S u m m a r y
||Osprey Aviation Elite
Units #22 - Jagdgeschwader 51 “Mölders”
||Soft cover, 128 pages
GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
||Easy to read English
text version of this famous Jagdgeschwader, 32 colour
profiles, over 125 well selected photographs.
Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner
Osprey's Jagdgeschwader 51 “Mölders” will be available online from Squadron.com
You won’t find much in the
English language when it comes to the wartime exploits of Jagdgeschwader
Thankfully John Weal is putting
this right with his latest contribution to the Aviation Elite Series. He
is one of Osprey’s most prolific writer/ illustrators, having
contributed to more than 20 titles since 1994.
JG 51 was one of the Luftwaffe’s
top fighter units, its history closely following the fortunes of the
German fighter arm as a whole. After the death of Werner Mölders, who
was the first pilot to attain 100 victories, Jagdgeschwader 51 was to
assume his name as a tribute to the great airman.
One hundred and twenty eight
pages make up this edition. There is a lot of information to pack in and
it would be easy for the book to turn into a dry narrative of events.
Fortunately this does not happen and the text easily keeps the reader
With over 125 black and white
photographs presented, a good mixture of man and machine can be found.
Reproduction is good, but as expected, most of the images will be
familiar to the hard core enthusiast.
Not only does John Weal author
this volume, but he does his own colour profiles as well. Here we find
32 aircraft covering such types as the He 51B, Bf 109 B/E/F/G, Fw 190
A/D and even an Hs 129B. The artwork is ably done in John’s usual style,
and a page of Jagdgeschwader heraldry is thoughtfully also included.
Six chapters cover this book.
The formation of the unit leads off and then we follow its progress
through the battles of France, Britain, and the Eastern Front.
The adventures of II. Gruppe has
a chapter all to itself, with this section describing the final defeat
in the East.
Probably the saddest part of the
read is the postscript that details the removing of Werner Mölders’ name
from the Bundeswehr roll of honour titles. This was a blow struck
by the Minister of Defence, Dr Peter Struck, in 2005…for purely
The appendices round out the
title with a list of the various commanding officers and their fate.
Award winners are not forgotten and these are contained in a table that
also registers their score at the time of the decoration.
With what seems to be the norm
with Osprey these days, there is an excellent index which allows the
quick lookup of personnel, locations, aircraft and formations.
JG 51 was one of the more
successful Luftwaffe units of World War II. The fact that it numbered
more Knights Cross winners than any other is testimony to that.
The author brings the exploits
of this unit to life with a highly readable account. The choice of
pictures is excellent and the accompanying artwork is many and varied.
To have the feats of
Jagdgeschwader 51 in an English language book should be welcomed by all
Osprey Publishing for the
Jagdgeschwader 51 “Mölders”
Elite Units 22)
Illustrator: John Weal
US Price: $22.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publish Date: October 31, 2006
Details: 128 pages; ISBN:
Review Copyright © 2006 by
Page Created 11 December, 2006
11 December, 2006
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