of aircraft color & markings guides, coverage concentrates on RAF and Commonwealth air forces – with a concluding section on Western Front Luftwaffe assets.  Free French Bostons even make appearances!

Author Robinson and illustrator Jon Freeman pack dozens of subjects and schemes into 72 beefy pages.  Captions detail aircraft colors, codes, serials, units, and service.  And every pithy page inspires marvelous, multiple modeling possibilities – especially for “theme” and group builds.

Typhoons & Tempests.  Mitchells, Messerschmitts & more.  All appear, resplendent in warpaint.  Text smoothly transitions from a useful RAF color & markings overview, through British and Commonwealth subjects, to concluding German coverage.  Tables detailing units and airfields supplement text.

A few gremlins nevertheless haunt this handy tome.  The white individual aircraft letter of Me 410 9K+HH on page 65 is missing.  Ditto for the white fuselage and fin “C” of Do 217 U5+CH on page 69.  And the starboard ventral wing of Typhoon TP•V on page 25 strangely sports a four-cannon, eight-rocket arrangement – a patently odd airfoil anomaly!

I also personally preferred more specific markings detail – like insignia and code sizes.  Photos would have proven useful, too.

But none of this detracts from an overall admirable effort.  AIRlife’s first foray packs plenty into one handy volume.  And I eagerly await their sequel on USAAF 8th and 9th Air Forces in Operation Overlord.

Looking for colorful modeling inspiration?  You’ll find it here!

My sincere thanks to AIRfile Publications for this review sample!