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P-47 Thunderbolt Units of the Twelfth Air Force

P-47 Thunderbolt Units of the Twelfth Air Force Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review November 2012 Title P-47 Thunderbolt Units of the Twelfth Air Force
Author Jonathan Bernstein Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849086721
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95


Originally designed as a high-altitude interceptor, P-47 Thunderbolts became principle US fighter-bombers during World War II.  The Thunderbolt's strength, durability, and massive size earned it the nickname "Juggernaut" – or simply "Jug".

Twelfth Air Force personnel, already superb P-40 pilots, adapted the P-47 to ground attack roles.  And tactics, techniques and procedures created by Thunderbolt pilots rapidly became standardized in USAAF tactical units.

Author Jonathan Bernstein traces P-47 history as a strategic escort aircraft – as well as a close air support and air interdiction platform.  Bernstein chronicles significant contributions to Allied war efforts over Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) frontlines.  The author leavens his narrative with vivid, first-hand combat accounts – metaphorically dropping readers into Jug cockpits.

Chris Davey illustrates MTO P-47 warpaint in a colorful 8-page spread – including Brazilian Thunderbolts.  And archival Twelfth Air Force photos depict the heroic men and daring missions.  One gun camera shot even shows a flaming Ar 96!

Osprey recommends "Aircraft of the Aces" volumes 24 (P-47 Thunderbolt Aces of the Eighth Air Force), 26 (Mustang and Thunderbolt Aces of the Pacific and CBI), and 30 (P-47 Thunderbolt Aces of the Ninth and Fifteenth Air Forces) as ideal companions.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!