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Combat Aircraft 37: Iranian F-4 Phantom II Units in Combat Paperback – July 23, 2003

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Combat Aircraft 37: Iranian F-4 Phantom II Units in Combat + Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat (Combat Aircraft) + IRIAF 2010: The Modern Iranian Air Force
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Highly recommended and good value for money.

From the Publisher

Osprey's Combat series combines the best archival photography available with specially commissioned artworks and first hand accounts, making these books favourites amongst historians, modellers and aviation enthusiasts everywhere.
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Product Details

  • Series: Combat Aircraft (Book 37)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841766585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841766584
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barrett Tillman on December 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Don't let the Osprey format deceive you: this short volume fits the 96 pages allotted each installment in the series, but it's absolutely jammed with an exceptional amount and variety of information. Many of us thought that the full story of the Phantom could never be told because the Middle East users were so secretive. But the fact that the authors have developed so many contacts inside Iran is a source of wonder in itself. While Jim Laurier's aircraft profiles are uniformly excellent, modelers will lament the Iranians' absence of unit markings. The main criticism is lack of a theater map, as the geography is never explained. But whether you're a Phantom Pflyer or Phanom Pfan, you'll devour this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Katzman on August 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Agree with the review that says maps would have been the final piece of the puzzle. The level of research involved in this book is impressive (the pictures in particular), though necessarily one-sided.

Even with expected inflation of claims from Iranian pilots, the performance of their Air force under pressure from both the Iraqis and their own incompetent government was something they can be very proud of. Most of these guys were freed from jail and torture, and still fought for their country with skill, intelligence, and courage. I'm glad someone went out and told their stories.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kamran on December 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great reading. You'll learn tactical issues faced by Iranian pilots whose U.S. training had a huge effect on the air war. The advantages that Iran initially had in the air and eventually lost to Iraq over the years as the war dragged on and the rest of the world opened up to Saddam Hussein. Lots of pictures to supplement the pilot's stories and accounts. Nicely done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike V. on August 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book covers Iranian F-4 Phantom II operations during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980-1988, and covers F-4D, E and RF-4E operations. The book is immediately a breath of fresh air from the usual accounts of first-world air force operations that tend to be accounts of them steamrolling an under-matched opponent.

The account of Iranian F-4 operations are instead a story of an Air Force wracked by purges, executions, and mistrust aimed at the them by the new Islamic revolutionary government. This made the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force both under-prepared and poorly supported by the new government, which increasingly packed the force with sycophants and neglected both maintenance, repair, and other support operations for the force. Despite this all, Iranian F-4 pilots maintained an amazing tempo of operations and some daring missions that belied their excellent equipment, training, and courage.

This engaging story, along with tight writing and Osprey's glossy production values, makes for a worthwhile account of first-world equipment tested in unpredetermined engagements against a numerically, politically, and financially well-endowed opponent. Even though the book tops out at about 90 pages (including about 10 pages of color photos and airframe profiles) feels neither too short, nor too long.

There are a few caveats to this book, however. One is that it focuses heavily on the first two years of the war, when a lot of the really desperate action occurred. The rest of the war including the Tanker War and the War of the Cities does not gain as much attention, and feels a bit rushed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joe M. Donahoe on November 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many aviation enthusiasts I have read sooo many books about the F-4 Phantom over the years that I suffer from Phantom fatigue. Its a great plane but I have just read so much about it. So at first I was reluctant to buy another Phantom book, but of course I did. The book is interesting no only because it covers the Phantom, but the Phantom in the context of the political situation at the time. Iraq made the huge mistake of invading Iran in 1980 in Iran's post revolutionary period. It was up to the U.S. trained Iranian pilots to try to turn the tide with their Phantoms (and some Tomcats, covered in the book). Iran had to deal with an arms embargo so they had to do their best to keep what Phantoms they had flying. And eventhough a political history was not my reason for buying the book, the author does describe the bizarre situation of the U.S. government secretly sending arms (Phantom spare parts, J79 engines) to Iran while denying do this (hello Iran/Contra Affair), while at the same time providing Iraq with military intelligence. In the midst of this mess the dedicated Iranian Phantom pilots had to go up against Iraqi Mirages and Migs. The book desribes the tactics the Iranian air force used and what the goals were in terms of targeting Iraqi A.F. bases and oil installations. As always with Osprey, lots of good photos of Phantoms most of which I have never seen before BECAUSE of the unique context of this book - Iranian Phantoms. If your looking for an interesting read that addresses air force strategy (Iranian and Iraqi) and world politics while seated in the front seat of an Iranian Phantom then I would recommend this book.
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