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P-36 Hawk Aces of World War 2

P-36 Hawk Aces of World War 2 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2009 Title P-36 Hawk Aces of World War 2
Author Lionel Persyn, Kari Stenman, and Andrew Thomas Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2009 ISBN 978-1-84603-409-1
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95


The P-36 Hawk was a new generation of fighter developed by the Curtiss Aircraft Company in competition with Seversky's P-35 for a production contract with the USAAC in the mid-1930s. The P-36 did enter service with the USAAC, though the design was transitioned to a liquid-cooled Allison engine which would become the P-40. Nevertheless, France ordered several hundred examples even before the first P-36 was delivered to the US Army, and others found themselves in air arms around the world, including the Luftwaffe.

This title follows the service of these aircraft in their various air arms and how the aircraft, deemed obsolete by many as the war grew, still led more that 60 pilots to become aces. Moving from theater to theater, this title looks at the air arms, its pilots, and their experiences in achieving superiority over their adversaries.

P-36 Hawk Aces of World War 2

Coverage of this interesting subject includes:

  • Genesis
  • Battle for France
  • In African Skies
  • Fighting the Soviets
  • The Rising Sun

The book contains a nice range of black and white photography of the men and equipment as well as an impressive selection of color profiles of selected aircraft and unit symbols in this title's coverage. Line drawings help to distinguish the variants of the Hawk 75 and P-36 series including the short cowl and long cowl variants.

This book is a must-have for the aviation historian and military analyst to understand how this much-overlooked aircraft impacted aerial combat during World War 2. Modelers will also enjoy the history, photography and color profiles to replicate the mounts of these aces. This title is recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!