Air Battles: Bf-109T

Published: October 13th, 2010     
Cover art
Cover art
Author: Marek J. Murawski
Reviewed by: 
Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Kagero Publishing
ISBN #: 978-83-60445-83-9
Price: $22.99

This book covers the navalized Bf-109 variant; the Bf-109T or "Toni" as it was called by her pilots. There are three main chapters which cover everything from design through its combat history. There are not many books covering the 109T (long out of print 'Sea Eagles' is the only one that comes to mind) so this is a most welcome addition.

The need for the Bf-109T was linked hand in hand with the building of Nazi Germany's only aircraft carrier; the "Graf Zeppelin"! This ship had many trials and tribulations during its build and these only further muddied the 109T's development.

With the building of an aircraft carrier came the need for naval aircraft for her to carry. A navalized Stuka with folding wings was developed as was the Bf-109T for the fighter wing. The 109T was to be built in two variants. The T1 was to be the carrier variant with the T2 to be the land-based version without an arresting hook.
The airframes built would be fitted and refitted into T1 and T2 configuration several times as the decision whether or not to finish and put into service the 90% complete "Graf Zeppelin" vacillated back and forth until finally it was decide not to finish the ship.

The book covers the wartime combat of the 109Ts from their first action against RAF Blenheims and other bombers in 1941 to there transfer to training units in 1942 and their return to combat at Hegoland Island in the North Sea. This island was on the main route flown by USAAC bombers on missions to Germany. From all accounts the 109Ts performed their mission to attack US bomber formations well. They "Toni" variant continued to fly missions until the last remaining aircraft was withdrawn from Operations in August of 1944. In early 1945 requests for more 109Ts were made to be catapult launched from convoy ships to protect retreating German forces but the state of manufacturing in Nazi Germany at that time meant that there would be no more 109Ts.

The book also contains several very nice color profiles and a "centerfold" style foldout profile page. As with other Kagero books, the reader is given something extra in 1/48 and 1/72 canopy masks for the Tamiya and ICM 109s. The last Kagero book I bought had a decal sheet with it but it is possible that since the most well know 109Ts were already released in a limited edition kit by Hasegawa, Kagero did not want to produce decals for a kit that was no longer available.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit! Kagero has given us a nice look into the development and operational use of the naval 109. I can recommend this book to modelers of WWII aircraft and historians alike. I think you will enjoy it too! Our thanks to MRC for this review copy.
 

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