Book Review
Air War over North Africa
Air War over North Africa USAAF Ascendant
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering Air War over North Africa USAAF Ascendant is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. This book and this series cover the subjects’ mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering Air War over North Africa USAAF Ascendant has been authored by David Mitchelhill-Green; David Mitchelhill-Green has a few books listed against his name and apart from one he would look to have a lot of interest in the North African theatre of war. The contents of this title are provided over 224 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.

The contents of this title are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – Fallen Eagles
Chapter 2 – Fighter Aircraft
Chapter 3 – Photographic Reconnaissence
Chapter 4 – Medium Bombers
Chapter 5 – The Heavy’s
Chapter 6 – Airfields and Airmen
Appendix – USAAF Casualties in European, North African and Mediterranean Theatres of Operations 1942 - 1946

This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Image at War series looks at Air War over North Africa USAAF Ascendant and I am pleased to see a section looking at the foes they faced in this offering. In terms of what you can expect from this title only really requires that you have taken the time to peruse one of the titles in the series and that is because the general format is only really altered in terms of the amount of text provided.

The text provided by the author who I believe is concise in nature due to these books not being designed or intended to provide the written word. With that said the author has managed to provide a well written and informative introduction that provides the reader with a fair overview of what lead up to the USAAF being in North Africa and events at home prior to entering the war. I was both impressed and surprised at how much information the author managed to cram into an introduction that only took up eight pages.

The contents of this book are broken down into logical sections that enable easy navigation to the section and content of choice being sought. The text introduction to each of these areas of the title are very short and have little value beyond the very barest of information, but I am not going to fault that in this case as the subject matter and what the title is intended to cover does not require a large amount of text.

The reason you pick up one of these titles and why they are so valuable to the modeller is the huge number of period images presented in one place of specific aspects. I particularly liked that the enemy aircraft were covered initially as it provided a lot of visual reference on destroyed, damaged or captured aircraft; while these images are black and white these images do provide excellent visual reference on some of the camouflage patterns utilised by Axis forces in North Africa. Another aspect this section covers well is what is under the skin of the aircraft potentially enabling some interesting scenes. The sections covering USAAF aircraft are great in that it shows some very natural scenes that you may wish to replicate. One big plus for me were images of the P-38 Lightning that I didn’t know had flown in North Africa.

They say that a photograph is worth a thousand words and that is true to a large extent, but for me it is the captions that come with the images that make this book and the series generally extremely valuable as reference. The captions in this offering are extreme in some cases and provide a great level of information that could not be discerned from the photograph alone. If you are interested in the USAAF in North Africa I feel this book will


If you are interested in the USAAF in North Africa I feel this book will make you very happy with its purchase. There are a great number of period photographs that provide the content in a great number of setting and surprisingly good quality. The captions provided by the author are the unsung heroes of this title as some of these are longer than the chapter starting text and this results in the viewer being able to obtain far more information than the photographs alone provide.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘Air War over North Africa USAAF Ascendant'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781473881792
  Suggested Retail: £15.99
  PUBLISHED: Nov 19, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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