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Old 31st December 2008, 21:39
Rabe Anton Rabe Anton is offline
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Rabe Anton
JG 2 Vol. II - Mombeek/Roba

Mombeek, Erik, and Roba, Jean-Louis. Dans le ciel de France: Histoire de la JG 2 "Richthofen" [In the Skies of France: The History of JG 2 Richthofen]. Vol. II: 1941. Linkebeek, Belgium: by the authors, 2008. 253 pp., illus., vinyl boards, A4.

This title represents the second volume in a series of perhaps five that will narrate the history of the JG 2 Richthofen. This volume covers calendar year 1941; the previous volume covering unit formation through 1940 appeared in 1940.

For readers possessing Vol. I, a description of Vol. II is simple and direct: it is a seamless and uniform continuation of its predecessor but dealing with the history of JG 2's operations in northwestern France during calendar year 1941.
For those not owing Vol. I but others of Mombeek and Roba's unit histories, the similarity remains valid: this JG 2 history generally resembles Mombeek's Sturmjäger (JG 4) and Eismeer (JG 5).

The above means that a reader will find a treasure of hitherto unpublished photographs numbering in the hundreds illustrating aircraft, scenes, and personalities combined with a carefully researched text that draws heavily on the author's accumulations of private documentation such as Flugbücher and interviews over the past 20 or so years. In effect, here one can only note one or two examples such as the overall photo of the Bf 109F-2 we. 7 + marked with 17 victories as flown by the up-and-coming Ltn. Egon Mayer at about 12 July 1941 (p. 108). Although about 50 percent of the images are of aircraft, some other very interesting subjects are included, not least an intriguing photo on p. 121 of the Scharnhorst in dry dock in Brest, in the open and appearing very exposed to the most elementary air reconnaissance or attack.

Noteworthy features of the book include a high standard of design and production; though a self-published effort, the JG 2 history is nicely formatted and the lithography excellent. A helpful index of names is included, along with a list of RAF units mentioned in the text with page references. Eight pages of world-class color profiles by Thierry Dekker are included, along with a list of losses (losses, accidents, and damaged machines) consolidated in one appendix.

All in all, this volume represents yet one more year in the best coverage of JG 2 yet to appear. Overall an excellent and invaluable work, unavoidably limited only by its French text throughout. The language choice is sound, reasonable, and understandable for the European market, but may cause some hesitancy for less linguistically capable U.S. readers. An English translation is underway, but it may be a very long time before it appears—English-only readers might well be advised to overcome their anxiety and buy this French version while it is available. Thank you and congratulations, Erik and Jean-Louis, for what you have done here.

RA

Last edited by Rabe Anton; 31st December 2008 at 21:44. Reason: Format Correction
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