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  #21  
Old 20th March 2005, 22:09
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Interesting subject.....this Hikoki author is actually an aircraft designer (or was one could say as I moved on towards management...but still like to think I know what it is about...!!) but I focus also on operations. I like the technical things about the Fw 190 but the operations and pilots make me tick.... However, I must admit I agree with Jukka. If you write a book on the Fw 190, one should deal with the technical side thoroughly and in my opinion nobody did that yet!
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  #22  
Old 25th March 2005, 02:23
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is online now
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Let´s hope so for there is an American fellow working on a book on the late A series 190s which should be very technical.
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  #23  
Old 26th March 2005, 00:22
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukka Juutinen
The hard truth is that aircraft book authors have a great deal to learn from their naval colleagues.
Jukka,
Interesting comment. What exactly do aircraft book authors have to learn from naval authors? I would be interested to know what aircraft authors are missing/omitting from what they set down.

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John Vasco
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  #24  
Old 26th March 2005, 00:46
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukka Juutinen
Many of the famous ship authors have naval architect or similar background. How many Classic, Hikoki, Osprey authors have piston engine aircraft designer background?
Jukka,

I read this post and feel I must comment on it also (in the spirit of debate, not confrontation).

As a future 'Classic' author, I can state that my background is, since 1969, Civil Servant (now retired) and semi-pro guitarist (continuing). I don't have 'piston engine aircraft designer background', but I do not feel that impairs what I do in any way(others might disagree!!!). I do not claim to be a 'rivet counter', although some of what I have written in the past, and something that will appear in the future, may have taken/take me in that direction (horror of horrors!!). As someone else has commented, reading vast tracts of technical information is, for me, a complete turn-off as a reader, and remember, we all started off as readers. I accept that there are some among the Luftwaffe reading public who delight in masses of technical data. I don't. I also bear in mind that the average pilot didn't give a toss about the technical detail of his aircraft - he was interested in it being in good shape to fly, good shape to fight, and sufficient shape to get them down again. I don't feel that an aviation technical background is a necessary prerequisite for setting a military account down in print. If that were so, probably half of what has appeared in the last decades would never have reached the book shelves. Don't get hung up, Jukka, on a technical background = a properly written book.

I would be interested to hear your further comments.

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John Vasco
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  #25  
Old 26th March 2005, 03:33
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is online now
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vasco
Jukka,
Interesting comment. What exactly do aircraft book authors have to learn from naval authors? I would be interested to know what aircraft authors are missing/omitting from what they set down.

Regards,

John Vasco
Well, I have a few recommendations. First, try to get a look at "Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War". I admit, neither of the two authors are naval architects. Anyway, this book has everything, design background, tech details and operational use. Tech details include stuff like engine room fan capacity, material specs etc. Performance data is based on trial data, not gossip (they include date of trials, exact displacement of the ship etc). Be warned, this book is a large formattome with some 900 pages.

Second recommendation is the Anatomy of the Ship series. Pick e.g. John Roberts´ volume on the HMS Dreadnought. In this book, you can find some 30 pages of machinery related drawings (from general mach room layout to sectioned drawings of pumps) alone.

You wrote that the pilots didn´t give much thought to the tech stuff. Well, how much were they interested in the exact tone of their green paint or whether the swastika was 625 mm or 620 mm wide? Yet, books about that subject fill the shelves (I include pictorials here if the captions´ main theme is camo and markings).

After checking these two, you cannot resist agreeing with me that aviation authors have extremely lot to learn from their naval colleagues.
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  #26  
Old 26th March 2005, 03:39
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is online now
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

BTW, I do not insist on tech background, but I do insist on understanding e.g. the difference between a mechanical supercharger and a turbocharger or the difference between supercharger stages and speeds. There a plenty of authors out there who understand neither. E.g. Paul Ludwig, the author of the Classic book on the Mustang, has either failed to understand a simple supercharger drawing or has not bothered even to check his cra* (his Merlin description is a catastrophe and will result in some folks being convinced by his lies).
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  #27  
Old 26th March 2005, 10:23
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

There is a difference between a mistake and a lie.

mistake: wrong action or statement

lie: an untrue statement made with intent to deceive

Here you are on a public forum accusing an author of making untrue statements with the intent to deceive? Why such a harsh approach and based on what evidence? How many authors do you actually consider to be profesional liars?

Perhaps there are also lies in the Japanese cruiser book, but you failed to notice them? Tons of details can easily overwhelm, doesn't mean that it is all correct. The main difference mighty simply be that you know your aircraft better than your Japanese cruisers.

