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Douglas Havoc and Boston

Douglas Havoc and Boston - The DB-7/A-20 Series Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2004 Title Douglas Havoc and Boston - The DB-7/A-20 Series
Author Scott Thompson Publisher The Crowood Press
Published 2004 ISBN 1-86126-670-7
Format 172 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $49.95


The Crowood Press from the UK likes to tackle subjects that have been overlooked by other publishers and this latest offering is a prime example. The book covers the range of variants in the Boston and Havoc family from the original production DB-7 for the French, the upgraded DB-7s for Great Britain dubbed as Bostons, the production versions for USAAC consumption dubbed A-20 Havoc, through the nightfighter variant, the P-70.

The coverage starts off a look at some familiar faces that created this innovative design - Jack Northrop and Ed Heinemann (who would later found the Skunk Works at Lockheed). The authors walk through the evolution of the design to get to their initial production aircraft for France, the DB-7.

While most people would think of the Douglas A-26 Invader, the North American B-25 or perhaps the Martin B-26 Marauder when asked about twin-engined light bombers, it was the A-20 that would be the mainstay at the outset of the war. If you look through the performance statistics in the book, you'll note that even at the end of the war, the A-20G was only outperformed by its younger brother, the A-26, while retaining higher performance statistics over the B-25 and B-26.

The coverage of this informative title is presented as follows:

  • Background and Design
  • Production
  • Description in Detail
  • Foreign Use and Lend Lease
  • Service With the US Army Air Forces
  • Post-War Service, Disposal, Civil Use and Survivors
  • Appendix I - A-20 Series Specifications
  • Appendix II - Engines Used on the DB-7/A-20 Series
  • Appendix III - Production List

If you've wanted only one informative book that shows the history as well as some great photographs on internal and external details of this important aircraft, this is the book you've been waiting for. This title is highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review sample!