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The Focke Wulf Fw 190 Dora

The Focke Wulf Fw 190 Dora Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2007 Title The Focke Wulf Fw 190 Dora
Author Jerry Crandall Publisher Eagle Editions
Published 2007 ISBN 0-9761034-5-4
Format 344 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $100.00


Every now and again, someone publishes not just a book, but clearly a definitive reference. Such is the case from author Jerry Crandall who has released what must be the most amazing title I've seen of a Luftwaffe subject that wasn't translated from another language. This is Volume One of the Focke Wulf Fw 190 Dora series, this volume dealing with the Fw 190D-9.

While many titles tend to cut corners to get as much out in as little space possible, the author took 344 pages to cover this subject (though from the quality of the material, there may have been more that may appear in another volume. If you're looking at that retail price, there is a very good reason for that - this book is also one of the best quality print and binding jobs I've seen in ages. The pages are heavy weight glossy printed mostly in color. The author/publisher didn't scrimp on quality with this one.

So what does this title cover?

  • Introduction - Birth of the Dora
  • Chapter One: The New Doras are Delivered
  • Chapter Two: Baptism by Fire
  • Chapter Three: Diaries and Doras
  • Chapter Four: Captured on Film

The author has assembled a VERY impressive amount of information, artifacts, and photographs of the aircraft and has developed many portfolios of specific aircraft complete with color profiles of each one. There are tons of period black and white photographs that I haven't seen published previously, and a surprising number of color photographs from the period as well! The author also presents a number of analyses of various aspects of the aircraft, colors, and markings used during the war, some of which contradicts many assumptions on the subject.

Reading some of the combat diaries of the Dora pilots is also fascinating to see how even the best aircraft are useless in the face of fuel and spare parts shortages as the war comes to an end. While this aircraft was supposed to be a temporary marriage of engine and airframe while development continued on the Ta 152, the Fw 190D was a Luftwaffe superfighter that might have altered the balance of air superiority had it entered service earlier and in larger numbers.

This title is a must-have for the aviation historian and modeler alike. The author has done a magnificent job with this first volume and I can't wait for the next one to come off the presses!

Definitely recommended!