Your choice of words was poor and I'll have to ask everyone to think before writing down such words.
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  #28  
Old 26th March 2005, 12:42
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is online now
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

You´re right. It was probably an unintentional mistake on Ludwig´s part, but not very acceptable one as the correct info is so easily and widely available (just one look at any two stage Merlin cutaway drawing has adequate correct info).

I am just quite tired of how major technical errors are seen as acceptable but imagine if a color tone or some Rüstsatze is wrong. The book is bludgeoned to death without any mercy. Some academic historian on this board has e.g. praised Eric Bergerud´s book on Pacific air war, even when the technical sections of the book are best described as jokes.

As for the Cruisers book, it is beyond any criticism except for the spine being a bit too light for the page count and the paper could have been better too.
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Last edited by Jukka Juutinen; 26th March 2005 at 12:47.
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  #29  
Old 26th March 2005, 18:30
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukka Juutinen
Well, I have a few recommendations. First, try to get a look at "Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War". I admit, neither of the two authors are naval architects. Anyway, this book has everything, design background, tech details and operational use. Tech details include stuff like engine room fan capacity, material specs etc. Performance data is based on trial data, not gossip (they include date of trials, exact displacement of the ship etc). Be warned, this book is a large formattome with some 900 pages.
If this kind of subject captures your interest, all well and good. But, I don't think you should hold it up as some kind of benchmark for aviation authors to aspire to. You might as well ask us to put our writing on a par with Shakespeare, as his writing is considered by many to be the best.

Second recommendation is the Anatomy of the Ship series. Pick e.g. John Roberts´ volume on the HMS Dreadnought. In this book, you can find some 30 pages of machinery related drawings (from general mach room layout to sectioned drawings of pumps) alone.
'30 pages of machinery related drawings' says it all. I'm not into ships. That would deter me even more.

You wrote that the pilots didn´t give much thought to the tech stuff. Well, how much were they interested in the exact tone of their green paint or whether the swastika was 625 mm or 620 mm wide? Yet, books about that subject fill the shelves (I include pictorials here if the captions´ main theme is camo and markings).
You take a simple observation of pilot's views on their aircraft and turn it towards camouflage and markings. I don't follow your line of reasoning.

After checking these two, you cannot resist agreeing with me that aviation authors have extremely lot to learn from their naval colleagues.
I can resist agreeing with you, because I don't agree with you. Aviation authors do not have anything to learn from their naval colleagues. You need to understand that errors occur in every book that has ever been written on military matters. You should also realise that aviation publishers do not subscribe to the fact that every book has to be a technical monolith. Aviation books are targeted at different audiences. These different audiences seek different levels of content. Therefore, some books are high on technical content. Others, such as unit histories, thrust more towards missions and personalities. Others again focus more on camouflage and markings and aircraft types. HMS Dreadnought is HMS Dreadnought, period. The Bf 109, or Bf 110, or Me 262 are (without wishing to be hit for stating the obvious) different animals altogether, with all of their various sub-variants, and the differing approaches as to how they are presented in print. You need to acknowledge that, Jukka, before you start levelling comments or criticism towards Luftwaffe books in print. Constructive criticism is healthy, and necessary, for vigorous debate; destructive criticism serves no purpose whatsoever. I believe I have been reasonable in all I have stated in this post. Perhaps some authors who have remained silent on this topic thus far may agree with some of the points I have made.

John Vasco
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  #30  
Old 26th March 2005, 19:15
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is online now
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Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

I don´t you understood what I meant. If a book is titled "Bf 109 operations over the Channel Front", I don´t expect it to delve deep into technical details. However, if the book is titled "The Swordfish Story", I do expect heavily technical book.

As for the camo and markings comment, remember what you wrote previously: "...the average pilot didn´t give a toss about the technical detail of his aircraft...". Now, how many pilot accounts have you read that show pilots being extremely keen to make sure that the swastika was 625 mm wide instead of 620 mm or that the checkerboard tail was black on white background instead of vice versa? Yet, on the latter subject there are zillions of books. On the other hand, I have not seen a single Bf 109 book showing e.g. rate of roll vs. airspeed curve and the pilots were definitely more interested in rate of roll than in color schemes.

And are you sure naval books are written for different audience? Perhaps it is a question of supply failing to meet the demand? Most ship freaks I know of are also interested in aircraft, tanks and military history in general.
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