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Me 262 vs P-51 Mustang: Europe 1944–45

Me 262 vs P-51 Mustang: Europe 1944–45 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2019 Title Me 262 vs P-51 Mustang: Europe 1944–45
Author Robert Forsyth Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472829559
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.00


Two icons of late-WWII aerial combat square-off in the landmark 100th title in Osprey’s extensive “Duel” range.

Me 262 vs P-51 Mustang: Europe 1944–45 by Robert Forsyth recaps the total tale across 80 pages and, after introductory notes, eight informative sections:

  • Chronology
  • Design and Development
  • Technical Specifications
  • The Strategic Situation
  • The Combatants
  • Combat
  • Statistics and Analysis
  • Aftermath

Several Luftwaffe jet pilots each scored multiple P-51 kills. But by early 1945, “even the most determined Me 262 pilot could tell that the air war was being lost”.

Claiming “166.5 air-to-air destroyed, probable[,] and damaged” Me 262s, hundreds of fast, maneuverable Mustangs daily swarmed German skies. And two USAAF P-51 pilots actually “achieved the distinction of shooting down two Me 262s in a single mission”.

Messerschmitt’s revolutionary jet ultimately proved “a case of ‘too little, too late’”. “The Allied air forces,” Forsyth concludes, “were too powerful and had the resources to wage a draining war of attrition against the Luftwaffe”.

Photos, color views, interior and armament details, formation schematics, and action paintings supplement the study. Jim Laurier’s work is excellent.

Biographic sidebars, extended captions, tables, and anecdotes also augment the account. And a selected bibliography and index conclude contents. But don’t expect citations for any of Forsyth’s extensive quotations.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!