By Christopher Miskimon
When the Luftwaffe first flew the Me 262 jet fighter against the Allied air forces in the summer of 1944, it made a fearful impression. Powered by a pair of Jumo 004 jet engines and packing four 30mm cannons in its nose, it was faster than any Allied fighter and boasted the firepower to down heavy bombers like the B17 and B24. Despite its performance and capabilities, it could not singlehandedly defend Germany against the aerial threat to its cities and industry. Keeping the high-tech plane serviceable and filling its cockpit with trained and capable pilots proved a far more difficult task. While its overall effect on the war was minimal, it caused great concern to Allied pilots and planners.
The author is an acknowledged expert on the Luftwaffe during the World War II and that expertise is apparent in this new book. He uses first-hand accounts from Allied and German fighter pilots, diagrams specially made for this volume and original artwork to explain how the Me262 was employed during the final year of the war. Over fifty period photographs add to the storytelling, providing added visual effect. The Me 262 is one of the most famous aircraft of the war and this book gives depth to its image.
Dogfight Me 262 Northwest Europe 1944-45 (Robert Forsyth, Osprey Publishing, Oxford UK, 2022, 80 pp., maps, photographs, bibliography, index, $23, softcover)