Valiant Wings Publishing: The Henschel Hs-123


Richard A Franks


Valiant Wings Publishing


13.95 MSRP at


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, A4 Format, softcover, ISBN: 978-1-912932047, Airframe Detail #7

The next book in Valiant Wings' Airframe Detail book is on the Henschel Hs-123. This is an aircraft, though obsolescent at best, was quite successful in areas where the Luftwaffe had air superiority. So much, in fact, that the German commander of Luftwaffe units in Russia wanted the production line to re-open so they could be supplied to units. This was despite the fact that the tooling had been destroyed in 1940.

The 123 was the result of a competition for a dive bomber to replace the He-45. The only other entrant was the Fieseler Fi-98, a plane that wasn't all that much better than the He-45. Despite the biplane configuration, the Hs-123 virtually did away with the speed reducing flying wires, and produced an aircraft that was large, robust, and fairly fast for the time. It soon started equipping Luftwaffe units and proved to be useful in Spain when several early production and prototype aircraft were sent to be part of the Condor Legion. Spain and China were the only other nations to operate the type, though Austria and Portugal put in orders that were never delivered. The 123 served basically on the Eastern front.

For those unfamiliar with the series, the book provides not only a nice history on the type, but also close-up detail information using period drawings/photos. There are no extant airframes and very few bits survived. A part I like is the camouflage and markings section that includes a goodly number of well done full color profiles. Kits of the Hs-123 are few but they are available in both 1/72 and 1/48 scale. As usual with the series we have a kit build and this is of the recent Gas Patch models kit in 1/48 scale. This makes into a very nice model. Appendices include one that provides information on the various kits produced, in addition to books on the type and various accessories.

In all, it is another superb effort from Valiant Wings and a book that easily gets my highest recommendation.

October 2019

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