review of Ta 152 book

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by Erich, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    May 20, 2004
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    Platonic Sphere
    #1 Erich, Mar 21, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
    understand this is a Monogram publication made knowm by Mr. Hitchcock and now owned through Eagle editions. this is the review by friend Peter Evans of the LEMB web-site. My own copy has yet to arrive. am thinking with Dietmar's work on the Ta through Schiffer an this EE book one would be well onto establishing some fine data on the A/C.

    I will be adding my own personal thoughts later on this through another work from Peter ~

    Right chaps, as its been a thoroughly miserable wet and windy day here, after picking it up at various points over the course of the previous week, I've had my first really decent chance to take a look at this new and eagerly anticipated volume from EagleEditions.

    For those here who are lucky enough to own the first two Monogram Monarch's on the Ar234 (1992) and Do335 (1997) this addition to the series has much to live up to. With regards how the book looks, there is no doubt that this is an EagleEdition publication with the layout very much along the lines of their two volume Fw190D books. One small point, I personally would have liked the slip cover to have matched the previous two Monarchs as sitting next together, you would have thought they were the same series. Having said that, its a small quibble and one that in no way detracts from what can be found on the pages within.

    On flicking through the volume, a mixture of high quality photographs, clear line drawings and super colour profiles are in evidence throughout. The photo reproduction is great, only suffering from the lack of period images of the Ta152 which the author had access to. Indeed, some cross pollination of images from the same publishers Fw190D volumes was bound to take place, but that is no fault of the author/publisher. All are important to the story of the Ta152 and are therefore not out of place. As can be found on various threads here on the LEMB, we all wait with baited breath for unpublished Ta152 images to appear, but in the meantime, almost every published Ta152 image (plus a couple of new ones to me) can be found across the 208 glossy heavy stock pages.

    The books itself is split into six main chapters and I will try and provide a brief synopsis on what each covers:

    * 1941 - No Resting on Laurels: This covers the development of the Fw190 series and the various power-plants used and envisaged across the complete A to D series
    * 1942 - Matching the Right Horse with the Right Wagon: This deals with the US entering the war and the urgent RLM requirement for a Spezial Höhenjäher or special high altitude fighter to intercept high-flying bombers. The author discusses the various projects submitted by Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf, with special coverage of the latter and the various Jumo 213 prototypes (Fw190V20 to V28) and the still-born Ta153 with its unusual exhaust flame suppression system.
    * 1943 - Thinking Out of the Box: This covers the next batch of Höhenjäher 2 prototypes (Fw190V29 to V33) and discusses the merits of the Fw190D-9, Bf109HV-54, Me155B, Ta153 and the Ta152.
    * 1944 - Asset Management: Covers the Ta153 Me209 cancellations and the perceived political nature of these decisions. The author then goes on to cover the various projected Ta152H variants, the prototypes involved and the various engine options considered. It then covers the introduction of the first Ta152H-0's with Erprobungskommando 152, as well as the first Ta152C prototype testing.
    * 1945 - Too Late to Make a Difference: This deals with the operational testing of the Ta152H and includes the recollections of pilots including fascinating recollections and comments of pilots who flew the Ta152H, including Rudi Driebe, Friedrich Schnier, Julius "Jo" Berliner, Rainer Michaelis, A.W.Hagedorn Ludwig Bracht. The chapter then includes details on the Ta152B heavy fighter proposals, Ta152E series production, Ta152C series planning and the planned Ta152C which was to be equipped with aerial torpedo. The chapter ends with the collapse of the Reich and the collection and transfer of Ta152's by the US and British.
    * Epilogue: Is a brief discussion on the identity of the sole surviving Ta152H, WNr.150010 which forms parts of the National Air and Space Museum's collection. It would have been nice for more images of this survivor to have been included,.

    As has been the case with many of the previous EagleEdition tomes, this volume too is finished with extensive appendix which covers:

    * Camouflage, Insignia Markings
    * Production
    * Specification, Weights, Performance Equipment
    * Pilot Operating Instructions for the Ta152H-1 Ta152H-1/R11

    So was the much discussed delay in the volume being published worth the wait? In my opinion the only answer has to be a huge yes. Sure, I'd liked to have seen more unpublished Ta152 photos appear within or have more coverage and photographs of the sole example with the NASM. With regards the former, as I've made mention above, to have more or less every known Ta152 photo in one superb volume is good enough for me so if more images surface in the meantime, then given the nature of the internet, details will appear somewhere online sooner rather than later. In the meantime, if your looking for the most comprehensive, detailed and lavishly illustrated book since Dietmar Hermann's excellent book on this type published by Schiffer in 1999, then you need look no further than this volume. Thoroughly recommended :)

    Many thanks to Judy Jerry for shipping my review copy by supersonic express.
    Peter D Evans
    LEMB Administrator

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