Document created: 1 September 06
Air & Space Power Journal - Fall 2006
Allied Fighter Aces of World War II: The Air Combat Tactics and Techniques of World War II by Mike Spick. Stackpole Books (http://www.stackpolebooks.com), 5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055-6921, 2004, 248 pages, $19.95 (softcover).
Allied Fighter Aces examines specific tactics used by the best-scoring Allied fighter pilots during the air war in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, often quoting the aces themselves. Every chapter deals with a specific World War II time frame or theater and generally follows the same structure: a short preface, a description of the fighters used in that particular setting, and an account of the aces themselves.
Mike Spick knows his material, having published extensively on the subject of fighter pilots of World War II. He treats his subject systematically, placing every ace in his proper context and giving readers insight into reasons why one fighter pilot in a specific theater managed to score better than another in a different theater. Such reasons include differences in aircraft handling, marksmanship, visual acuity, and, of course, the number and quality of their opponents.
Because of the clear structure of the book, it is particularly well suited for readers who do not know very much about the role of fighters in World War II. Even for those who do, parts of the book will fill gaps in their knowledge. In that respect, one can conclude that there are never enough pages to write about a few special pilots who did so much for so many.
Lt Col Willem M. Klumper, Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Hague, Netherlands
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