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P-47 Thunderbolt vs Bf 109G/K: Europe 1943-45 (Duel) Paperback – August 19, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In all, an excellent addition to what has become a popular series. I know you will enjoy it as much as did I.” ―Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (September 2008)

“...this collection of first-hand accounts from the fighters is a pick for any military library.” ―California Bookwatch (November 2008)

About the Author

Martin Bowman is the author of the three highly successful Mosquito volumes in the Combat Aircraft series and the P-51 Mustang versus the Fw 190 in the Duel series, as well as three books on the B-17 in the ETO. He has also written more than a dozen titles on the 'Mighty Eighth', over the past 20 years, having interviewed many veterans both in the UK and the USA. The author lives in Norwich, UK.
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Product Details

  • Series: Duel (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (August 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846033152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846033155
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on September 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Osprey's P-47 Thunderbolt vs. Bf 109G/K, aviation author Martin Bowman describes the duel for aerial supremacy over Western Europe during 1943-45 in terms of two of its main protagonists. On the American side, the P-47 Thunderbolt was a heavy but powerful fighter with an ability to out-dive any opponent. On the German side, the Bf 109G was a nimble and maneuverable fighting, but no longer cutting edge technology. The author notes that when the first P-47 groups arrived in England in April 1943, "the Thunderbolt pilots were initially handicapped by poor tactics and combat inexperience." For a time, the battle-wise Bf 109G pilots held the edge in aerial combat against the Thunderbolts, but by early 1944 the duel was swinging in favor of the Americans. This volume in the Duel series gets off to a good start, with a focused, well-written narrative on the duel between these two classic fighters but then starts to wander off course and by the conclusion, the author has dropped the duel format and is unable to fully assess the results of the P-47 vs. Bf 109G duel. Overall, this could have been a great volume, but unfortunately it only partially delivers.

The first 25 pages of the volume cover the design and development of each aircraft and the technical characteristics of the numerous variants. In short, these sections are detailed but a bit bland. I was also surprised that there was no discussion of protection (armor, self-sealing gas tanks, etc), since clearly the larger P-47 could absorb more damage than the Bf 109. Digital artwork includes color 3-view (top, side, front) plates of each aircraft and color plates depicting their armament.
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A good book considering that it is written after the style of the History Channel, with the same age and education level in mind. In other words, it suffers from over-use of superlatives and a tendency to over-simplify. No comparison of one fighter with another is complete, or even really accurate without the relevant e-m diagrams. These are sadly missing from the book.
It is, as is apparently intended, an easy read, just the thing for an evening's reading. Don't expect anything deep and you will enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
This Osprey Duel Series entry matches the U.S. Army Air Force's P-47 Thunderbolt fighter against the Luftwaffe's Bf 109G/K fighter in the skies over Europe between 1943 and 1945. Historian Martin Bowman provides the text, with the assistance of three illustrators.

The P-47 and the Bf 109 were the most numerous fighters fielded by their respective air force during the conflict in Europe. In the case of the Bf 109, it was arguably the most effective all-around German fighter. The P-47, although a workhorse with a great engine and lots of versatility, is not generally considered the best American fighter. That honor is usually accorded to the P-51 Mustang, with its longer range and better air-to-air capabilities. The duel described in this book is therefore very interesting but somehow not the expected match-up. That said, Bowman and his illustrators make a good presentation on the two aircraft, including their development and technical specifications, the strategic situation in which they were used, and their combat tactics. The narrative is enhanced by an excellent collection of photographs, illustrations, maps, and graphics.

The author never really quite gets to the results of head-to-head combat between the two aircraft, as other Duel Series entries have done. Those results would perhaps have been stilted by the loss of experienced German pilots by war's end, and by the presence of the P-51. That omission aside, this is still an interesting and readable book and recommended to students of the air war in Europe.
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Format: Paperback
In the deadly air duel that pitted the 8th Air Force against the Luftwaffe, the Republic Thunderbolt was the key element, being credited with breaking the back of the German fighter force. Martin Bowman's P-47 THUNDERBOLT VS BF 109G/K, EUROPE 1943-45 claims to be be an examination of "the mighty clash between these two legends of the sky." Unfortunately, it falls a bit short.

Part of Osprey's DUEL series, Bowman's book, published in 2008, includes the expected mix of aircraft design and development, tech specs, training, etc. When it starts into the 'Combat' and 'Statistics and Analysis' sections however, it starts to meander and ends up presenting material on P-47s and Bf 109s in non-Defense of the Reich ops!

Like other DUEL volumes, Bowman's book has a pleasing mix of b&w pix, color three-views and battle scenes.

One of the earlier DUEL titles, P-47 THUNDERBOLT VS BF 109G/K lacks the locked-in focus of later titles. It's an OK effort but could have been much more. Your call, folks.
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