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Old 9th April 2019, 18:38
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
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Book Review: Robert Forsyth: Heinkel Units of World War 2 (published Osprey, July 2018)

I put together this review earlier this year and emailed it on 5th January 2019 to the MD of Osprey Publications along with a covering note. Beyond a brief acknowledgement of receipt there has been no response from Osprey.
The review mainly comprises corrections, many of which also apply to the earlier Smith+Creek Classic title on the Greif. The full review is posted here (including a few subsequent additions) together with the covering email to Osprey in case there is something here of interest for others. Maybe also, one day someone with the interest and relevant skills will actually choose the development and production of the He 177 as the subject for their PhD thesis, and perhaps even take me up on the arrangement that I offered in the initial instance to Osprey.
The core challenges in producing a title such as this are that, as yet, there is no settled and accurate ‘backstory’ for the He 177 series production versions, whilst on the other side, it is very simple to demonstrate the shortcomings in the story that has been presented and then parroted endlessly.
This review document is posted in both Open Office and Word 2013 versions, and for those with an interest in how the document was developed, there is also a separate Word 2013 Tracked Changes version.
My covering email to Osprey is below.


“Dear Sir/Madam,
Please find attached my review of Robert Forsyth’s recent title for Osprey: ‘Heinkel He 177 Units of World War 2’ (Combat Aircraft Series No 123).
It’s pretty extensive because it aims to highlight and to correct the most egregious mistakes in this book, and there were an awful lot of these. There are separate sections covering the text, colour profiles and photo captions. I’m afraid it does not make for pleasant reading, but then for a job done this badly, neither should it.
The review was too long to post on amazon in its entirety. So I ended up splitting it into three, posting most of the section on the colour profiles on the US amazon site, most the photo captions section on the UK site and the text section on the German site.
I attach here a copy of the complete review for your awareness and in case you decide to reprint a revised and corrected edition – as I think you should. This comes to you as a tracked-changes file in MS Word. That allows you to distinguish the few small adjustments I’ve made subsequently and also highlights the web site source references I’ve now added. (Any embedded URLs linking to non-amazon sites cannot be included in reviews on amazon.)
Should you ever find an author interested in preparing a serious and accurate study of the He 177, I would be happy to offer to share with them the material I have put together and talk them through it. That will give them a far better factual base to start from than anything that has been published on this aircraft so far. It will also save them a great deal of time. However, to take the story beyond this will require a genuine research effort
In return for my sharing, I would ask that they share with me readable digital copies of whatever materials they collect during the course of their own research. For this there are some very obvious places to start looking. Dr Volker Koos clearly found reliable statistics for the numbers of He 177s delivered by Arado. No-one else ever seems to have used this source. (See the section on this type in his Arado Flugzeugwerke: 1925-1945, published 2007, now due to be printed in English in March this year.) In addition, there is some invaluable material on the He 177 posted and freely available for download from:
http://www.deutscheluftwaffe.com/archiv/Dokumente/web/new%20site/frames2/Dokumente.htm
(See especially the He 177 Technische Anweisungen des Generalluftzeugmeister, 72 Seiten.) It would be worth following up with the site owner on where he found this material, and whether there might just be other stuff of less obvious interest that was also turned up. There will also be a mass of material on the 177 in the Heinkel Werke Firmenarchiv held by the Deutsches Museum in Munich. This occupies 42 meters (Laufmeter) of shelf space, but that includes a lot of post-1945 stuff. See:
https://www.deutsches-museum.de/archiv/bestaende/firmenarchive/verzeichnis/heinkel/

I would undertake to use these ‘infoshares’ entirely for my own private study until expiry of the shorter of one year after the date of publication of their own their title, or five years after our initial contact. [Family circumstances have permanently postponed any ambitions I had as an author, besides my German in nothing like good enough for this task.]”

Sent with title ‘For the attention of the Managing Director of Osprey Publishing’ to each of:
info@ospreypublishing.com
editorial@ospreypublishing.com
Attached Files
File Type: zip He 177 Revamp review v10-8 + Subsequent 27-Mar-2019.zip (192.6 KB, 55 views)
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