Classic Books' Dornier Do-335 'Pfiel'


J. Richard Smith & Eddie J. Creek


Crecy Publications 2017


$79.9553.95 from Specialty Press


Scott Van Aken

Notes: ISBN 978-1-906537-50-0, 9x12, 288 pages, 600+ photos and illustrations, hardbound, revised

The Germans developed some pretty incredible aircraft in the last years of WWII and amongst them was the Do-335, Germany's fastest piston engine aircraft. As was the norm, the development of the aircraft was not as quick as expected, much of that due to the deteriorating condition of the war and Allied bombing of facilities.

Though other books have been written on this incredible aircraft, this one covers the subject in depth that had not been seen before, along the way, debunking and number of myths and erroneous assessments that have been made about the aircraft over the years.

Both authors are respected experts in the field of Luftwaffe aircraft, having written extensively on various subjects in the past, including the Do-335. However, this book brings together all of the material collected since then and includes it as well as dozens of photographs not published before.

The book starts with an overview of Dornier up until the time of their joining the request for a heavy fighter/fighter-bomber. It then goes into the long development of the Do-335, including what is known about every aircraft built and its fate. This is followed by a section of project aircraft that were planned and either rejected or had not yet reached the construction phase. The next section is on the test flying of the aircraft post war by the British, French and Americans. The French seem to have had the greater interest in the plane. Then there is a section on the various camouflage schemes, followed by an overview of the airframe and systems. All this latter section includes pages from the official operating handbook and a goodly number of plans of all the different variants flown.

Ten years ago, I doubted if this book would be eclipsed any time soon. Well, it has. Sort of. You see, the authors have been able to revise it with all new information, increasing the size from 176 to 288 pages. How did they do this, you might wonder? Well, nothing has been removed, instead there is a much larger history of Dornier than before. There is also more information and more photos. It also helps that many of the smaller photos of the previous book are now quite a bit larger so show more details.

It all makes for a revised edition that is well worth it to enthusiasts, even if they have the older edition.  It is a fascinating look into what could have been had the war continued and a book that I can highly recommend to you.

October 2017

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