Osprey's Air Combat: Dogfights of WWII




Osprey Publishing


$35.95 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 336 pages, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-4728-3676-2

World War II was as much a war in the air as it was on the ground. During the period of 1939-45, there were more aircraft in combat than in any time in the world's history. Such a huge number of combat aircraft will never be seen again, so in that area, the time was truly unique. Never again will there be the scale of air combat as took place during this era. Since then, air combat has been fairly limited with the only major air to air campaign taking place during the Korean War with lesser levels during the various other conflicts such as the Israeli wars, the Vietnam war and that of India and Pakistan. The other smaller wars have mostly been very one-sided in terms of air power.

One of Osprey's more popular series of books has been the Duel series. This series pits the equipment of adversaries against each other and analyzes their strengths and weaknesses. A number of these books has been aircraft vs aircraft and so this title takes four of those and places them in between a single cover. 

In this book we look at some fairly expected combatants from various sectors of the war. First is the Spitfire II/V vs the Bf-109F from the post Battle of Britain period. Next is the F4F Wildcat vs the A6M2 Zero from the Southwest Pacific. Then we move to the Soviet Union with the FW-190 vs the La-5/7 towards the end of the war. Finally, the F4U Corsair vs the Ki-84 Hayate, also near the end of the war in the Pacific.

As with all of the Duel books, each of these four provides a history of the aircraft, the way the pilots were trained, how each type fit into the strategic situation of the time, and how they fared in combat against each other. This is then followed by a summation of the strengths and weaknesses of each aircraft and why they performed the way they did. Chock full of great period photos and illustrations.

It is a great way to basically get four books under one cover and makes for hours of pleasant and interesting reading. I know you'll enjoy this one and can easily recommend it to you.

February 2019

For more on the complete line of Osprey books and to order this one, visit www.ospreypublishing.com .

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.