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Book Review: Luftwaffe Fighters and Fighter-Bombers over the Far North- Unit, Camouflage, Markings- 1940-1945

By Floyd S. Werner Jr.

Title: Luftwaffe Fighters and Fighter-Bombers over the Far North- Unit, Camouflage, Markings- 1940-1945
Authors: Andreas Breken and Kjetil Akara
ISBN:978-1-903223-90-1
Cost: $49.99

Not as well known as the Defense of the Reich, the Far North was a key sector for the German army. The Luftwaffe defended this barren and austere land with predominantly two units. Not a lot has been written about this theater of operations, however this new book from Classic Publications at least addresses the camouflage and markings for the aircraft assigned to those units. Just as a side note the first B-17, a British Fortress I, was shot down in this theater by a Bf-109T.

This 160 page hardbound book is just what a modeler would want from a book. First off the subject is very interesting. There are plenty of never before published photos to wet your appetite. The photographs are large and clear. There is plenty of information to be gleaned from them, including the airfield situations with plenty of diorama possibilities to inspire the modeler.

Along with the great photos are plenty of color profiles. Yeah, so there are color profiles, so what? Well, this theater contained some of the most unique paint schemes applied to Luftwaffe aircraft. Luftwaffe, so the aircraft can only be RLM 74/75 right? Wrong, especially in this theater. There seems to be no rules as to how the aircraft were painted. Mixing and matching all different kinds of camouflage from squiggles to white wash to desert colors. Everything seemed possible in this sector. Some of the colorful aircraft are depicted as their camouflage developed. If you like the Bf-109, FW-190 or the Bf-110 then this book will be a boon for you and your models.

The camouflage of each unit is addressed. Some of the best looking aircraft are from JG5. There are a lot of aircraft to choose from. There are plenty of personalities and their mounts. One that is particularly interesting is Horst Carganico. Who would have ever thought that there would be Tropical aircraft in the Far North, just about as far as you can get from the hot deserts of Tunisia? Well many of JG 5 aircraft were just that Tropical 109s including plenty of RLM 79/78 paint. Now we are talking some really colorful aircraft. Just add RLM 74/75 and white paint and maybe some RLM 70 and you can see how the camouflage can become very interesting very fast. I love the look of the blue numbers of the 16 Staffel of JG 5, as well as, the black and yellow RVD bands.

One of the unique aircraft of the Eismeer area is the Bf-109T. There is a nice little feature that shows you how to determine a Toni from an Emil. A very accurate profile of the Toni is provided for those modelers that have the Hasegawa or MPM kit.

The Far North has provided the world with some of the best preserved aircraft from the clear fresh water lakes of the region. The book shows you two different aircraft, Bf-109E "Red 6" and FW-190A-2 "Yellow 16" being recovered and the plethora of information they provide.

There are just so many wonderful profiles and pictures that a modeler has plenty of options for markings. Hopefully decal manufacturers will step up and provide more of these aircraft. What is really nice is that the book takes you from the Bf-109D to the G-14. With the impending release of the Bf-110 family from Eduard the modeler will find plenty of color profiles from the Zerstrorer Staffels of JG 5 and JG 77 covering everything from the C to the G.

I can't say enough good things about this book, especially from the modeler's perspective. This is a great book that addresses a little known theater of war. If you like Luftwaffe aircraft, especially the Bf-109 and the FW-190, then this book is a necessary addition to your library. It will inspire you as well as inform you. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book. It is well written, well laid out, and best of all exactly what a modeler needs, information and inspiration.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Aeroplane Books for the review copy. To obtain your copy contact them at https://www.aeroplanebooks.com/. Let them know you heard about it here and check out the other great books on the site, including many out of print volumes.

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