DOGFIGHT The Greatest Air Duels of World War II

Published: June 20th, 2011     
Front cover
Front cover
Author: Tony Holmes
Reviewed by: Dan Mackay - IPMS# 47000
ISBN #: 978-1-94908-6
Other Publication Information: Hardcover, 352-pp
Price: $25.95
Product provided by: Osprey Publishing

I was expectingthe usual Osprey soft cover book; I was surprised how heavy the package was from IPMS reviewers' corps headquarters. The book is 300+ pages. It appears that this book is a compilation of previous vs. series, although I have not read the individual titles myself so I can't say for sure. Tony Holmes is the editor of this compilation as well he contributes the Spitfires vs. Bf 109E covering the epic "Battle of Britain" during the summer of 1940. Below is the table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Spitfires vs. Bf 109E (Tony Holmes)
  • Part II: P-47 Thunderbolt vs. Bf 109G/K (Martin Bowman)
  • Part III: P-40 Warhawk vs. Ki-43 Oscar: China 1944-45 (Carl Molesworth)
  • Part IV: P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 (Martin Bowman)
  • Part V: Seafire vs. Zero (Donald Nijboer)
  • Conclusion
  • Further Reading

I couldn't help feel that I was watching episodes of "Dog fights" as shown on history channel while reading this book. You are guided through the five parts by the various authors as they cover the machines, type history, strategic situation, the men, combat, analysis, and aftermath. I was consumed and read from the title every spare moment I had. I was taken back in time to those difficult times and have an increased appreciation for the sacrifice of our war heroes as they faced fear and relied on their training, instinct, and luck to see them thru. The book is full of first-hand accounts from these heroes as they describe their impressions of the aircraft, their training, and of actual aerial encounters. The artwork is very inspiring to say the least, for starters I started to work on Airfix's new 1/72 Spitfire Mk I. So if a book can get you back into the workshop to build something than that is a good thing. I recommend this book to all who are armchair historians as well as avid modelers; it just might inspire you to build something.

Thanks to IPMS USA and to Osprey Publishing for the opportunity I had to review this book.

  • Sample page, P-40 cockpit
    Sample page
  • Sample page, Spitfire profile
    Sample page

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