The Messerschmitt Bf 110 holds a fascination for me, a fascination that I cannot explain. There is something about its shape and form that appeals to me and this book provides me with something else I had missed before. This title does not look just at the plane, it tells the story of the men who flew and sometimes died in them.
The following introduction text is from the Casemate website:
Even if they failed to encounter the enemy, every one of their sorties amounted to a brush with death. There were many dangers for Luftwaffe night fighters to contend with; hazardous weather conditions, fog rolling out of nowhere, return fire from the British bombers, enemy night fighters at work over German airfields and simple fatigue could all lead to tragedy. One of the men who survived all of this was Ofw. Kurt Bundrock. Born on 2nd February 1917 in Berlin, Bundrock flew as Bordfunker (radio operator) with NJG 1's ace Hptm. Reinhold Knacke (44 night victories).
This offering from Kagero in their Monographs Special range is a hard backed offering with 250 pages there in; the paper used is of a good quality. The author of this title is Marek J Murawski, and he appears to have done a very impressive job of this title. The book can be considered to have two parts to it, and while not aimed specifically at the modeller in my opinion it does offer something of value to our craft.
What I consider to be the first area of the book is a mix of text and period photographs. The text area of the book covers 174 pages and is split over several areas, but for some reason no index has been supplied at the front. The text is split as follows:
Proto-types and 1st Production Versions
Bf 110C Blitzkrieg era Destroyer
Bf 110D-Long Range Destroyer
Specialised Versions of Bf 110 Versions C through E
Messerschmitt Bf 110 F – New Engines
Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-the most numerous of the family
The Baptism of Fire over Poland
Attack in the West
The Battle of Britain
Operation Marita, Malta and Africa
The Eastern Front
Defence of the Reich
The text is a mix of information on the aircraft and the stories of the crew told by the crew; I found myself skipping over information on the aircraft to read the next instalment of the crew. As I said this is not really information that the modeller can do a lot with, but the period photographs that accompany the text are of great benefit when it comes to dioramas and displaying a model. Of particular interest here is that the photographs seem to be a mix of general interest photographs and those belonging to the crew telling the story, something that held a lot of appeal to me. The photographs provided are all of a very high quality and are of course black & white.
The next section of the book is one where the modeller will be interested as it consists of 67 pages of colour profiles. The profiles are for the most part side on views and no scale is mentioned, but there are a few fold out colour profiles including in the text section, these offer top and head on views to the mix. The colour profiles I believe relate to the photographs in the book and that is another big plus for the modeller.
This title from Kagero is not really aimed at the modeller as there are no scale drawings or anything about specific model, with that said there is still a great mix of information that the modeller will find of use to varying degrees. The period photographs and the colour profiles are of course the area that will appeal to the modeller, but I found myself being drawn more and more toward the stories of the crew, it took the models I have and the metal of the aircraft and then gave them a human element that only those involved can really do. I strongly urge you to add this title to your ‘to buy’ list.
Highs: Surprisingly to me at least, I found the content by the crews to be the biggest pull and kept me reading far longer than when I should have turned out the light.Lows: I would have liked to see an index included in the title.Verdict: Regardless of how you feel about the Bf 110 this is a great addition to any library for the crews comments, especially with this period leaving living memory.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...