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Rumanian Air Force
The Prime Decade - 1938-1947

By Dénes Bernád
Squadron/signal Publications
ISBN 0-89747-402-3
80 pages, 8 in color
Suggested Retail Price: $12.95

 

Reviewed by Tom Cleaver

 

While I've built an I.A.R. 80 of the ARR's 6th Fighter Group and a Bf-109G-6 in the markings of Prince Cantacuzino, the leading ace of the ARR, I must admit to knowing very little otherwise about the third-largest Axis air force of the Second World War in Europe. The ARR was at the time also the largest Eastern European Air Force to ever exist, and this new book from Squadron/Signal has increased my knowledge of the ARR tenfold.

Dénes Bernád provides here an overall quick history of the Rumanian Air Force from its founding in 1913, through to the purge of "non-progressive elements" from the service in 1948 with the imposition of the Stalinist dictatorship that would rule for the next forty years. He then goes into more specific detail in chapters devoted to the fighters, bombers, transports and reconnaissance aircraft of the ARR, providing some interesting operational histories and individual achievements, along with more detailed information about how the various aircraft operated by the ARR were obtained.

As is standard with Squadron/Signal books of this type, there are several pages of well-done color profiles, as well as a wealth of photographs of every type of aircraft flown by the ARR during this period. Many of these could provide interesting variations on aircraft types otherwise "done to death" by modelers in their more "mainstream" markings.

At present, this is likely to be as complete a history of the Rumanian Royal Air Force as western modelers can get their hands on, and is therefore highly recommended to those with an interest in all the aviation activities of the Second World War.



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