Tuesday, April 13

Read n' Reviewed: "U.S.A.A.F Aircraft Weapons of WWII" from Canfora Publishing

Canfora Publishing's new book that features everything you need to know about the weapons & armaments that was used on the bombers, fighters and other aircraft of the USAAF in World War II. Titled "U.S.A.A.F Aircraft Weapons of WWII" - Gary Wickham has read this new book, and he gives us his impression on it's contents in his review...

Read n' Reviewed: "U.S.A.A.F Aircraft Weapons of WWII"
CANFORA Graphic Designs & Publishing
by Tom Laemlin
144 pages
More than 250 photos
Dimensions: 280×210×10 mm
Reviewed: April 2021
Price: €29.90 
"U.S.A.A.F Aircraft Weapons of WWII" is a new reference book from Canfora Publishing. It focuses on the war-winning weaponry of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. With 160 pages containing more than 300 photos it offers closeup visual details of the machine guns, cannons, bombs, and rockets carried into battle by USAAF bombers, fighters, and attack aircraft.

Designed with modelers and aviation enthusiasts in mind, the photos collected within the book show the broad range of American aerial ordnance used in the Second World War.

the form of the layout and content of the book is primarily as a photo-study with a minimum of accompanying text, the softcover, 160 page, A4 format book contains over 300 images arranged into 6 sections.
Many of the photos and illustrations, some of them in color, are clear enough to be displayed in full page format. Whilst some photos will be familiar many have never been published before.
As I read through the book I was pleasantly surprised at just how clear the photos were, given that most were taken over 80 years ago. In most cases the detail shown will be more than adequate for scale modellers who are seeking ideas for dioramas, detailing or just plain old inspiration.

The book opens with a short Introduction section containing a six page summary of the role and development of aircraft weapons leading upto and including those used during the WW2. This helps sets the scene and provides valuable context for the coverage in later sections.
From 1924 to 1947 the Air Service, United States Army Air Corps, United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force used a designation system based on mission category, with each model in a category numbered sequentially.

The U.S. Army Air Service used the term “P” for Pursuit aircraft, adapted from the French Avion de Chasse for pursuit or hunt airplane. In 1947, the designation system was extensively overhauled, with several categories being dispensed with, and others renamed. This resulted in the "P" designation being formally replaced by the newly formed USAF with the designator “F” for Fighter.
Of course the Pursuit designation included many iconic aircraft including the P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning. These aircraft used machine guns and cannons as offensive weapons with the Browning .50 caliber machine gun featuring extensively in wing and nose mounted locations.
Attack aircraft used the "A" designation and focused on delivering air-to-ground munitions. During WW2 this meant using machine guns and cannons for ground attack strafing missions. Notable aircraft in the attack role during WW2 included the A-20 Havoc, A-26 Invader and A-36 Apache (the forerunner to the P-51 Mustang).
A heavy user of machine guns in the defensive role was the USAAF bomber fleet. Aircraft like the heavy bombers B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator were fitted with multiple manned turrets sporting fierce firepower to protect their crews.
As the technology improved, bomber aircraft like the B-29 Superfortress were fitted with automatic and remote controlled turrets. The workhorse Browning .50 caliber machine gun once again being relied on for this most critical of roles.
A small number of original color photos have been included by the author. These are quite rare as color film was in short supply during the war. Photos such as these are invaluable to modellers who always strive for colour accuracy.
The final chapters cover the role of air dropped and air launched ordnance. These include weapons such as bombs/cradles and rockets/launch tubes. Whilst not popular with pilots or crew, the M10 rocket launcher was used to good effort by the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt to ravage Nazi motor transport across the ETO.
All up, this is a very well researched book overflowing with high quality images. I very much like studying period photos of my modeling subjects as they contain so much inspiration. Whilst digital publications are here to stay, I personally feel there is still very much a market for physical reference style books such as this one. For what you get for the asking price of €29.90 I have no hesitation in highly recommending this book.

Gary Wickham

Thanks to Canfora publishing for sending this book tot Gary to read and review. To order or for more info on this book check out the Canfora Website
To see more of Gary's work then please do go to his website www.Scalespot.com for a whole lot more of that...