The B-17 is most recognized bomber of WWII and certainly one of the most recognizable airplanes to ever fly. It was an effective weapons system particularly when accompanied by the P-51 Mustang. It dropped more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II and its survivability was much greater than most other planes of that time. This legendary aircraft has been the subject of many books. It is the subject of the latest offering from Squadron/Signal’s long list of In Action series.
This soft bound 8-1/4” X 11” book consists of 80 pages. The book contains approximately 200 photographs and drawings. The photographs are all period photographs and many are in color. Each photograph is accompanied by a block of text explaining what is depicted. The quality of these period photographs is exceptional.
The book is not broken down into chapters. Rather the material is presented in sections. Each section represents a stage of development the B-17 underwent. It begins with the Model 299 and concludes with the B-17H/SB-17G. The author has also included sections on the XB-38 and YB-40.
The B-17 was upgraded and modified throughout its career. Many of the major modifications are presented by Matheu Spraggins’ detailed line art. For example, his drawings detail the changes in the nose and cheek guns from one model to the next. Spraggins has also included a number of excellent color profiles with details pulled out and enlarged.
This book will be well received by modelers and historians alike. The photographs and drawings are a good resource for modeling and the creations of dioramas. It could be an inexpensive and valuable addition to any book collection on WWII aircraft. Because of the number and quality of the pictures and artwork, it is easy for me to give this book a “Must Have” rating.
My sincere thanks go to Squadron/Signal Publications for providing this wonderful book to IPMS/USA and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.