Start's Embleme der Luftwaffe Band 1
Authors Urbanke/Petrick/Stemmer/Balke




68 Euros plus shipping from Luftfahrtverlag-Start


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 320 pages, 25x28 centimeters (landscape), Hardbound, over 400 images. Some period color photos.
ISBN: 978-3-941437-30-2

The folks at Start have build a superb reputation for providing extremely well researched books for the enthusiast and this one adds to that reputation. There is a growing interest in unit badges and emblems among those who study the Luftwaffe and this initial volume covers some of the least researched of those units, the strategic and tactical reconnaissance units.

While not as glamorous as the fighter and bomber crowd, they used some of the same aircraft as well as a number of less 'standard' types in carrying out what is a very important mission. Without good photos or visual reconnaissance, it is difficult for army commanders to make an informed decision for coming battles. Not only that, but an idea of what the enemy is doing behind the line and the effectiveness of bombing strikes relies on good photo intel.

This volume methodically covers these units in order, starting with 1.(H)/10 in the Tactical Reconnaissance section, it covers all those designated units before moving on to the Strategic units and then the Weather Reconnaissance units. Each entry includes a full color illustration of the unit badge as well as any changes that may have been made to it during the unit's history. Also provided are the codes and colors used on the fuselage. This is accompanied by at least one photo of the unit's aircraft showing the placement and size of the unit badge. I have shown an image of a couple of pages from the book that I gleaned from Start's web page. This shows the unit badge from 2.(F)/33, a tactical recon unit. Just under the badge is an example of the codes applied to the fuselage of some of its aircraft. There are also images of the badge on two of their aircraft, a Bf-110 and Bf-109. Often times there will be images of the badges on hacks or on unit vehicles or buildings as well.

The book is in both German and English with one side of the page being in German and the other in English. This works very well and provides a nice history of the unit and the aircraft it flew. The photo captions are also highly informative providing a look at the aircraft flown by the unit. There are rare cases where no unit badge is known nor is there an extant photo of their aircraft, but all the units are covered. There is also a small section with badges of unknown units as well as photos of planes for which a unit is also unknown.

In addition to the excellent research put into this book are the photos. The large landscape format provides quite large images and these are of high quality. A few images may be recognized, but the vast majority of them are new to this book having come from a variety of private collections. 

This is not a book that you will zoom through, even if you only just look at the photos and read the captions. It is superbly done and easily qualifies as THE book on the subject. Most highly recommended and a book that should sell very quickly. As a note, Start has produced a 1/48 decal sheet for this book that modelers will want to get.

September 2018

Review book courtesy of  Luftfahrtverlag-Start. You can get your copy at this link.  

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