Kagero | JG 7 Nowotny

Reviewed by Matt Gannon

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JG 7 Nowotny
Author : Marek J Murawski
Kagero Mini Catalogue Number 3
ISBN: 83-89088-01-0

Specs at a glance:

The book on JG7 by Kagero is broken down into five chapters. The first chapter begins with the dramatic use of the R4M rockets that had been developed to knock down large amounts of bombers. The account by the Luftwaffe pilot Oblt Wegmann is exciting and serves to emphasise that it’s a fortunate thing these weapons weren’t developed any sooner in the war than they were. Following this account there is the usual history on the development of the Me 262 with some great black and white photographs.

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The next chapter deals with the creation of JG7 both before and when it was equipped by jets. There are a number of accounts of combat actions and descriptions of the early bolstering of the unit with additional aircraft. Early in the units history there had been a number of accidents resulting in write offs and the loss of pilots. There is an excellent picture here showing the canopy of the Me 262 at rest, in its slightly ajar position…a handy picture for correctly posing your model and something I had never seen before in other Me 262 texts.

Chapter 3 focuses on operations by JG7 in January and February of 1945. In the new year of 1945 there were significant changes in the units personnel but also in the command structure of the Luftwaffe fighter arm. Even as late as January 1945 the number of combat ready Me 262s was low as the high number of mechanical failures and accidents took their toll. It is a chapter full of combat accounts of battles between the Me 262s as individual aircraft or as larger formations, against bombers or any number of different fighter types that the allies were employing.

Chapter 4 is labeled the Month of Glory’. Again there are numerous combat accounts given in the first person by those that were there. It is riveting and easy reading. Throughout the text a range of varied black and white photos are placed. Another photo that caught my eye is an especially clear photo showing the beaten up texture of the engine nacelle of Me 262 ‘1’ of III / JG7. This is the kind of photo that the modeler needs if they are interested in faithfully reproducing the look of the Me 262 under combat conditions. Also included in this chapter is a detailed account of the R4M rocket development and deployment. The best photo I have found to date showing a rocket with its fins deployed can be found along with a good view of the mounting rails under the wing of the Me 262A-1a in this chapter.

Another fantastic photo is to be found on pg45. It shows the pilots of II/JG7 all sharing a laugh and a smile in the last days of the war. What struck me is the very humanness of this photo. You could take this bunch of guys and put them in any sporting team shirt or uniform anywhere and it would have the same look and feel. It highlighted the wonderful camaraderie and bravery of the Me 262 pilots but also the pitiful waste of ‘good men’ that happens on both sides during a war.

The last chapter is called “In lost positions April–May 1945”. It continues with combat accounts in the last desperate days of the war. All of the accounts are of survival and fighting the enemy until the bitter end. Some are written by Luftwaffe pilots and others are written by allied pilots who shot down Me 262’s. the last paragraphs of the book deal with the final days and combat actions of WW2 for JG7 including some bold escape attempts.

Following these combat accounts there is some information on the colour profiles provided in the book. Detailed explanations are present on each plane. Additionally, rather than allow an error to be promulgated my book came with a piece of paper indicating an amendment to correct the printing error.

This title from Kagero deals in general with the Me 262, but more specifically JG7. As one of the mainline units battling the bomber forces over Germany it was almost always in the action. Combat reports from both sides allow oneself to imagine various actions from inside the cockpit. As an entry level book on the history of JG7 I’d recommend the book. It offers good information but also general photos which will be of great help to the modeler. There are also some great colour profiles for something different for your Me 262 build which are well annotated and its easy reading.

Many thanks again to Ian McPherson of Janterpol books for the chance to review this sample.


© Matt Gannon 2007

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016