|Ognjan Petrovic & Djordje Nikolic|
|Mushroom Models Publications|
|$55.00 from www.casematepublishing.com|
192 pages, hardbound, color profiles and photos, 8.25x11.5 inches
MMP Books seems to be on a campaign to provide camo and markings enthusiasts with a nice line of quality books on those air arms that have not been all that well covered. This one concentrates on fighters of the Yugoslav Air Force from its inception until 1941, when the nation was overrun by the Germans. The series is divided into two editions and this is volume 1, which runs into the mid/late 1920s or so.
Like many smaller nations after WWI, Yugoslavia was reliant on WWI types. Most were of French design, and led to a long time of cooperation between the two nations. Others were aircraft left from the Austro-Hungarian air services, left in place by the dissolution of that nation and reduction of both Austria and Hungary into smaller nations.
The book begins with a brief history of the Yugoslav Air Force during the period in question and includes all the usual geo-political ramifications of Europe during this time period. While the earliest years of the air arm relied fairly much on the French and to some extent the British, with the rise in power of Nazi Germany and its generally superior aviation designs, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia turned to that nation for its aviation needs. It was with mostly German equipment that they entered (briefly) into WWII. However, not all of it was German as they also used British aircraft during the short war. Yugoslavia was one of the few nations to operate both German and British aircraft side by side.
Anyway, volume one covers the time before involvement with the Germans. The types covered are the Nieuport 24/27, SPAD 7/13, Albatros D.III, Phonix D.I/II, Aviatik D.I, Ansaldo SVA.5, Bristol F.2B, Dewoitine D.1/9/27, Avia BH-33, and Potez 25. As you can see, a rather eclectic batch of aircraft. Some were bought in large numbers while others were on in small numbers. Each of these aircraft has its own section that covers not only a small history of each type, but also its service in Yugoslavia. This includes its camouflage and any interesting markings. Early in the history of the air arm, the markings were quite varied before the Kosovo cross was chosen for the national insignia. Each aircraft has a number superb profiles based on actual photos of the aircraft in question. The edition concludes with several interesting appendices which just add more information to the subject.
In line with their other similar books, it is superbly done with a lot of primary research so this isn't simply a copy of past works. A book that I can highly recommend to the enthusiast and an especially worthwhile offering for the modeler.
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