Osprey | Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr III
Reviewed by Kevin Williams
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Author: Greg VanWyngarden
Publishing date: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4728-0844-8 (PDF)
Volume 128 in the "Aircraft of the Aces" series
Royal Prussian Jagdgeschwader Nr III was the third of Germany's vaunted fighter wings to be formed during World War One. Commanded by the Pour le Mérite winner and well-respected ace Hauptmann Bruno Loerzer for its entire existence, it was composed of the celebrated Jasta 'Boelcke', along with Jagdstaffeln 26, 27 and 36. Equipped largely with the new Fokker Triplane, these four units would play an important role in the Kaiserschlacht as part of the 17 Armee.
The Book Itself
This is the 128th volume in the "Aircraft of the Aces" series from Osprey Publishing, the first volume, Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force, being originally published in 1994. This is but one of several books in this series dedicated to the WWI time frame. As is probably familiar to most by now, the titles are self descriptive, taking one particular aircraft (or in this case, group of aircraft) types and exploring some of the Aces that flew them, ranging from WWI to the present, and as such, offers up a great reference kick off point for collecting markings and painting schemes for particular pilots, with corresponding historical and anecdotal data on same.
Note: At some point (I'm not really sure when), Osprey began offering the majority of their newer volumes as e-books, in this particular case, a pdf. I have no idea what the reasoning was behind this decision, but it's certainly a less expensive option for the consumer (almost always a good thing), and does offer some possibilities not found with an actual paper book.
Any book is welcome in my library, as long as it lives up to a certain minimum standard, and this series certainly does that, covering (for a modest price), marking and painting options that are very useful in my own modeling pursuits, specifically my long term goal of having the ceiling covered with 1:48 fighters, usually in the markings of aces, where doable. Once again, covered here is the iconic Fokker Triplane, Albatros D.II/D.V/D.Va and gorgeous Fokker D.VII, the D.VII being considered (by myself) to be one of the most beautiful and graceful fighter aircraft from the WWI time frame.
Typical Photo Quality/Presentation to be Found Throughout
As can be seen above, there are an interesting selection of photos included in this volume, though the book is not heavily laced with photos, but then this is to be expected from a slim volume such as this (96 pages, total). Many of the photos that are present, have been seen before in other publications, but are most all of a very nice quality, the same not being able to be stated about certain other publications.
All in all, there are 24 color profiles, spread out over 8 sheets (not including plan views of several), ranging from the Albatros D.III to the splendid Fokker Dr.I.
To me, the high point of these volumes, in general, are the excellent color profiles (I won't delve into "accuracy" issues here, as that's not really within the scope nor intent of this overview).
For me to loudly proclaim that these books are a desirable addition to the aviation library, is nothing more than an honest appraisal of what I feel is the good value these books bring to the table, and make for an interesting overview of the types of schemes found on these machines.
Even if you have just a passing interest in WWI aviation in general, you can’t go wrong with the purchase of this book. You may even just become a fan.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a 10, no question about it. At roughly 96 pages, a fair amount of data is packed into this somewhat diminutive book.
The entire range of the series can be found directly from the Osprey site (here), arranged in chronological order, working backwards.
Review copy compliments of my ever shrinking budget.
Other References of Possible Interest
Albatros Productions: Fokker D.VII
Osprey Publications: Albatros D.III
Arms and Armour Press: The Fokker Triplane
© Kevin Williams 2016
This review was published on Friday, July 15 2016; Last modified on Tuesday, July 19 2016