Messerschmitt Bf 109K

Ing. Tomáš Poruba, Kees Mol
JaPo, ©2000
132 Pages, Softbound

Reviewed By Chris Banyai-Riepl

When the first JaPo Bf 109K book came out, I thought it was a very well written book and was most likely the final word on this last example of the famous Messerschmitt fighter. Three years have passed and this new title proves that when it comes to aviation research, there is no final word.

This book builds on the previous research in the original Bf 109K book, but it doesn't necessarily replace the earlier title. A huge amount of research is included in the pages, though, and it provides the most complete view of late-war Luftwaffe colors in print today. Not only does it provide the information regarding the colors, but this book also goes into detail on the procedures used to arrive at the conclusions, something few other books out there do. An analysis of orthochromatic and panchromatic films is included, demonstrating how photos of the same plane can look very different in black and white photography.

The book also includes reprintings of several original German documents concerning colors and what is to be painted with what paints. The text about paints goes much further than just mentioning RLM 76 or RLM 83, speaking about the different lacquer bases used and what surfaces the specific paints should be used on. All of this is based on existing documents for several plane types and that information has been extrapolated to the Bf 109K, for which few documents actually remain.

In addition to all this amazing information there are many excellent photographs included, some never before seen. Some of the color profiles from the first book are corrected in this book, with explanations given for why the interpretations changed. In addition to the color profiles there are many black and white illustrations demonstrating the different camouflage patterns seen in the photos. There is also thirteen pages of table data on all known Bf 109Ks, giving the pilot's name, unit information, when it was lost, and any other pertinent information.

I've read through the text once already, and I'm sitting down for another read already. There is so much information presented here that it will take a couple times to absorb it all, but one thing is for sure, once you've read this book you will have a much deeper understanding of late-war fighter camouflage, and specifically that for the Bf 109K. Do not hesitate one minute to pick this book up if you are at all interested in the Luftwaffe or even if you are interested in camouflages in general. It is easily the best aviation research book I've read in recent years and I hope that we will see more done to the same caliber in the future.

pragolog-sm.jpg (5410 bytes)

Alibris -- library

< Fieseler Fi 156 Storch in Detail

Suhkoi Su-2 Short-Range Bomber >