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Osprey Combat Aircraft No. 43

B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat



by Jon Lake


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Combat Aircraft No. 43 - B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat 1955-73 by Jon Lake
ISBN: 1841766070
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 96 pages
Price: GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Good, interesting operational and technical narrative; great and relevant photos, including some not seen before; logical structure; 30 colour profiles; tables and appendices
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

 Osprey's "B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat" may be ordered  online from Squadron.com



B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat 1955-73 by Jon Lake is the latest addition to the Combat Aircraft series from the people at Osprey Publishing.

You have probably heard the terms ARC LIGHT, BUFF and LINEBACKER but do you know what they mean? Well, this book will give you the answers. It provides you with a history of the operational service of Boeings big beast from its gestation in the closing months of World War Two right up to the end of the Vietnam War in 1973 and everything in between.

Operational histories are normally dry and require concentration as well as determination to get through. Happily, this book is worlds apart from that norm. It has been written in an informative yet interesting style that imparts both technical and historical knowledge in an easily understood way that I'm sure will appeal to the reader with just a casual interest in the B-52 as well as to the hard-bitten enthusiast.

As with all of the Osprey Combat Aircraft series, the book is illustrated with sharp, clear, black and white images, colour profiles – 30 of them - and line drawings. Also included, are appendices with information on production and serial blocks, Vietnam War losses, crew fates from lost aircraft, B-52 units based in south East Asia, and nose-art and names of B-52D and F aircraft.

The book itself has 96 pages printed on glossy paper between thin cardboard covers and is the same size as the Aircraft of the Aces and Combat Aircraft series produced by Osprey.

If you are looking for walk-around type references to assist you with your B-52 build then look elsewhere. If however you are seeking knowledge of the B-52 and its part in the history of the world, then this book is what you are looking for.


Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy


I saw my first B-52 in 1989.

I managed to steal away from the dust of Katherine for a weekend in Darwin. I was sitting on the flight line at Darwin airport during Exercise Kangaroo 89, watching F-16s, F/A-18s, EA-6Bs, KC-135s go about their noisy business and just taking it all in. Whilst this was all going on I became aware of fingers being pointed to the other side of the runway.

There, on the reverse slope of the airfield was the vertical stabilizer of a B-52, seemingly disembodied and taxiing all by itself, looking all for the world like the dorsal fin of a shark. As the aircraft came into full view and taxied past us to its dispersal I became aware of the size of it and of the noise and heat that was being generated by the machine.

Later on that day I, along with many others, made our way to the opposite end of the runway to see these machines sortie. We were rewarded for our efforts with an awesome and far more intense display of the ground shaking noise as well as the smoke that these machines generate as they flew low over our heads and departed.

I have been a fan ever since!

B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat 1955–73
(Combat Aircraft 43)
Author: Jon Lake
Illustrator: Mark Styling
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: January 25, 2004
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841766070
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Review Copyright © 2004 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 16 March, 2004
Last updated 16 March, 2004

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