Sunday, September 22

We review Kagero's new P-47 book (&decals) focused on the MTO, Asia and Pacific in WWII

Kagero has sent their latest in the “SMI Library” of books – these focus on one aircraft in one or several theatres with the added incentive of some tasty quality decals included. The Theatres of war in WWII include the Mediterranean, Asian and Pacific and the aircraft is the venerable P-47 thunderbolt. Let’s take a look at it….
Read n' Reviewed: P-47 Thunderbolt with the USAAF in the MTO, Asia and Pacific
Tomasz Szlagor
96 pages
130 black and white photos
6 colour photos
4 colour profiles of the 14 views
Soft cover binding
Decal sheet in 72nd, 48th & 32nd scales
Available now in Kagero’s webshop:

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt – i must confess this is my favorite plane of all time – the sound, physicality and abilities of the aircraft I thought left it as a bit of an unsung hero during WWII, if you hear about his aircraft it is usually of this aircraft’s exploits in the WWII theatre over Europe. A much less known contribution was paid by the thunderbolt in the Pacific, China/Burma/India conflict and in the Mediterranean theatres – and it is these operations that are documented in this book from Kagero.

Complimenting their other book in this series on the "Jug” (SMI 05 - P-47 Thunderbolt with the USAAF – European Theatre of Operations) this book takes the rest of the war in it’s sights. A largely pictorial book this title is also full of dual English and Polish text that highlights the what when and where of the Thunderbolt in service in the more remote theatres of the war including the harsh long distances of the China Burma India theatre, the hot and dangerous battle against the Germans in the Mediterranean and the coral reefs and assault against Japan island hopping in the Pacific.

The text is – like I said, factual and there is a lot of territory to cover. So in a way trying to get it all in there kind of dilutes the impact. We go from place to place with no real room to flush out the stories with pilot accounts. And these are always the most interesting parts of books like these. The pictures that accompany the text is usually in the same theatre but not often exactly matching the words so that is a bit of a shame. To capture the whole usage of this aircraft in all of these theatres 'round the world takes a MUCH bigger book – so if you want that this is not all that you may be after – BUT.....

The real jewel of this book is the photography. There are 138 archive photos throughout this book. Often these are handily arranged in a series with a few shots of each aircraft on a page or two which will help your reference gathering.

There are four pages of colour shots of the Jug in action – it is nice to see a blue P-47N in these photos as there are several yellow-nosed birds in almost every book on the Thunderbolt.

There are also four very nicely rendered profiles in this book illustrated by Janusz Swiatton of four well known “Jugs” – the checker tailed “Topper” and ”Scmatlze/Mercedes” from the MTO, “Passionate Patsy” from the 5th air force and a P-47N „Cheeky Baby” from the pacific. Now only if we had some decals to match....

….As almost an added bonus Kagero has given us a decal sheet in the three major aircraft scales (72nd, 48th & 32nd) to match the profiles in the book. There are marking for three Thunderbolts – all interesting choices of attractive aircraft It is a shame the checker-tailed "Topper" missed out but that's life!

- P-47D-28-RA (s/n 42-29091) coded ‘42’ and named Passionate Patsy, flown by Lt. Ralph Barnes of 310th FS / 58th FG,

- P-47D-30-RE (s/n 44-20866) coded ‘53’ and named Schmaltzie/Mercedes, flown by Lt. Frank ‘Duffy’ Middleton of 65th FS / 57th FG,

- P-47N-1-RE (s/n 44-87996) coded ‘08’ and named Cheek Baby, flown by Lt. Durwood B. Williams of 333rd FS / 318th FG.

You will need to use the kit supplied decals with these but the decals on offer are within proper register and the white is a strong and bright. Just what you might expect from Cartograf who printed this sheet. We have used their decals in a previous review and I stand by their strength and ability to stick to the model. I always use some decal softener which helps as well.

Well this book documents the lesser-known P-47 units of WWII and although it is a bit light on entertainment it is factually right and the pictures are great. Some here that is pretty rare as well!

A good book on an interesting plane it gets my vote!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Kagero for sending this book for us to read and review