Air Doc's TaktLwG 73 'Steinhoff' Volume 1

AUTHOR:

Daniel Kehl

PUBLISHER
/PRICE:

AirDOC, 2019
16.95

REVIEW BY:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

Softcover, 64 pages. ADL 011
ISBN: 978-3-935687-23-3

The latest from AirDoc is this edition on JG 73, a unit that has changed titles as it has changed aircraft types. The unit began in 1959, flying the Sabre Mk.6. As was often the case in the early days, it took a while to get pilots up to speed on the aircraft. There was also an issue of basing. It took a while to find a suitable location for the wing and then to bring the facilities up to standards. It was not uncommon in the early years for ground crew to live in tents and the pilots to live in hotels or people's homes.

Not surprisingly, a goodly portion of the Luftwaffe's pilot pool consisted of WWII pilots. The same for some of the command staff. This brought a level of expertise to the unit that helped the younger pilots a great deal.

Originally JG 73 was an air to air combat unit, but with the addition of the F-104 into Luftwaffe service, the wing switched to ground attack. The Sabre was not really all that good at this mission, so after several years, it was decided to switch to the Fiat G.91 light ground attack aircraft in the late 60s. With this came a change in unit designation to JBG 42 and eventually to LeKG42, all the while keeping the same basic unit marking.

The wing became quite proficient on the type, winning several competitions and it remained their primary aircraft type until 1975 when it was retired. This is where this volume ends. In addition to the main airframe types, these units flew a variety of other aircraft for pilot proficiency and as light transports.

This book continues with the basic format of the series. It is a dual German/English publication with a ton of really great photos. It is divided into two major sections. One is on the Sabre years and the other is on the G.91 era. The image quality is absolutely first rate and really, is the major draw of the series. Each image caption provided additional information from the the initial historical portion of each section. It is a book that I very much enjoyed reading and am sure that you will like it as well.  It is a book that all enthusiasts will want on their shelves.

February 2020

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