Air Arsenal North America: Aircraft for the Allies 1938-1945 Purchases and Lend-Lease by Phil Butler and Dan Hagedorn A Book Review

A thoroughly engrossing account of how the aviation industry in North America supplied Allied air forces with thousands of aircraft of all types, providing a true “arsenal of democracy” that was virtually untouchable by the enemy. Much of the first half of the book is devoted to the history of the overall effort, from the initial UK and French efforts to buy American aircraft to help rapidly reequip their forces as war with Germany neared, to how the Lend-Lease program worked.

But I think that the real “hook” for modelers are the photos. Masses of photos, ranging from laision aircraft to heavy bombers, often in unusual schemes. There are hundreds, far too many to list; here are some that particularly caught my eye:

Soviet Spitfires

A Guatemalan P-26 Peashooter

A postwar Russian C-46 Commando

RAF Liberators, ranging from a transferred YB-24 to a single-tailed Liberator C.IX

Reverse Lend-Lease USAAF Spitfires

A Russian Armstrong-Whitworth Albermarle

A substantial portion of the book is devoted to aircraft type biographies, with extensive serial number data on exported machines.

A must read for enthusiasts and modelers of WWII Allied types!

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