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Air Combat: Dogfights of World War II

Air Combat: Dogfights of World War II Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2019 Title Air Combat: Dogfights of World War II
Author Tony Holmes (editor), with Edward M. Young, Dmitriy Khazanov, Aleksander Medved Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472836762
Format 336 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $35.00


Osprey serves-up four case studies of WWII aerial actions in Air Combat: Dogfights of World War II.

Spanning 336 pithy pages, text explores warplanes, personnel, and settings from both European and Pacific theaters:

  • Spitfire II/V vs Bf 109 F
  • F4F Wildcat vs A6M Zero-sen
  • La-5/7 vs Fw 190
  • F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 "Frank"

Abridgments from previous "Duel" titles, subject sections broadly survey aircraft design, development, and deployment. And commentary considers key concerns like performance, armament, armor, production, maintenance, ergonomics, training, and other operational factors.

Each part hits climax with illuminating combat accounts and personal anecdotes. And "Analysis" and "Aftermath" sections complete chapter coverage.

B&W photos, a couple color shots, color plates, cockpit interior details, combat paintings, tactical schematics, and maps illustrate the account.

Tables, expanded captions, biographies, and sidebars also supplement the separate studies. And selected bibliographies and an index conclude overall contents.

Comments on claimed versus actual air-to-air kills proved informative and edifying. But don't expect annotations.

This convenient compilation of previous "Duel" volumes usefully summarizes WWII aerial fighter combat. Make it your introduction to the subject.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!