The softbound A-4 book has 108 pages of bi-lingual text with 175 B&W photos and 14 vintage colour photos. The book breaks down into 3 basic sections:
1. A detailed operational history of the Ju 88 bomber variants
2. A comprehensive set of scale drawings
3. Colour profiles for 10 aircraft, 4 of which are also the subjects of a sheet of decals included with the book.
The larger part of the book is devoted to the operational history. This is bi-lingual Polish/English and written in a very accessible style. The English translation is very well done, but one or two typos have crept in and I spotted one part where a target got lost in translation - Ventnor Radar station becoming a railway station.
The Ju 88 is often called the Luftwaffe's most versatile aircraft and this account of bomber operations is packed with fascinating details of the development of tactics in the various theatres of war from the outbreak of hostilities to the War's end. Chapters are devoted to areas of operations as follows:
North Sea Debut
Fire Over Norway
Campaign In The West
Battle of Britain
In the Mediterranean Theatre
The West 1942-45
takes a look at the Ju 88's career in the air forces of France, Finland, Spain, Romania, Hungary and Italy.
The text section ends with a list of every Luftwaffe bomber unit equipped with the Ju 88 and an explanation of the use of Staffel code letters.
It's probably worth pointing out that the text doesn't deal with the technical developments, which have been widely covered elsewhere - this an operational history, pure and simple - and the most detailed one I've read for the Ju 88.
The plans section is quite remarkable, consisting of 18 sheets of drawings covering the following series:
Ju 88A-4 to -17 (surprisingly, no A-1 to A-3)
Ju 88B-0 & E - the forerunner of the Ju 188 with a distinctive new crew compartment
Ju 88D-0 to -6
Ju 88H-1 & -2 - with a stretched fuselage
Ju 88P-1 to -4 - tankbusters
Ju 88S-1 to -3
Ju 88T-1 to -3
The drawings are basically in 1/72 scale with addition 1/48 and 1/96 scale diagrams, plus 1/16 enlargements of some details. Additionally, sheets 1 & 2 are also enlarged to 1/48 scale, which will be boon for anyone tackling Revell-Monogram's A-4. This completes a very comprehensive set of bomber version plans.
Kagero have also included something a bit different, which is a huge help to modellers; 8 sheets of diagrams with highlights of the various changes in engines, armament and other equipment between versions.
Colour Section & decals
The colour section consists of 7 pages of excellent profiles accompanied by useful captions describing the featured schemes. Also included are a set of 14 original wartime colour photos - some are definitely tinted - which provide a useful reference for modellers.
Last but not least is the set of decals, printed in 1/72 and 1/48 scales. Kagero describe this as a bonus, but I'm sure they will be a major draw for many modellers. The decals are beautifully printed - thin, glossy and in perfect register. The subjects are well chosen to give a variety of versions and colour schemes from the Ju 88's career as a bomber:
Ju 88A-14 - S4+AL - 3./KGr. 106, France, Summer 1942 in standard RLM 70/71/ 65 camouflage
Ju 88A-4 - 3Z+AC - Stab II./KG 77, Sicily, October 1942 in a spectacular disruptive tropical scheme.
Ju 88S-3 - B - I./KG 66, France, Winter 1943-44 in a spots and mirror-wave scheme.
Ju 88A-4 4D+DN - 5./KG 30, Italy, Autumn 1943 in a mirror-wave pattern.
Kagero have come up with a very neat package. The style is certainly different from the many other books available about the Ju 88 and the combination of an operational history, plans pack and set of decals should ensure that this volume appeals equally to historians and modellers alike. Recommended.
Thank you to Kagero Books for kindly supplying the review sample.
Kagero Books are distributed in the US by MMD-Squadron.