We've reached the end of the Big Reveal for another year, and whilst it may be over, we're ending with our fantastic new series, Dogfight. Written by leading aviation historians, Dogfight puts the reader in the cockpit alongside the pilots engaging the enemy in the skies of war-torn western Europe, over the vast blue expanses of the Pacific Ocean or above the dense jungles of Southeast Asia. Find out what Dogfight books are hitting the shelves in 2022 and let us know in the comments which ones you are interested in.
DOG: Bf 109D/E
The Bf 109 was one of the principal types in the Luftwaffe’s inventory during the opening months of World War II and it was central to many of Germany’s early victories, before coming up against the unbeatable RAF during the Battle of Britain. The Bf 109E, in particular, was a match for anything that it encountered in the skies over Poland, the Low Countries and France, being flown by a number of pilots already experienced in combat in the type following service with the Legion Condor during the Spanish Civil War. It was predominantly the Bf 109E that was in the frontline when the war began. Starting with the Bf 109E-1 and thence to the Bf 109E-3, the Messerschmitt fighter literally swept all before it during the opening wartime campaigns, with its successes only fading at the Battle of France, when the Bf 109 seasoned pilots encountered modern and well-flown fighters for the first time in the form of RAF and French Armée de l’Air aircraft.
In this rigorous new analysis accompanied by specially commissioned artwork and ribbon diagrams, Luftwaffe aviation expert Malcolm Lowe examines and assesses the BF 109 as a fighting machine from the perspective of the Luftwaffe at the forefront of the German blitzkrieg.
DOG: F-86A Sabre
The F-86A Sabre had entered USAF service in 1949, and in December 1950 three squadrons were sent to South Korea. Despite primitive basing conditions and overwhelming Chinese opposition, the Sabre pilots stopped communist air forces from attacking UN ground troops and allowed Allied fighter-bombers to operate without threat of interception. The ensuing air battles between Sabres and MiG-15s were the first since World War II, and the last in recent times to involve large numbers of jet fighters in direct confrontation. In all of them the victorious F-86 pilots demonstrated the superiority of their training and tactics and the outstanding qualities of their Sabres. Relive these dramatic encounters in the skies over Korea through the words of the pilots themselves and exciting ribbon diagrams which expertly reveal the tactics the Sabre pilots used to thwart the attacking MiG-15s.
DOG: F6F Hellcats
The combat record of the Hellcat in World War II was outstanding, with pilots flying the aircraft being credited with downing more Japanese aircraft than any other type of Allied fighter. Joining combat in the Pacific in late 1943, the Hellcat squadrons soon demonstrated their ascendency over their Japanese opponents, culminating in the great ‘Marianas Turkey Shoot’ in June 1944 when Hellcats of the Fast Carrier Task Force destroyed 90 per cent of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s carrier air groups deployed. The fighter proved to be a dream for pilots to fly, allowing both novice and veteran Naval Aviators alike to prevail in largescale aerial combats that duly allowed the Fast Carrier Task Force’s sweep across the Pacific to the Philippines.
This book will cover the key role played by Naval Aviators flying the Hellcat into action during the Fast Carrier Task Force’s strikes against the Philippines in September and October 1944. It will examine the highly effective tactics used to prevail against large enemy formations, and reveal the training that underpinned the success enjoyed by the Naval Aviators that flew their Hellcats into combat during this campaign. The key combat actions will be described using after action reports, many from previously unknown pilots, as well as some from the more famous Hellcat aces.
DOG: Fw 190D-9
Arguably one of the finest piston-engined fighters ever built, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 raised the bar in terms of aircraft design and operational capability during World War II. Designed by Kurt Tank, the ‘long-nosed’ Fw 190D9 ‘Dora’ bettered most of the fighters that the Allied and Soviet air forces could field when it first appeared in the skies over the Western and Eastern Fronts in 1944. Indeed, with experienced German pilots at the controls it proved to be an immediate match for even the later-mark Griffon Spitfire and the P-51D/K. Well-armed, with two 13mm machine guns and two 20mm cannon, the D-9 began to equip Luftwaffe units from August 1944. Later on in the war, one of the key missions of the D-9 was to provide top cover for Me 262 jet fighters when they were at their most vulnerable during take-off and landing.
Featuring first-hand accounts, photographs, artwork and innovative and colourful 3D ribbon diagrams, this fascinating volume portrays what it was like to fly the superlative Fw 190D-9 in combat, providing a realistic insight in to how German pilots used the superb Focke-Wulf aircraft in combat against American, British and Russian fighters in the Defence of the Reich in 1944–45.
DOG: P-51B/C Mustang
Luftwaffe Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring admitted that the appearance of long-range Mustangs over Berlin spelled the end of the Jagdwaffe’s ability to defeat American daylight bombing. But the Mustang was far more than an escort – it was a deadly hunter that could out-perform nearly every German fighter when it was introduced into combat. Entering combat in Europe in December 1943, P-51Bs and P-51Cs had advantages over German Bf 109s and Fw 190s in respect to the altitude they could reach, their rate of climb and top speed. Initially tapped for close bomber escort, Mustangs were quickly turned loose to range ahead of the bomber stream to challenge German fighters before they could assemble to engage the bombers en masse. Thanks to the Mustang’s superior performance, USAAF pilots effectively blunted the Luftwaffe’s tried and tested tactic for destroying B-17s and B-24s. Boldness and aggression in aerial combat meant that P-51B/C pilots inflicted a rapidly mounting toll on their German counterparts in the West during the early months of 1944, contributing mightily to Allied air superiority over northern France on D-Day.
This volume, packed full of first-hand accounts, expertly recreates the combat conditions and flying realities for Mustang pilots. It is heavily illustrated with photographs, artwork and innovative and colourful 3D ribbon diagrams, which will provide a realistic overview of the most dynamic dogfights in aviation history.