Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Peter Rodeike, Struve-Druck, Eutin, Germany, 1998, ISBN 3-923457-44-8. Illustrated, hardcover, published in German.
Although this is a truly substantial book at 444 pages, a format of 22 x 30 cm/8.5 x 12", and hundreds of photos and drawings, very little actually needs to be said about it. There simply exists no better single reference work on the Fw 190/Ta 152, and it will be many years before one will be published - if ever.
The photos are accompanied by very thorough and well-researched captions which address technical details, differences between the individual Fw 190 subtypes and developments, and variations of camouflage and markings. In addition to illustrating the various versions of the Fw 190 to perfection, the photo content of the book contains some real treasures. Interspersed are drawings specifying the particular features of every (fighter and trainer) version of the Fw 190. Most of these excellent detail drawings have been taken from the aircraft handbook, while the line drawings have been created specifically for this book.
Also included are technical data and (German language) text describing the development of the aircraft, along with lists of the Werknummern and corresponding manufacturer. Rodeike's magnum opus closes with 29 color profiles and further information in the appendix.
If pressed to find a shortcoming in this book, it would probably have to be the relative brevity of the chapter dealing with the Ta 152. Comparing the sheer numbers of Fw 190s built with the small numbers of Ta 152s actually manufactured, even this "flaw" might be explained.
Worth every penny of its purchase price.
(Amended version of a review I originally posted on the discussion forum of Hyperscale.com on December 6, 2002.)