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Osprey Duel 1


P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190
Europe 1943-45


by Martin Bowman


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Duel #1 - P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 Europe 1943-45
by Martin Bowman with artwork by artwork by Jim Laurier and Mark Postlethwaite
ISBN: 9781846031892
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 80 pages
Price: GBP£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Direct comparisons between the machines; logically laid out; carefully considered conclusions
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by
Rodger Kelly

Osprey's Duel P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 is available online from Squadron.com




P-51 Mustang vs FW 190 Europe 1943–45 is the debut title in Osprey's 'Duel' series.  The basic premise of this new Dual series is to compare Allied fighter aircraft, tanks and ships with their Axis adversaries.

To be truthful, when I first heard about this new series I was curious as to how it was to be presented and fearful that it would just be a re-hash of the World War Two propaganda generated by the respective Allied and Axis agencies to extol the virtues their aircraft over the others.

I have to report that my fears have been laid to rest now that I have read the first book of the series.  The book is well researched, well presented and written in a non-biased way by Martin Bowman who would have to be one of the pre-eminent authors when it comes to the history of the Eighth Air Force in World War Two.


  • P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • P-51 Mustang vs. Fw 190 Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
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The book is laid out as follows:

  • Introduction.  Setting the scene for the contents of the book.
  • Chronology.  Of both aircraft – from the autumn of 1937 to 1 May 1945.
  • Design & Development.  Of both aircraft – seven pages for the P-51 and five for the FW 190
  • Technical Specifications.  Each sub type of both aircraft are covered listing the brief characteristics of each – Mustang 1, P-51, A-36A, P-51A, P-51B, P51C, P-51D, F-6D, P-51K and Fw 190A, Fw 190 V1 and V2, Fw 190V5/V5g, Fw 190A-0, Fw 190A-1, Fw 190A-2, Fw 190A-3, Fw 190A-4, Fw 190A-4/R6, Fw 190A4/U5, Fw 190A-5, Fw 190A-5U16, Fw 190A-6, Fw 190A-6R1, Fw 190 V51, Fw 190A-6/R3, Fw 190A-6/R4, Fw 190A-6/R6, Fw 190A-7, Fw 190A-8/R7, Fw 190A-8/R11, as well as the Fw 190D-9 and Ta 152H.
  • View from the cockpit.  This section has colour artwork showing the cockpit layouts of both machines with numbered keys to identify each item.
  • Strategic situation.  This chapter deals with the operational circumstances of the final three years of the war – how the air war was fought and the strategic considerations that were taken into account.
  • The Combatants.  This chapter details the pilot training regime adopted by both sides.
  • Combat.  An assessment of combat actions and tactics employed by both sides.  This chapter includes biographical details and first-hand accounts by both the USAF and Luftwaffe flyers who took part in the actions.
  • Statistics and Analysis.   Tabulated data that show the numbers of P-51s and Fw 190s lost in combat as well as the leading Fw 190 and P-51 aces.
  • A wrap-up and the thoughts of two of the antagonists involved as well as a brief paragraph on the employment of theP-51 outside of the European Theatre of Operations.

The book consists of 80 pages printed on glossy paper between thin cardboard covers and is well illustrated with 45 black white photos (some of which I have not seen before too!) eight colour “technical illustrations” – the previously mentioned cockpit layouts as well as ones showing armament layout and three view drawings of each machine - three maps, a line drawing (of the gun sights) and a single colourised photograph.  A colour painting by Mark Postlethwaite graces the centre pages.

A book for both the armchair historian and the modeller alike.


Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

Review Copyright 2008 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 20 May, 2008
Last updated 20 May, 2008

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