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Mushroom Model Publications


13.(slow)/JG 52
by Jiří Rajlich
illustrations by Maciej Noszczak and Krzysztof Wołowski


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Blue Series No 7107 - 13.(slow)/JG 52
by Jiří Rajlich
illustrations by Maciej Noszczak and Krzysztof Wołowski
ISBN: 978-83-89450-50-0
Media: Soft cover; B5 format; 112 pages plus covers
Price: USD$20.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Excellent photographs and 23 profiles
Recommendation: Recommended.


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

Mushroom's "13.(slow)/JG52" Book is available online from Squadron.com 


F i r s t  R e a d


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. 

As 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 national uprising.   

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. 

In 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.





So 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 the publishers, who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)  

North American 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. 

Thanks to Roger at Mushroom Model Magazine  for the sample.

Review Copyright © 2007 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
This Page Created on 10 December, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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