Beginning in 1939-40 with the German blitzkrieg and the Battle of Britain, aircraft repeatedly turned the tide of war. Their worth was proved in many roles besides bombing and airborne assault, including air defense, support of ground operations, maritime patrol, shipping strikes, transport support and reconnaissance. Warplanes became indispensable and revolutionized the character of war.
In Aviation Century World War II, stunning images of preserved and restored wartime aircraft are combined with archival photographs of the world's first well-photographed war to tell an unprecedented visual story of World War II. The unforgettable images are accompanied by insightful text that explains the strategic role of warplanes and describes the types and models of aircraft used by each nation, and re-tells the dramatic stories of the war.
Forewords for Aviation Century World War II are written by World War II veteran pilots Ramsay Potts and Don Lopez.
Matched in the early stages of World War II only by the spitfire, the Messerschmitt Bf109 was undoubtedly one of the greatest combat aircraft of all time. It first flew in 1935 then followed the familiar pattern of civil war prototype, record breaker, Spanish civil war combat train of development common to so many other German aircraft of the period. It was the dominant fighter in the Luftewaffe until 1941 and served on all fronts, and with the air forces of Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania among others.