Ju 52/3m Bomber and Transport Units 1936-41

Published: June 18th, 2017     
Product Image
Book cover
Author: Robert Forsyth
Reviewed by: 
Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Osprey Publishing
ISBN #: 978-1-4728-1880-5
Price: $23.00

This book traces the early history of Ju-52 combat units and operations. The book is broken up into six chapters.

Chapter one covers the development of Junkers Ju-52 from the lifting of the ban imposed by the Treaty of Versailles on the production of commercial aircraft in 1922. Beginning with the all metal F-13 and moving through the A-20 and on to the G-24 leading up to project "EF 30". This was essentially a single engine Ju-52 and eventually progressing to the now familiar three engine design. There is a brief discussion of their use by Bolivia in the war with Paraguay that was very interesting. Discussion is also present on the civilian use of the Ju-52 noting that by March 31,1936 839 Ju-52s had been built and orders came from all over Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa for this sturdy airliner.

Chapter two covers the use of the Ju-52 in the Spanish Civil war both as bomber and transport. There is on page 51 a fabulous photo of a float equipped Condor Legion Ju-52/3m. The Ju-52s and Spanish built example would serve the Spanish Air Force into the 1970s.

Chapter three discusses early Luftwaffe use of the Ju-52. While the plane did see use early in the war as a bomber it was as a transport that it won its fame. During the Polish Campaign the use as a bomber lead to crewmen throwing incendiaries out of the open doors. This is a very imprecise way to bomb for sure. After the conquering of Poland the Luftwaffe agreed that it was vital to have enough transports to supply a continuous moving war as they had a shortage of such during the invasion of Poland.

Chapter four covers the attack on Norway and Denmark. The picture on page 65 showing Ju-52  operations on Lake Hartvig is poignant as it is from this very lake many decades after Germany's surrender that several Ju-52s would be recovered.

Chapter five discusses the use of Ju-52s as paratroop droppers against France, The Netherlands during the Third Reich's push to the west. Some very interesting stories are told within this chapter.

Chapter six begins with most of Europe now under the control on the Nazis and the Italians having formally allied with Germany. The Italian abilities were suspect based on their efforts in North Africa and when they attacked Greece from Albania, Hitler knew they would need help and it fell to the Germans to support the Italian effort in Greece. This chapter takes us almost to the invasion of the Soviet Union

This is an interesting history of the Ju-52 known as "Tante Ju" to the Luftwaffe I found it to be well written and informative. I suspect that there will be more volumes on the Ju-52 and its exploits as the bulk of WWII is yet to be covered! There are many good stories as well as operational details within this volume. The aviation and WWII historian will love this little book and the modeler can draw inspiration from the color profiles.

Our thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity

  • Front cover
    Front cover
  • Sample page: Title page with a nice profile picture
    Sample page: Title page with a nice profile picture
  • Sample page 11: Details of flight characteristics of the Ju-52, topped with a nice profile picture
    Sample page 11: Details of flight characteristics of the Ju-52, topped with a nice profile picture
  • Sample page: Chapter 2 regarding the Ju-52's role in the Spanish Civil War, and the fate of Hugo Junkers
    Sample page: Chapter 2 regarding the Ju-52's role in the Spanish Civil War, and the fate of Hugo Junkers
  • Sample page: Color plates of paint schemes
    Sample page: Color plates of paint schemes
  • Sample page: Color plates of paint schemes
    Sample page: Color plates of paint schemes
  • Sample page: Color plates of paint schemes
    Sample page: Color plates of paint schemes
  • Sample page: Topped with a picture of a Ju-52 with the white band that indicates it is in the Mediterranean Theatre
    Sample page: Topped with a picture of a Ju-52 with the white band that indicates it is in the Mediterranean Theatre
  • Rear cover
    Rear cover