January 2023: Part 1
Aviation Quiz Book : From Airbus to Zeppelin
Khalem Chapman & Martin Needham
Devilishly tough and well researched. Much of the online quizzes are pretty ropey, so lovely to have a quiz book made with such attention to detail and subject knowledge. In fact, that this encourages socialisation, as opposed to solo time online, is to be applauded. The love of nomenclature and sub-variant identification will not be to everyone’s taste, and it leans a little dry at times, though this is offset by many wonderful photographs (especially the lovely image of the Supermarine Attacker). That it combines civil and military is interesting, considering as they are often a different audience, and makes you wonder how smaller volumes separated into military and civil would have sold. Can’t wait to try going head-to-head on this quiz against another plane-bore!
Soviet Lend-Lease Fighter Aces of World War 2
Not a new book but one worth mentioning, this interesting book covers Soviet aces who flew Western-provided fighters. As such it is intriguing parallel universe for those used to Euro- or US-centric histories of World War 2 air combat. Spitfires, Hurricanes, P-40s, Airacobras and Thunderbolts formed the bulk of the land-lease fighters, and it reveals how they performed in the dirty, often cold and low-level conditions that typified the Soviet air war. Much has been made over the last twenty years of how the Soviets generally preferred the Airacobra to the Spitfire in World War II, and this book adds more to the story.
Extremely fine, and appropriately grubby, profile artworks by Jim Laurier are what first impresses the reader. For a reference work this is excellent, those more interested in the human story may require a longer work.
We need to review our own book, but I’m not allowed to do that so I’ll share an Amazon review:
5.0 out of 5 stars Far More Than Another Warplane Book! Reviewed in the United States on 27 December 2022
The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes is a completely unique form of literary art! Fantastic photos and rich illustrations abound. They are accompanied by a deeply researched and hilariously irreverent text.
Many subjects are covered. From ‘best’ and ‘worst’ listings (with detailed documentation to justify the listings) to rare aviation art of lost projects and concepts, this book deftly explores both familiar and esoteric subjects. One of my personal favorites is the Freudian analysis of night fighter designs. Hilarious and thought provoking!
Joe Coles has created a thoroughly unique book on warplanes. From Great War ( World War I) combatants to World War II legends and losers to the most modern 2022 superfighters, The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes provides an immersive experience in the things that make warplanes so fascinating!
Kamikaze: Japan’s Last Bid for Victory
by Stewart Adrian
Pen & Sword
This is a welcome relief from the many turgid military aviation books. Adrian is a confident clear writer covering a potentially ghoulish subject with sensitivity and panache, while consciously avoiding many of the cliches often encountered in books on Japanese air power. The dreadful slide from volunteer to forced (by social coercion as much as anything) kamikaze pilots is covered in a fascinating and human way by a capable writer and excellent researcher.