Book Review
Early Jet Bombers 1944 - 1954
Early Jet Bombers 1944 - 1954
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Early Jet Bombers 1944 - 1954

This book covering Early Jet Bombers 1944 - 1954 is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subjects’ mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.

The following portion of the review is as provided by Pen and Sword:
In a companion volume to his Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954, Leo Marriott describes, using over 200 archive photographs, the first decade in the development of the jet bomber. This was a time of intense technical innovation which transformed the design and capabilities of the bomber and gave birth to a range of classic military aircraft in the USA, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. The photographs take the story from the earliest jet bombers constructed in Germany towards the end of the Second World War to the successful designs both sides depended on through the first phase of the Cold War.

The pace of development was rapid and remarkable, from initial prototypes built in Germany – the Arado 234 and the Junkers Ju. 287 – to the fleets of advanced jet bombers like the British Canberra and V-bombers, the American B-47 and B-52 and the Soviet Il-28 Beagle and Tu-16 Badger. The images of the prototypes give a fascinating insight into the extraordinary technical challenges and the ambition and inventiveness of the designers and manufacturers who overcame them.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book titled ‘Early Jet Bombers 1944 - 1954' has been authored by Leo Marriott; Leo Marriott has also authored a title in this series looking at the jet fighters of this period and which I feel is a great title to accompany this offering. The contents of this title are provided over 157 pages of good quality semi gloss paper. There are a few blank pages at the end of this title which are great for the reader to make notes on the title for speed of navigation over time.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Credits and Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 – Germany
Chapter 2 – Great Britain
Chapter 3 – France
Chapter 4 – United States
Chapter 5 – The Soviet Union
Selected Bibliography

The purpose of these books is to cover the subject in a photographic manner rather than a written book, but I have noted that the written aspect of these books varies greatly and this title is no exception. The author has presented the reader with a quite long introduction that serves its purpose well. When looking at the various sections of the book you find the author has provided significant introductions to each part of the book.

The period of time covered by this title is one in which aircraft design came along leaps and bounds. Initially Germany’s war efforts in the field of jet aircraft is covered and rightfully so due to them being the first to put a jet powered aircraft into combat and I was impressed to see aircraft here that I knew nothing off. The period following the war was a golden age of aircraft advancement and arguably takes us through to the decline of aircraft advancement in the UK with the cancellation of TSR 2 being the death nail in my opinion. With that said the British aircraft of this period marked huge advancements and produced some world beaters to boot.

The US aircraft of this period also presented some iconic aircraft designs and sowed the seeds of an impressive aircraft industry to this day. The flying wing design pushed by Northrop was arguably the most unique looking aircraft of this time and I suppose the design has reached its zenith with the B2 stealth bomber in the US arsenal today. Possibly the greatest aircraft in the American bomber force to this day was born during this period, the B52 which while it has had new avionics, engines and so on and it is still going strong today.

The Russian aircraft of this period were initially copies of aircraft from other countries and usually poorer copies at that, but as time progressed new designs of their own appeared and while these tended to be designs suitable for mass production and so not really world beating. The Bison is likely to be the aircraft most well known as a jet bomber of the period. It is the turbo prop heavy bombers of this period that the Soviets are most well known for and they have been featured here despite it being a book on jets.

The photographs in this offering are an excellent mix covering aircraft that I am familiar with and those I have never seen before. The photographic quality is a mix due to the limitations in choice I believe, but it must be said that the quality is very good for the most part. What makes these pictures so valuable to me is the excellent captions the author has provided which are so long in some cases I thought initially they were general text rather than captions.


This title as part of the Images at War series has some exceptional photographs as you would expect of a book in the Images at War series, but this book really comes into its own when you take the time to absorb the information provided in the captions. There is a wealth of information provided here that makes the photographs so much more valuable than they would be on their own.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘Early Jet Bombers 1944 - 1954'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526753892
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Dec 02, 2019

Our Thanks to Pen & Sword Books!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. 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.


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