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Book Review
Pfalz - Fighter Aircraft
Pfalz - Fighter Aircraft from Rheinland the Wine Country
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by: Mecenas [ MECENAS ]

Full title: Pfalz Fighter Aircraft from Rheinland the Wine Country
Author: Tomasz J. Kowalski
Colour plates: Ronny Bar
Series: Legends of Aviation

Tomasz J. Kowalski is a well known author and historian of aviation and air forces. In the seventh volume of Kagero Publishing series of Legends of Aviation he describes the history of one of the most important lines of German fighters of the Great War.

Seventy three pages of the book content are divided into the following chapters:
  • Creation and development of the Pfalz GmbH Flugzeugwerke
  • Pfalz D.III brainchaild of the Gehringer Paulus Golmachr team
  • Pfalz fighters in combat
  • Pfalz D.III/D.IIIa on the front
  • Pfalz aircraft in Bavarian Jastas
  • Pfalz D.VIII D.XII on the front
  • Pfalz in the KuK - Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops
  • Poles in Pfalz aircraft
  • Pfalz inTurkey
  • Pfalz aircraft after the war
  • Paint schemes and markings
  • Bibliography
  • Footnotes
  • Appendixes
As it is easy to notice author in the chronological order tells us a story of the company and its construction, from the very early days of its creation, first aircraft produced on French license and design of their own constructions up to D.XV. Particular machines are described in the text and presented on the archive photographs, even including planes which were built in just one example. There are in total 73 photographs published in this book. All photos are of great quality. Many author remarks and additional information are given is a detailed footnotes. Author have also provided a lot of quotations of from the pilots diaries or memoirs, including few famous names, regarding their combat flights on Pfalz or plane quality and performance in the air. It gives a good view on how different opinions can be shared about one subject.

Quite important and large part of the publication are appendixes. In the first four we can find tables with statistic details about production of particular types, serial numbers, Idflieg orders, specification of particular types from A.I to D.XII. Appendix 2 describes the recognition colours of particular Jastas which used Pfalzes. There is also a separate appendix describing the rules of Testwettbewerb (Fighter Aircraft Competitions) in Adlershof.

After appendixes we get in 11 pages of archive production drawings, parts catalogue and reprints of the Flight Magazine issued in 1918. The latter presents a lot of construction details and close-up drawings for planes mechanisms.

Last section of the book are colour profiles of five planes. Each plane is depicted on four drawings from each side. Author of the colour profiles is Ronny Bar. Selection of the machines presented here comprises of:
  • Pfalz D-III (4004/17) flown by Obltn. Rudolf Berthold, Staffelfuhrer Jagdstaffel 18, Harlebeke, Belgiun, October 1917
  • Pfalz D-IIIa (5888/17) flown by Obltn. Hans Bethge, Staffelfuhrer Jagdstaffel 30, Phalempin, France, March 1918
  • Pfalz D-IIIa (8304/17), Marine Feld Jagdstaffel III, Jabbeke, Belgium, Late 1918
  • Pfalz D-XII (2485/18) flown by Ltn. Paul Vogel, Jagdstaffel 23b, Lieu St.Armand, France, September 1918
Seventy three pages is certainly not enough to present the complete monographs of the whole company and its constructions, including prototypes. However author has managed somehow to squeeze the essence of the historical information without omitting any less important fact and decorate it with unique photographs and dynamic comments of many Pfalz users. Together it makes an interesting and comprehensive reference for the Great War enthusiasts and historians.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Very good and interesting archive photographs, good colour profiles, comprehensive reference about company and its designs.
Lows: Some spelling errors in the text.
Verdict: Recommended, should be a good and useful reference for many historians and modelers.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 978-83-62878-61-1
  Suggested Retail: 21USD, 16.7EUR, 13.3GBP
  PUBLISHED: Jun 01, 2013

Our Thanks to Kagero Publishing!
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About Mecenas

Copyright 2021 text by Mecenas [ MECENAS ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Tomasz J. Kowalski also authored the well known book on the Spad VII. A well researched manuscript backed up by research from Alan Toelle. Mr. Ronny Bar as artist - nice. I have the extensive Pfalz book by Mr. Herris but would be extremely glad to have this one as well.
JUN 01, 2013 - 07:48 AM

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