Lockheed - Vega Pv-1 Ventura and Pv-2 Harpoon (Naval Fighters) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/12/31
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The Lockheed Ventura PV-1 AND PV-2 Harpoon was a bomber and patrol aircraft of World War II, used by United States and British Commonwealth forces in several guises.
This is the 86th title in the long running Naval Fighters series by publisher (and in this case author) Steve Ginter. It is an 8-1/2" x 11" square bound card cover with 192 pages. Color is restricted to the front and rear covers (and very nice photos they are, too).
Steve Ginter deserves tremendous praise as a publisher. I (eventually) buy every title he publishes. My understanding of many an aircraft has been greatly enriched by the titles he has published. Indeed, for some aircraft all I know of them beyond their existence is from Ginter's books. Unfortunately, he does has his limitations as an author and researcher.
This book illustrates these limitations. Most of the text is devoted to histories of the units in which the PV served. Prominent among these histories are losses both operational and otherwise. This is all very well but what about the details of the aircraft and its variants? The author relies on the illustrations and tables for such details. Fortunately, there is a great deal to be had here. But good authors will flesh this out, explaining and clarifying.
For example, page 22 is headed by a banner reading "USAAF Advanced Trainers, B-34/B-37 Lexingtons". This is the only place the name "Lexington" occurs in the book. Did the name apply only to the B-37 variant or to all B-34s and B-37s? When was the name officially applied? Page 173 has illustrations of the PV-2 tunnel gun installation. Nowhere in the book is there any discussion of what caliber these guns were, why they were on some aircraft and not others, how it differed from the PV-1 installation, etc, etc. Time and time again one finds oneself wishing there was more detail and/or discussion of various points.
None of this is to imply that the book is bad or useless, of course. Quite the contrary, the book would be worthwhile if there were no text. The photos and technical manual reproductions are superb. And there is an attempt to place the aircraft in some historical context as the text starts with the first Lockheed twin, the Model 10 Electra, and works it way forward.
To sum up this book can be recommended with reservations. A lot of information is contained within its pages but one can't help feeling disappointed that the definitive book on the PV wasn't approached more closely.