Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Reviews > Books and Magazines

Books and Magazines Please use this forum to review or discuss books and magazines.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 28th March 2005, 02:35
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 394
Christer Bergström is on a distinguished road
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
an author is compiling a book which he intends to sell. Therefore they must review their market and provide what the buyers want.
Or rather, the publishers (who can't afford to publish books which don't generate money) select precisely those manuscripts which satisfy the demands on the market, and turn down manuscripts which don't fill those demands.

So please stop lashing out against authors. I'm sure every writer in this field of interest who is not a professional author (i.e. who doesn't write for his living) writes more or less what he likes himself. You can't blame a guy for writing in the style which he prefers - for that would be like saying that all music must be e.g. Wien classical music. I happen to like the blues, and if I was a musician, I would play the blues, and if a record company would have liked me to do a record, I would then have done a blues record. I couldn't switch to Wien classical music only because there are some people who think that all music just has to sound like that to be "real music".

You can write personal reviews - and even post them to this board - but you can never claim to have the right to judge which style a book under all circumstances shall be written in. If a book's title doesn't satisfy you because you feel that it promises a technical description of a depth which isn't there, please try to understand that it probably was not a deliberate deception by anyone; please keep in mind that different people read different things into a book title. For instance, I think Martin Pegg's Hs 129 book is one of the best WW II aviation books I have ever read; I don't share your view that it should have gone even deeper into technical matters. I would even go so far as to say that maybe someone wrote such a manuscript, and maybe it was turned down by some publisher because it was judged that there were too few people interested in such deep technical descriptions.

If a sufficient number of people demand a book with really deep technical descriptions which is written by a super engineer, then I'm sure it is only a matter of time before you will see a large number of such books getting published. But right now we have only the books which are believed to sell. If we had lived in a planned economy where sales figures were not decisive, the discussion in this thread would have made sense. But we all have to accept that we live in a market economy, and that sets the limits.
__________________
All the best,

Christer Bergström

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/

Last edited by Christer Bergström; 28th March 2005 at 02:43.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 29th March 2005, 07:05
Dick Powers Dick Powers is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 78
Dick Powers
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books: Further Thoughts

Since I started this thread, I’ll state my opinion regarding the “technical” aspects of a “good” aircraft history. My university education was in aerodynamics, so I am familiar with much of the technical descriptions.



First, at the start of WWII, airplanes were simple machines. Propulsion (engine+propeller), weapons (guns and bombs), pilot, landing gear, an aerodynamic shell held together by structure and a few (very few) systems – radio (sometimes), hydraulics, electrics. Unlike ships which had to be self-supporting for months, airplanes were rarely called on to perform without servicing for more than a few hours. Even bomber command’s late war four engine Lancs were simple aircraft with self contained electronic systems retrofitted. Aircraft didn’t begin to get complicated until the B-29 with central fire control systems and super long range.



That being said, technical descriptions should be fairly simple. I don’t CARE what alloys were used in the wing spars (unless it was a revolutionary material used to overcome some obstacle, such as a shortage of steel.) When I saw a post asking about the rivet size of Me 109’s a wondered why bother? Unless you are building (or rebuilding) one.



As far as systems go, the best description is a schematic from a contemporary servicing manual; more concise than words and more easily understood. Perhaps in the modern world, a CDROM with tech manuals could be included.

If I had to choose between 25 pages of systems description and 25 pages of service use, I’d pick 25 pages of service use.



And you definitely don’t have to be an engineer to write an excellent aircraft history. A good writer knows when to question, what was written, reported or said and how to cross check facts. That talent is not the exclusive property of the technically trained.



In my opinion, far more attention should be given to the service use, development of tactics and doctrine than to the minutiae of voltages, gages, and rivets. After all, it is how the product is used that counts, not how it was constructed.



As I stated previously, Martin Pegg’s Hs-129 book is, in my view, a wonderful balance of development, service use, weapons and people.



Now, I will say that one of the most neglected areas of history is engines….
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 30th March 2005, 15:04
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 968
Jukka Juutinen is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Well, if the structure of the airplane isn´t right, it breaks apart on take off (or perhaps even on start up) and you cannot write a single page of operational history. So, the tech part makes the whole operation possible. Never forget that.

Pegg´s book is not really worth the paper it is printed on, from my POV.
__________________
"No man, no problem." Josef Stalin possibly said...:-)
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 3rd April 2005, 06:38
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seaford, DE, U.S.A.
Posts: 626
Richard T. Eger is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

I guess this thread proves that the topic can meander, despite the format used! IIRC, the question was: "What's your favorite aircraft book?" Emphasis was on the nuts and bolts.

As my subject of interest is the Me 262, Classic's 4-volume opus on the subject has to be the current winner. While it does include operational material, its strength really is in its presentation of the technical details of this aircraft. Smith & Creek have presented about every known photo as of the time of printing, a significant feat, indeed.

On the downside are the lack of references and adequate indexing, plus a certain disjointedness attempting to publish an aircraft history over a number of years as new material is being discovered, forcing a bit of revisiting of subject matter. And, in an interesting twist, to actually get all of the pertinent drawings, one had to also purchase Forsyth's JV44.

I can't help but being drawn into the discussion of "nuts & bolts" versus "operational history". The argument seems to be very narrowly drawn, as there is far more to an aircraft's history than these two subjects. In the case of the Me 262, what really has drawn my interest is Germany's struggle to actually get this aircraft ready for production and the decisions having to be made about how and where to produce it. Overlaid upon this is the war situation, itself, what with deteriorating transport, fuel, and essential material supply.

