Hikoki's Wings of the Malvinas
|$56.95 from Specialty Press|
|Notes:||ISBN 978-1-902109-22-0, 8.25 x 11.5 inches, 384 pages, over 470 photos and profiles, most in color|
It has now been over thirty years since the end of the war between Argentina and the UK over a group of islands in the extreme South Atlantic called (depending on if you are Argentine or British) the Malvinas or the Falklands. I have to admit that since the victors get to name places, most will know them by the latter. Even the inhabitants consider the islands the Falklands and have chosen to remain British subjects so unless something major occurs in the following years, the Falklands they will be.
But I am not here to discuss the merits of who has the rights to the islands and to their name, but to review a new book by Hikoki. This one is by far the best researched book I have read on the missions, men and aircraft of the Argentine air forces, for there were several involved.
It begins with a background as to the previous owners of this group of islands and understandably, it makes a case for them actually belonging to Argentina, a case that will be equally refuted by the current inhabitants. But it makes for interesting reading. Then there is a background on aviation as it relates to the Falklands prior to the war and another section on the build-up towards the Argentine invasion of these islands and South Georgia. We then get a look at Argentina's various military air forces and a short history on their founding and build-up until 1982. This is then followed by the actual invasion itself and preparation for the British retaliation that was bound to come.
The rest of the book covers the various branches of the service including the units, how they were involved, the various actions taken by these units, whether they be attack units, recon units, transport units or even civilian aircraft used during the conflict. All the different branches are fully covered that include the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard.
We get details of the missions flown including maps showing the various tracks taken by mission aircraft and the position of targets. Aircraft that participated are included as are the crews where that is germane.
One of the best parts of the book are all the photos from a variety of sources. Most have not been seen in print before and most are in full color. Included in the appropriate area are very nicely drawn full color profiles of the various aircraft. Towards the end of the book is a listing of every aircraft in Argentine service by type and serial number as well as its eventual fate or current status. Also in the appedices are listings of all the various units, photos of Argentine ships that participated as well as a full listing of British and Argentine ships. A goodly bibliography concludes the book.
Whether you agree with some of the conclusions reached by the book, there is no doubt that this is the best researched book on the Argentine side of the war that has yet been written. It was a fascinating read and a book that I can easily give my highest recommendation.
Review book courtesy of Specialty Press, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb aviation and modeling books. Visit their website at the link above or call them at 1-800-895-4585
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