Book Review
Early Jet Fighters 1944 - 1954
Early Jet Fighters 1944 - 1954 the Soviet Union and Europe
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The jets that took to the air towards the end of the war and those that European nations rushed to build in the following 10 years are a mix of the well known and little known. This title brings together the aircraft of the European nations together in one title of either individual nations and in some cases lumping others together.

The following portion of the introduction is from Pen and Sword:
In his previous book on early jet fighters Leo Marriott traced the history of the revolutionary aircraft produced by the British and Americans immediately after the Second World War; in this companion volume he describes jet fighter development on the continent of Europe and in the Soviet Union during the same remarkable period. Using over 200 archive photographs he covers the pioneering German designs, then the range of experimental and operational fighters constructed by the Soviets, the French and the Swedes. The sheer variety of the designs that manufacturers came up with during this short, intense period of innovation mean that the book is fascinating reading.

Several of the most famous jet fighters feature prominently in the rare photographs and are analysed in the expert text, including the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Heinkel He 162, the MiGs 15, 17 and 19, the Dassault Ouragan and the Saab J29. But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the book is its record of experimental projects which tested new concepts that rapidly became established elements of jet aircraft design. The photographs of these largely forgotten aircraft give us an insight into the extraordinary technical challenges and the ambition and inventiveness of the designers and manufacturers who overcame them.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images of 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 ‘Early Jet Fighters 1944 - 1954 the Soviet Union and Europe’ has been authored by Leo Marriott. This title from Leo Marriott is one of a three titles on the subject specifically plus a good number of titles covering aspects of warfare more widely. The contents of this title are provided over 144 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 - Germany
Chapter 2 - The Soviet Union
Chapter 3 – France
Chapter 4 – Sweden
Chapter 5 – Other Nations

The text in this offering is firstly well written which makes reading it a pleasure rather than a chore. As I have got older font and size has become more important to me as it dictates how long I can happily sit and read for and this release I am pleased to say that both facets are within my comfort zone. The text is sometimes on dedicated pages where the introduction is concerned; however the chapters of the book are a mixture of text and photograph which I like as it encourages you to take the time to read it as it does not seem as intimidating as large blocks of text can be to some.

This book covering a subject generally in terms of all aircraft from a specific global position is a great quick reference book. There are a good number of images of the aircraft mentioned as regards countries covered with the aircraft covered from countries generally are a mix of single images with some getting extra coverage.

The images do have their own captions provided which for me is what makes this book specifically and the series generally such a valuable asset to the modeller. These captions take away all of the guesswork often needed otherwise and so provide clarity. This title is perhaps most helpful when looking for a subject out of the ordinary and run of the mill models seen and so a useful reference title with a pleasing amount of detail on each subject.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Images of War series is what I consider a general reference on a specific aspect in that it covers aircraft generally from a specific global location. The images are good and introduced me to some twin boom aircraft from the period that I was unaware of and that I would love to replicate in miniature. I feel the value of this title is when looking for a subject to energise you for your next build.
Darren Baker takes a look at a recent release from Pen and Sword titled and covering 'Early Jet Fighters 1944 - 1954 the Soviet Union and Europe'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526753939
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: May 12, 2020

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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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