Kagero's Mirage III: Nesher/Dagger


Salvador Mafe Huertas




$28.95 from Casemate Publishing


Scott Van Aken

Notes: #3068. ISBN 978-83-66148-47-5, 144 pages

One of the more popular Western fighter aircraft of the Cold War was the French Mirage. The Mirage III/V in particular was built in a nearly bewildering number of variants and sold to pretty well anyone who could pay for them. Dassault even managed to sell these planes to Israel, despite that country being under a world-wide embargo regarding the sales of weapons in the early 1970s.

The reason I even bring up the Israelis is that this book is the story of those planes. However, it is not the story of their use by the IAF, but by the people to whom these planes were later sold. By that I mean the Argentine Air Force.

The book starts off with a brief history of the aircraft with the IAF, and then immediately goes into how the Fuerza Aerea Argentina (FAA) was 'forced' to look to places other than the US for aircraft due to the political situation in Argentina and  and how the French could not build the planes in the time frame required and how Israel was getting rid of the Nesher as the Kfir was taking its place. So, in the late 1970s, Argentina started getting its planes and training its pilots.

The author details pretty much every aspect of not only working up on the aircraft, but its deployment, along with the use of the aircraft during the Falklands War. The various upgrades to the plane to make it the Dagger are also well documented in the book in addition to the receipt of more aircraft to take care of losses from other nations as they transitioned to other types.

The book is chock full of great photos, with most of them in color. There are several pages of well drawn color profiles and there is a full listing by serial number of every plane that provides a short history of each airframe. Probably to help fill contracted pages, there is a section on the aircraft's use with the IAF as well as with the Spanish Air Force.

As with the previously reviewed book on the HA.1112, there seems to have been no English editor for this and the author's English is a bit strained with a lot of sentences with odd syntax that at times require multiple readings. I find this a bit odd as the book is solely printed in English. Looking past that, it is a very nice book that provides the most complete history of the type in Argentine service that I have yet read. If you are a real fan of the Mirage, then you may well want to consider this one.  

November 2019

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