Title – North American B-25 Mitchell: The Ultimate Look: from Drawing Board to Flying Arsenal
Author – William Wolf
The title of the book is the first thing that gives you an indicative idea where this aircraft’s history was spent – flying arsenal.
William Wolf’s book traces the evolution of the NAA B-25 Mitchell from conception, to prototype and through to the final models produced. The book coverage is well detailed with clear explanations that walk you through the aircraft from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip. It covers everything you ever wanted to know about the aircraft from prototype to service after WW2.
William has managed to make the book become one of the best B25 books available. It conveys the ultimate in detail and gives the reader comprehensive insights to what North American Aviation designers crafted. Working on plans for a new twin engined bomber required by the USAAC, they formed the basis of the NAA-40 and this then evolved into the famous design of the B-25.
The book is heavily illustrated throughout with black-and-white pictures taken from B-25 flight manuals or other WW2 documents. William has used a mix of modern photos and some from his own collection showing preserved B-25s to examine particular pieces of equipment or elements of the bomber. Specially commissioned colour profiles of various nation’s B-25s are included. Over many chapters, William has brought together insights to the
Over many chapters, William has brought together insights to the bomber’s development, manufacturing process, construction, testing, operational use and retirement from service. William has broken the B-25s history into 5 main chapters with sub sections.
5 main sections cover the B-25 Mitchells life and are:
Part 1 has three chapters discussing how North American developed the bomber from plans through to the late 1930s. What started as an initial lightly-armed B-25 would evolve and become an exceptionally heavy hitting bomber in its final wartime form…. the B-25J armed with up to 18 machine guns as well as bombs and rockets. US Marines used the B-25 as the PBJ-1s is included along with B-25 transports and the few VIP transports. Part 2 is extensive and is composed of 27 detailed chapters which examine every aspect of the aircraft from nose to tail, wing tip to wingtip. William has managed to bring detail regarding what rivets were used, information about oil and fuel systems, onboard electrical systems, metal types utilised, insights into engines……… plus much much more.
Part 2 is extensive and is composed of 27 detailed chapters which examine every aspect of the aircraft from nose to tail, wing tip to wingtip. William has managed to bring detail regarding what rivets were used, information about oil and fuel systems, onboard electrical systems, metal types utilised, insights into engines……… plus much much more.
Part 3 delves into the B-25 weapons and armament systems with 3 chapters allocated to this important area. Ranging from various 50 cal nose guns, top and bottom turrets, blister packs, waist guns, tail guns to the mighty punch from the nose mounted 75mm cannon. The Mitchells fame as a hard hitting gunship evolved during WW2 which saw it packed with so many forward firing guns, it was able to cut a ship in half. This section also covers weapons either used or tested such as the standard bombs, parafrags, spike bombs, depth charges and rockets to the torpedos. The detail collated by Williams also gives readers great insights into the requirements of the B-25 crews using tactics, bombsights and radars to explain how they would deliver all these types of weapons.
Part 4, over 9 chapters, takes the readers into the individual crew positions and examines how the aircraft was flown by the pilots. Various sections cover topics such as take-off to landing procedures, single-engined operations, stalling and autopilot use. Procedures are discussed on how the crew would abandon a Mitchell in an emergency.
Part 5 is an overview of B-25 units in the USAAC/ USAAF, Marine PBJ units and the many other countries such as the Britain, Australian, the Netherlands and the Soviet Union.
The book also includes 3 appendixes cover surviving several B-25s the author examined, a section highlighting the use of B-25s in the war movies and some of the famous aircrew who won military awards flying the B-25s in combat.
At 477 pages this book is a potentially big read and heavy but the wealth of information William has collated is worthwhile for any enthusiast. Additionally, the amount of research that has been put into it is invaluable for both modellers and B-25 static or flying restorations.
Size: 8 1/2″ x 11″ | 0 | 336 pages
Binding: hard cover
The book can be brought direct from Schifferbooks at this link http://www.schifferbooks.com/north-american-b-25-mitchell-the-ultimate-look-from-drawing-board-to-flying-arsenal-3563.html – for US$69.95 + postage