S u m m a r y
||Blue Series No 7107 - 13.(slow)/JG
by Jiří Rajlich
illustrations by Maciej Noszczak and Krzysztof Wołowski
Soft cover; B5 format; 112 pages plus covers
USD$20.96 from Squadron.com
photographs and 23 profiles
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Mushroom's "13.(slow)/JG52" Book
is available online from Squadron.com
13. (Slow) JG 52
is Mushroom Publications latest addition to its Blue Series that focuses on unit
histories and pilot biographies. For those who don’t know, 13 Squadron (Slovak)
was a component of the Luftwaffe’s JG 52 and was comprised of former pilots of
the Czechoslovak air force who flew for the wartime nation of Slovakia.
Whether or not you know about 13. (Slow) JG 52, I’m sure you want to know how
this Mushroom Publications compares to the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces No. 58
Slovakian and Bulgarian Aces of World War 2, especially as the author of the
Mushroom monograph is also one of the author’s of the Osprey monograph.
one might expect, the two overlap, and to a great extent cover the same ground.
But, there are differences not only in the coverage of the history, but also in
the narrative’s tone.
Let’s start with the historical coverage. The Osprey volume sets out the
historical context both before the creation of 13 (Slow) JG 52 and after its
demise. It begins with the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, the creation of the
Slovak nation, the Hungarian conflict and ends with a discussion of the Slovak
The Mushroom volume rushes right to the creation of the 13th Squadron
as a result of the military reorganization required by the dismemberment of
Czechoslovakia and the creation of the Slovak Air Arms. It ends with the mass
desertion of 13th Squadron pilots upon the occurrence of the Slovak
uprising. I believe the Osprey monograph does place the role of Slovak airman
in a more understandable historical context.
The other difference between the two is the tone taken by the authors / author.
The Osprey volume is a straightforward historical narrative. Interesting, but
not exciting. On the other hand, the Mushroom monograph seems to be a bit more
polemical and nationalistic. There is a sense of “anger” in the writing. This
does add more interest, but it also raises some issues and there are statements
that left me scratching my head. But, both the Germans and Soviets take their
fair share of licks at the hands of Mr. Rajlich.
Whether presented in a more neutral narrative tone or not, it is clear that the
Germans were not exactly the most supportive allies; from supplying Slovaks with
inferior and outdated equipment, to literally leaving them holding the bag.
You also get an understanding of the Slovak reticence at fighting the Russians,
and the Soviet’s distrust of defecting Slovak pilots.
addition to the historical narrative, both books contain numerous photographs
and profiles. However, the photographs in the Mushroom volume seem more
extensive, and better reproduced than those in the Osprey book. The Mushroom
book also seems to include more pictures of people, in addition to the numerous
photographs of the aircraft. While the profiles in the Osprey volume are more
numerous, those in the Mushroom book are of superior quality.
Finally there are the statistics and combat records. The Mushroom volume sets
forth the confirmed claims of the Slovak airmen in a chronological order. It
also includes a listing of aircraft losses suffered by the 13th
Squadron. It must be noted that these lists appear to be confined to the
Eastern Front alone, from October 1942 to October 1943, and does not include
events during the conflict with Hungary and invasion of Poland, nor does it
include action during the defense of Slovakia and Slovak uprising.
The Osprey publication presents the claims by pilot and does seem to include
periods of combat before and after the dates used in the Mushroom book. But
unlike the Mushroom book, the Osprey edition does not give any aircraft losses.
there you have it. The choice is ultimately up to you, but you will not be
disappointed with Mushroom Model Publications' 13 (Slow) JG 52.
Even if you already have the Osprey publication, I found that reading the
Mushroom volume to be a good companion to the Osprey book.
The Mushroom volume provides a most interesting perspective on the 13th
Squadron and for those that enjoy the pictures and graphics, the Mushroom book
delivers a lot.
Thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the sample
All Mushroom Model
Publications books are
available direct from
who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)
distributors are MMD, Australian distributors are Platypus
Publications. In Europe, the books are available from any good bookshop (via our
UK distributors, Orca). Contact MMP direct in case of difficulties.
Roger at Mushroom Model
Review Copyright © 2007 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
This Page Created on 10 December, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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