Fokker D.XXI Aces of World War 2

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Kari Stenman and Peter de Jong
ISBN
978-1-78096-063-0
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 7 ¼” x 9 ¾”, 96 pages plus covers, 16 color pages including covers, 28 color profile drawings, 86 BW photos, victory listings, and bibliography
MSRP
$22.95
Product / Stock #
112
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Cover

The Fokker D.XXI single seat fighter was developed in the late thirties to replace the Fokker biplane fighters serving with the Dutch Army Aviation Branch. Although used in relatively small numbers by the Dutch, and quickly overwhelmed by the Luftwaffe during the German invasion, the type was also adopted by the Danes, but its major operational use was with the Finnish Air Force in the Winter War and afterwards . Faced with shortages of Bristol Mercury engines, the Finns also produced a variant powered by American Pratt & Whitney R-1535 Twin Wasp Junior engines. These aircraft had some additional modifications, and were operated on both wheels and skis, quite successfully against the Russians, who didn’t fare too well against the highly trained and experienced Finnish pilots. Later replaced by more modern equipment, including Hurricanes, Brewster Buffaloes, and Curtiss Hawks, and later Bf-109G’s, the D.XXI’s continued on until the 1944 Armistice, being used primarily for reconnaissance and ground attack. A few survived postwar, and were used for training, operating with the blue and white roundels replacing the light blue swastika markings.

The Book

Although much has been written on the subject of the Fokker D.XXI, this book is a welcome addition to any library dealing with World War II military aviation. Initially describing the technical development of the prototype, the authors go through the combat career of the aircraft, identifying operational units and individual combats of Dutch, Danish, and Finnish pilots and airplanes. Quite a few personal accounts from squadron records are included, along with high quality black and white photos of the planes and crews involved. Color profile drawings are provided for 28 different aircraft, along with detailed descriptions of each plane and the career of each pilot. It appears that although the Dutch D.XXI’s had random camouflage schemes, the Finnish aircraft had somewhat similar patterns, and there is one extremely well reproduced photo showing a Finnish D.XXI from directly above, illustrating the upper camouflage arrangement. The book makes interesting reading, both from the standpoint of the historian and modeler, as these aircraft have always been popular modeling subjects in almost any scale.

Drawbacks

Although this is an excellent publication, I was a little disappointed that there were no 1/72 of 1/48 scale three-view line drawings of the type in the back, as are commonly included in most Osprey publications. These could have illustrated the differences between the Mercury and Twin Wasp powered versions. Also, although there are numerous color profile drawings, there are no illustrations showing a plan view of the D.XXI in any service marking. You’ll have to rely on the old Profile for these.

Recommendation

This book is highly recommended. This book keeps up the high standards of the Osprey Series, and if you have any interest in World War II military aviation, you should have a copy of this in your library.

Thanks to Osprey Publications for the review copy.

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