Archive for January, 2015

9781782008040Despite its ‘F-for-fighter’ designation, the F-105 Thunderchief was designed and purchased to give the USAF an aircraft capable of the delivery of nuclear weapons at very high-speed, long-range and below-the-radar altitudes. However, when the Vietnam War began, it also emerged as the USAF’s best available tactical bomber for a ‘limited conventional’ war as well. Extensively targeted by MiG-17 Frescos and MiG-21 Fishbeds the F-105 Thunderchief pilots developed innovative tactics that allowed them to compete in air-to-air duels with their smaller, more manoeuvrable enemies.

Illustrated throughout with extensive photographs detailing weapon loads, internal features and action shots of actual engagements, F-105 Thunderchief MiG Killers of the Vietnam War examines the conduct of the Rolling Thunder strike missions and the tactics used for attack and defence by the attack, escort fighter and radar monitoring elements within strike formations.

Perfect for both experts and beginners, this is a great book covering my personal favourite fighter plane of the Vietnam War.  The book opens up with a nice solid introduction, and doesn’t lay the facts and stats and figures too heavily – which some Osprey books can be a little guilty of, blinding the reading with a pile of numbers.  Instead, we get a brief introduction, and then…a lot of action!

F-105 Thunderchief MiG Killers of the Vietnam War feels significantly more action packed and narrative driven than a lot of history books, and I’m always a massive fan of this style.  The pace and the accompanying photographs and illustrations make this a very entertaining read.  A large section is given over to loadouts and then there are a few well-written examples of dogfights that the F-105 Thunderchiefs found themselves embroiled in.

The artwork works brilliantly as a painting guide, even for someone like me who models at a very small-scale (1:600).

This is a lively, vibrant book covering an underrated fighter plane of the theatre, and I’d love to see more in this style.

Defence of the Realm

Spit5 c.202

The early days of the air campaign in North Africa seemed to be from another era. Biplanes were still quite widespread with the British Gloster Gladiator and Italian Fiat CR.42 among the very best. The reason for this from the British position was largely that the most premier warplanes should be reserved for the defence of mainland Britain; after all what good is protecting North Africa if Blighty falls. After the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force was in a more stable position and began to dispatch its more capable aircraft to North Africa to face the Italians. This took on an even greater urgency when Germany came to the Italian’s aid.

Spitfire VbAs the air war over North Africa intensified it began to take on an image equal and possibly even more savage than in Europe. It was here that the legacy of the earlier biplane dogfights between the…

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