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Arado Ar 196 Units in Combat

Arado Ar 196 Units in Combat Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2022 Title Arado Ar 196 Units in Combat
Author Peter de Jong Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2021 ISBN 9781472844972
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.00


Despite a relatively modest production run of just 530 examples, Nazi Germany’s Arado Ar 196 saw surprisingly broad, worldwide and wartime use.

Atlantic. Pacific. Mediterranean. Baltic. And more.

Now Peter de Jong recaps the floatplane’s remarkable career in a striking, 96-page study: Arado Ar 196 Units in Combat – number 136 in Osprey Publishing’s “Combat Aircraft” range.

Ship-based. And shore-based. The eponymous effort tells the tale across six picture-packed chapters:

  • The Last Floatplane
  • First Blood
  • Ahead of the Atlantic Wall
  • The Seven Seas
  • Eastern Front and the Mediterranean
  • War’s End and Foreign Use

Gunnery spotting, observation, maritime reconnaissance, coastal patrol, convoy escort, and search & rescue. Text chronicles the full range of Arado operations.

With their potent 20mm wing guns, main production versions of the nimble floatplanes even engaged in emergency interceptor roles. And coverage recaps a surprising number of Ar 196 air-to-air combat successes.

Commentary on use of Ar 196s – and Japanese floatplanes – by German commerce raiders in the Pacific also proved especially intriguing.

Imagine an Arado with IJNAF identification devices – black cowlings and yellow leading-edge wing stripes. De Jong claims photo confirmation. Spring a hinomaru-bedecked model in that scheme on your IPMS friends!

Dozens of period photos, appendices, a selected bibliography, and an index augment the absorbing account. And alone, Janusz Swiation’s stunning color profiles and unit badge plates are worth the price of admission.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!