SPAD VII vs. Albatros D III 1917-18

Published: May 12th, 2011     
Product Image
Front cover
Author: Jon Guttman, Illustrated by Jim Laurier
Reviewed by: Perry Downen - IPMS# 44000
ISBN #: 978-1-84908-475-8
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 80-pp, 9.75 x 7.25 inches
Price: $17.95
Product / Stock #: Duel Series #36
Product provided by: Osprey Publishing

I would like to thank Osprey Publishing for submitting this book for review and thank IPMS/USA for allowing me to do the review.

In the latter half of 1916 the French SPAD VII and the German Albatros D III were introduced into the Great War. At the time, each represented major improvements in aircraft design and would change aerial warfare. Soon these two machines met in the skies over France and Germany. The SPAD VII was smaller, lighter and a little more maneuverable but the Albatros D III was equipped with two machine guns. In the hands of legendary pilots such as Manfred von Richthofen, Heinrich Kroll, Georges Guynemer, Rene Fonck, Raoul Lufbery each aircraft proved to be very successful.

The author, Jon Guttman, is an expert in WW I aviation and frequently writes for the Weider History Group. In this book, he examines the differences between the SPAD VII and Albatros D III. He covers their design philosophies, their combat activities, and their successes. He does this in ten "chapters" identified as:

  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Design and Development
  • Technical Specifications
  • The Strategic Situation
  • The Combatants
  • Combat
  • Statistics and Analysis
  • Aftermath
  • Further Reading

The book contains numerous black and white periodphotographs. Each photograph is accompanied by a block of text explaining the action, activity or item depicted. The beautiful artwork on the cover and the drawings of the respective cockpits, and armament scraps inside the book are done by Jim Laurier. The cockpit drawings have each instrument, handle, lever, and switch numbered and identified. The colorful three-view drawings of each aircraft are done by Harry Dempsey. The quality of this artwork is excellent.

Guttman has provided tables listing specifications for the two aircraft. There are other tables that provide a breakdown of the "kills" by aircraft, pilot, and squadron. There are a couple of maps that indicate the position of the front line and the relative location of the French and German squadrons.

SPAD VII vs. Albatros D III 1917-18is a great book for the modeler and historian alike. The photographs and drawings are an excellent resource for the modeler. It would be an inexpensive and valuable addition to any book collection on WWI aircraft. The quality of the artwork, the photographs and the information provided make this book one I would highly recommend.

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

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