Great Book Of World War Ii Airplanes

  • Manufacturer: Gramercy
A remarkable overview of World War II aviation encompasses more than four hundred full-color photographs and illustrations, twenty-four foldout panels, detailed cutaway views, and authoritative profiles of twelve aircraft that changed the course of the war.

Customer Reviews

Best of the best..., February 22, 2005
By A. D. Morrill

I bought this book new from the Smithsonian Museum bookstore when I was just a kid. Now some 20-odd years later it still sits on the shelf right behind my desk, and I still frequently comb through its pages with the same enthusiasm I had when it was new. I will never let this book out of my possesion.

It's so valuable to me I had to find another copy for my business partner and fellow R/C fanatic so that he wouldn't have to keep borrowing mine! ;D ...that's why I decided to drop my 2-cents in here.

If you are an airplane buff, or more importantly, if you have any passion for the top planes of WWII, this book is not optional. You MUST have it. Period. Once you open it, you will understand what I am saying.

Must Have for WWII Aviation Enthusiasts, November 7, 2001
By Jerry L. Crosby

If you enjoy WWII aircraft, and appreciate the breath taking detail and accuracy of Rikyu Watanabe illustrations, you must have this book. I found my copy 3 years ago at OshKosh, and have been offered (...)for it - no way was I parting with it. It is, without question, the finest piece of reference / art work on these 12 aircraft I have ever seen. Vet, IFR Priv. pilot, R/C aircraft modeler.

Great drawings, April 17, 2000
By A WWII airplanes enthusiast

I can say it's really one of the best WWII airplanes I've ever seen. I think the best part of the book are the drawings, profiles, cutaways etc. For only this reason I would say it is worth having it (and don't forget the written information about each airplane). As other reviewers I like modeling and I found this book a very good reference, because of the drawings by Watanabe. These huge profiles make the book something special; so if you like WWII airplanes and want the greatest drawings an enthusiast can find, this is the the book you are looking for.

Lots of nostalgia, July 4, 2000
By John D. Williams

In my opinion, the most beautiful book of WWII aircraft which has ever been published. I have flown the F4U-5NL Bu.No. 124511 found in the picture on page 253 with Ens. Cawley's name on the side. He was one of our squadron mates in VC-4, NAS Atlantic City in the early 'fifties. Brings back many fond memories. Highly recommended to all aviators and aviation enthusiasts. J.D. Williams Lcdr. USNR (Ret)

The Bible of World War II Aviation, November 19, 2008
By T. B. Engvig

I fell in love with this book when I was 10 years old, and I can say without hesitation that I owe my subsequent fascination with military history directly from thumbing through its pages at that early age. The other reviewers are not exaggerating, this book is THE BIBLE of WWII aviation. The aircraft profiled, though limited to 12 key models, are wisely chosen, all having had an enormous impact on the war, being in service through most, if not all, of the conflict, and all being instumental in their nations war efforts (and final victory as in the case of the Allied machines).

This book occupies a proud space on my bookshelf, and every now and then I will take it down and nostaligically thumb through its slightly worn pages. It never gets old. If this book was $300 it would still be a good buy.

What really takes the cake is without a doubt the full color fold outs by Watanabe. If you can find better ones elsewhere I am Kaiser Willhelm! The planes practically leap out at you; every screw, nut, and bolt is there. On several profiles the detail is so astounding you can see the oil streaks on the engine cowling and the weathered paint at the wing root where the pilot would have stepped time and again to climb into his cockpit and zoom into history.

Even if you only have a passing interest in WWII, you must buy this book. Do it now, before it is too late!

Superb, October 6, 1999
By Jerry L. Crosby (

As a private pilot, vertern, and long time aviation enthusiast, this book is an incredible reference for those interested in the details and specifics of these famous WWII fighters. As a scale R/C aircraft modeler, I have found no book better. I discovered this book by accident in the War Birds store at Oshkosh. It is a must have! I could not recommend this book more strongly. It is worth every penny and you will not be disappointed. That's a promise.

The Great Book of World War II Airplanes, January 9, 2000
By mhdugger

January 8, 2000 A friend loaned me this book when he found out I construct model airplanes from wood. He found the book at a garage sale and it was not of the best quality ie; coffee stains, rips and tears, even so, this book has been valuable as reference material. The scaled drawings were very useful in detailing the models. The color panels and illustrations were exceptional. Not only does it show many various color schemes, but it details the units, locations, and pilots associated with them. I found it limiting only in one area: it only contains 12 planes. For information on airplanes, such as the P47, P30, P40 you will have to look elsewhere. The information on each airplane is so immense, that if all of the World War II airplanes were contained in this book, it would probably weigh 100 pounds. I found this book to be the best reference book on the twelve aircraft it contains.

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