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Henschel Hs 123

Henschel Hs 123 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2014 Title Henschel Hs 123
Author Robert Panek Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2014 ISBN 9788361421481
Format 136 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $38.00


OK, I admit it: I really like MMP aircraft monographs.  Compact, colorful and convenient, they deftly distill their subjects.

Especially for modelers of more obscure types.  And that's why I love their latest.

MMP's Henschel Hs 123 – part of the publisher's "Orange Series", and available in North America from Casemate – packs everything you need to know of this brazen little biplane into just 136 pithy pages.

The pithy précis recaps design, development and deployment – over Spain, China, Poland, France and the Soviet Union.  During Operation Barbarossa, for instance, the Henschel Hs 123 was "'the only Luftwaffe aircraft during winter 1941/42 [that] was able to fly attack missions from airfields covered with deep snow in the Eastern Front area'."  And it remained in albeit limited Spanish service until 1952!

Author Robert Panek seasons his superb study with technical minutiae, dozens of vintage and detail shots, service manual excerpts, and 1:72-scale plans.  A selective bibliography and 41 pages of excellent artwork by Chris Sandham-Bailey augment this vital volume.

And just why is it "vital", you ask?  Just read MMP's Crackerjack Prize: GasPatch Models' insert for a new 1:48-scale Hs 123!  The pending product promises multiple versions (A-1 and B-1), different wing configurations, "separated" control surfaces, a "highly detailed engine", and both "full spatted and unspatted wheels".  I'm licking my eyebrows!

Plagued by limited range, Henschel Hs 123s often served close to front lines.  So valuable were the little biplanes that they only left front line service during the first half of 1944.

For an excellent account of this cool, comely combatant, grab MMP's terrific little tome.  It's certainly seized pride of place among my Luftwaffe references!

Robustly recommended.

With thanks to MMP for the review copy.