Some here find the operational history of paramount interest, i.e., in the case of the Me 262, how successful was it in combat? Chronologies of day to day combat, such as Foreman & Harvey's Me 262 Combat Diary, may lose sight of the big picture, giving all of the nitty-gritty details of individual combats with claims & losses, but not the overall impact nor the relative impact versus the conduct of the rest of the war.

As for "nuts and bolts" books, hopefully they have their place, too, as I am currently so involved in support of a super-scale model kit effort that the lure of doing a book utilizing the same material is enticing. The key question, of course, is is there a real interest out there to see what is under the skin of an aircraft?

Regards,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 12th May 2005, 06:02
kurlannaiskos kurlannaiskos is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: northern New York
Posts: 174
kurlannaiskos
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Hello,
Does anyone have any photos of A-20's in Soviet service?
I am looking to do two models, perhaps more if I can get some decent references.

P.F.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 18th May 2005, 06:26
John P Cooper's Avatar
John P Cooper John P Cooper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: California
Posts: 122
John P Cooper
Cool Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Manrho
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!
I agree with you and those who have said similar things but a "complete" book on a subject aircraft in my opinion needs to contain the following elements:

1) Development history (complete) incl engines, weapons systems,...
2) Operational history
3) First person accounts for the human side (I want to see it through the eyes of those who have lived it)

Those are the three top picks I want as a consumer. Additionally I want expanded information about the materials used, (and why) technical charts & diagrams, lots of pictures, color profiles,... Much of the super detailed information can be included in the back of the book and used as a reference.

I know this asking for to much for a single book but I would be willing to pay the extra $ for a book that will help me develop a full understanding of the subject matter from multiple angles - pilot, ground crew, designer,...

One last note I am also interested in the history around the aircraft. As an illustration of this would be me wanted to know why Udet, Milch, Goring, Galland, Tank, et al made the decisions that did...

Humm well of my soapbox for now but I think you get my prespective.

Cheers

John
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 22nd May 2005, 23:56
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seaford, DE, U.S.A.
Posts: 626
Richard T. Eger is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Dear Fellow Luftwaffe Researchers,

It's late Sunday afternoon and I'm enjoying reading the give and take of this debate. My leaning, since I'm growing more into one of those rivet counters (ugh!!), is to support Jukka in his claim that aviation writers could learn from their naval brethren.

I wonder if part of the difference is in terms of availability of detailed plans. Is it possible that there is an abundance of detailed ship plans ripe for the plucking, whereas detailed plans of Luftwaffe aircraft may be difficult to come by? I can certainly say that the latter is true for the Me 262.

If you pick up the numerous books published on the Me 262 that actually present technical details, they utilize the same set of drawings that appeared in the October 1945 issue of Aviation, these actually being drawn from photos of the captured Me 262 T-2-711. You'll have books like Aero Detail 9, which present walkaround photos, but these are only "skin deep", as opposed to what I presume are detailed internal plans in the naval books. Only rarely will an aviation book get under the skin.

So, perhaps duplicating in aircraft books the detail seen in naval books might possibly be due to a lack of availability.

Comments??

Regards,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 23rd May 2005, 01:26
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 968
Jukka Juutinen is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

I don´t know about the 262 situation, but AFAIk e.g. on the Bf 109 there exist extremely detailed production drawings. And e.g. for the Ar 234 there is the very interesting detail drawing sheet in the 234 book by AJ Press.

There is another source so poorly used so far: production line photos. I have seen some old Luftfahrt journals which included many such photos (e.g. a very interesting shot showing many details of Ha 139 wing spar construction). And such photos on US aircraft seem reasonably common (see e.g. American Aircraft Production in WW two by Joshua Stoff).

The difference (naval/aircraft books) also applies to text. E.g. the Anatomy of the Ship series has extensive structural descriptions, in some cases the machinery description having several pages alone.

So, I don´t buy the lack of sources theory, at least in general. I think the main reason is the non-technical background of aviation authors. While many have e.g. pilot background, it isn´t enough.
__________________
"No man, no problem." Josef Stalin possibly said...:-)
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 23rd May 2005, 01:33
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 968
Jukka Juutinen is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Continued. I had an interesting conversation with a retired Finnish AF engine expert (he taught engine topics for aircraft mechanics) about the relative lack of technical knowledge among pilots. He mentioned one very experienced test pilot, a PhD in aircraft engineering, who was telling tall tales about engines until this engine fellow showed him some engine maintenance documents to cut the BS. On the other hand, guys handling ships have much greater understanding of what makes the ships tick.
__________________
"No man, no problem." Josef Stalin possibly said...:-)
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 5th September 2005, 19:45
Kurfürst Kurfürst is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 161
Kurfürst
Re: Favorite Aircraft History Books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukka Juutinen
Then you have been reading the wrong books. The numerous design faults of the Bismarck are discussed in detail in "Axis and Neutral Battleships of World War Two" by naval architects William Garzke&Robert Dulin.
Ah! Another Bismarck hater! Nice, but too bad the statements of that book about 'design flaws' are very dubious in face of the newest research, GandD stay with the old fairy tales about the poor, outdated WW1 design, unable to understand the true concept of the ship..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941 David_Aiken Japanese and Allied Air Forces in the Far East 24 5th April 2006 10:50
Aircraft Maintenance/Servicing Record Books? Joe Potter Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 8 24th August 2005 11:54
Fighter pilots' guts Hawk-Eye Allied and Soviet Air Forces 44 8th April 2005 14:25
Luftwaffe fighter losses in Tunisia Christer Bergström Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 47 14th March 2005 04:03
Eastern vs Western Front (was: La-7 vs ???) Christer Bergström Allied and Soviet Air Forces 66 1st March 2005 19:44


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:35.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net