Osprey's Storm of Eagles
|John Dibbs & Kent Ramsey|
248 pages, hardbound.
The book is subtitled; The Greatest Aviation Photographs of World War II. I seriously do not envy the authors in their task of picking out images for this book as there are so many that really stick out in the mind of this reviewer. However, they have done a superlative job in their selections.
They have wisely chosen a landscape format for this one as that best matches the way the images were taken during these years. This is a time when 35mm was coming into its own and I wouldn't doubt that many of these images were filmed in this format. Yet larger format cameras were still in wide use, providing bigger and clearer images.
The book is divided into sections covering the European war as Germany invades northern and western Europe, then the Battle of Britain timeframe, and the war against the Soviets. Early WWII in the Pacific is next, followed by the Mediterranean theater, and the CBI. The last two sections are probably the largest with the last years of the war in Europe and the Pacific.
There are photos of men as well as their machines. I recognized quite a few of the images, yet there were quite a few that were new to me. WWII was also the start of color photography and like the cover image, you'll find a considerable number of color images in the book. This is not just the US, though the authors can be forgiven for concentrating in this area. There are also dozens of images from German, British, and Soviet sources. The captions are well written, but the real plus has to be the page size images. It is interesting that even though I have seen many of these images, the image size was relatively small. When they are enlarged to 10x12 inches, a lot of previously unseen detail pops into view. It is this as much as anything else that makes this book so special.
It is well worth picking up and a book that every aviation enthusiast has to have on their shelves or coffee tables. Most highly recommended.
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