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Hungarian Fighter Colours Vol. 1, Mushroom Modeling Publications


Mikester

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Hungarian Fighter Colours Vol. 1
1930-1945

By Dénes Bernád, György Punka

Mushroom Model Publications

Price: 29.99 GBP

 

I've always found the air forces of Germany's allies during WW2 to be a fascinating study.  Equipped with a mix of German, Italian and indigenous designs and often sporting interesting camouflage schemes I often wonder why they're frequently overlooked by most modelers.  I own the old Squadron book on the Hungarian Air Force but I have to say that I was ecstatic when this volume arrived in the mail considering Mushroom's stellar reputation for quality.  There's a good reason they're a favorite among modelers!

 

Under the Treaty of Trianon (1920), Hungary was forbidden from owning military aircraft. However, a secret air arm was gradually established under the cover of civilian flying clubs. During 1938, as a result of the Bled agreement, the existence of the Royal Hungarian Air Force (Hungarian: Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő (MKHL)), was made known. The army's aviation service was reorganized and expanded.  Late in 1938 army aviation was once again reorganized. Admiral Horthy, the head of state, ordered that the army aviation should become an independent service with effect of 01.09.1939. It subsequently participated in clashes with the newly established Slovak Republic and in the border confrontation with the Kingdom of Romania. In April 1941, operations were conducted in support of the German invasion of Yugoslavia and, on 27 June 1941, Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union.  In the summer of 1942, an air brigade was attached to the Luftwaffe's VIII. Fliegerkorps on the Eastern Front. Beginning March 1944, Allied bomber raids began on Hungary and progressively increased in intensity. Late in 1944 all efforts were redirected towards countering the advancing Red Army, but to no avail. All fighting in Hungary ended on 16 April 1945, they stood by their German allies to the bitter end.

 

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The book is presented in hardback format and at 188 pages is a veritable treasure trove of information.  The book begins with demise of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the evolution of markings unique to Hungarian aircraft.  I found the photos here particularly interesting since many of the aircraft depicted have faded into virtual obscurity.  As the new air force transitioned from clandestine operations to operating in the open the aircraft become more familiar to aviation enthusiasts of this era.  While we're on the subject, the aircraft that this volume focuses on are:

  • Fokker D.XVI
  • FIAT CR.20
  • AVIS I-IV
  • FIAT CR.30
  • FIAT CR.32
  • FIAT CR.42
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109D
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109E 
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109F

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Each of these aircraft receives it's own dedicated chapter with loads of information covering markings, operations and anything else relevant.  Photos are plentiful as well as high quality color profiles.  The pre-war schemes are particularly interesting, if you're a fan of the CR.32 and CR.42 like me you'll find that these two chapters alone are worth the price of admission.

 

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You seriously didn't think I wasn't going to sneak in a picture of a 109 did you?  Of course the Hungarians operated Willy's wonder as well and you'll find some welcome respite from standard Luftwaffe schemes here, I'm a big fan of the red, white and green on the rear control surfaces.

 

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So what do we think?

 

I came away thoroughly impressed, this book is just outstanding.  If you have any interest in this subject, or even if you don't, get it.  I think this book belongs in every WW2 aviation enthusiasts collection.  Looking forward to Volume 2. (and not just for the 109s!)

 

Highly Recommended

 

Available directly from Mushroom here:

http://mmpbooks.biz/mmp/books.php?book_id=217

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