He-111 Kampfgeschwader in the West

Published: April 2nd, 2012     
Product Image
Author: John Weal
Reviewed by: Perry Downen - IPMS# 44000
ISBN #: 978-1-84908-670-7
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 7-1/4" x 9-3/4", 96 pages, period photos, 10 pages of full-color profiles
Price: $22.95
Product / Stock #: Combat Aircraft 91
Product provided by: Osprey Publishing

Although ostensibly designed to be a civil airliner, the military potential of the He-111 was of greater importance to Germany in the mid-1930s. Of the several prototypes built by Heinkel, the second and fourth were configured as civil versions to carry 10 passengers and mail. The first and third were configured as the military versions. While Lufthansa took delivery of six aircraft, development continued on the military version, with deliveries made to the first operational squadron in May, 1937. This aircraft went on to become the primary medium bomber of the Luftwaffe during the early stages of WWII. Before WWII ended, more than 7,500 He-111s were built.

Author/artist John Weal's book, He-111 Kampfgeschwader in the West, is number 91 in Osprey's Combat Aircraft series. Weal provides a comprehensive history of the He-111's career on the Western Front from its development years to its last missions as a launch aircraft for the V-1 "buzz bomb." He includes the He-111's brief years as a civilian airliner, its part in the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, and the various assignments it undertook up to June 22, 1941. As the author states, the invasion of the Soviet Union on that date foretold the end of the Heinkel's career as a bomber in the west.

The author presents the material in chronological order. The chapters are:

  • Entry into Service
  • Iberian Baptism of Fire
  • Poland
  • The "Watery Triangle" and Weserubung
  • Blitzkrieg in the West
  • The Battle of Britain
  • The Night Blitz
  • Post-1941 Postscript
  • Appendices

The book contains numerous black and white period photographs. Each is accompanied by a block of text explaining the action or activity seen. Of particular interest to the modeler will be the ten pages of beautiful full-color profile drawings. These depict 30 He-111s in different color schemes from different units while it operated in the west. The reader will find detail information for each aircraft in the Appendices. Also in the Appendices are charts listing He-111 bomber strength at different times and locations.

The modeler can find He-111 kits in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32 scale. The material and color plates found in He-111 Kampfgeschwader in the West can help the modeler achieve a unique build. There is plenty in this book to satisfy any historian as well. This book is an inexpensive and valuable addition to any collection on WWII aircraft. It is easy for me to give this book a "Must Have" rating.

My sincere thanks goes to Osprey Publishing for providing this wonderful book and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

  • Back cover
    Back cover
  • Sample page
    Sample page
  • Sample profile
    Sample profile

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