Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Book Review

Focke-Wulf Ta 154: Luftwaffe Reich Defence Day and Night Interceptor

Series:  Luftwaffe Classics #31

By Dietmar Hermann

Hardcover in dustjacket, 224 pages, bibliography, appendices, and index

Published by Crecy Publishing, October 2021

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1-91080-994-5

Dimensions: 9.0 x 0.9 x 12.0 inches

The Focke-Wulf Ta 154 was a twin-engine Luftwaffe fighter design.  With over half of its airframe weight being made of wood it is often compared to the Royal Air Force’s de Havilland Mosquito, to the point it is generally referred to as the “Moskito”, a name which the author points out was never mentioned in Focke-Wulf or Luftwaffe documents.  While the prototypes were impressive performers, the design had little room for development due to the decision to keep size to a minimum, and performance suffered as equipment such as armament and radar were added to the airframe.

The prototype’s first flight was in July 1943, which was unfortunate timing.  As Allied bombing raids against the Reich intensified in strength, frequency, and effectiveness, the German aircraft industry was directed to concentrate on producing single-engined fighters to combat the Allied bomber streams.  An assessment of the Ta 154s’ strengths versus limitations resulted in only slightly more than a few dozen being completed and entering service before the program was terminated.

The book is a fascinating design study of the development of the Ta 154, using original factory drawings and documentation, as well as seemingly every photo of the aircraft ever taken.  These are reproduced in large format on glossy paper so every detail can be seen, a boon for modelers.  In some places the text suffers from translation from the original German, a reflection of the difficulty in technical aeronautical engineering terms.  Aviation enthusiasts should be able to discern the intended meaning, in others instances the errors should have been caught by the editorial team, such as the misspelling in the sub-title.

The Luftwaffe Classics series are well-researched, quality publications and this volume is no exception.  The high production standards, artwork, research, and reliance on primary sources ensure that these volumes represent the definitive works on their subjects.  If you have any interest in the subject aircraft, buy the book while it is still in print.  You will not be disappointed, and these volumes reliably go for stupid money on the collectors’ market after they go out of print.  Recommended.

8 thoughts on “Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Book Review

  1. I know that I regret not getting the FW-190 volumes from this series when they first came out. As you said, they go for stupid money now. Sadly, this a/c, while interesting in and of itself, just doesn’t interest me enough to purchase it, or find room for it on my bulging, double- and triple-parked bookshelves.
    I’m sure for the Luftwaffe faithful, this will be a very worthwhile investment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree the limited use makes the type not as interesting, I do like the design though. I’ve got in the habit of buying the series when they come out and building additional bookcases when needed! 🙂

      Like

  2. …Speaking as one of the “Luftwaffe faithful” ..no I haven’t bought it either. Not convinced I need it really. Sells very cheaply for a ‘Classic’ book – at least in the UK and my guess is people aren’t buying it – not even modellers; let’s face it, the machine only ever appeared in one or two schemes at best. I did pick up the Valiant Wings ‘Airframe Detail book’ which featured all the handbook drawings. Many publishers have monographs on the type too ( Kagero, Flugzeug, Schiffer, AJ Press…etc etc). Added to which Hermann’s style is so dry. The politics behind the type are probably more interesting than the aircraft itself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This one is mostly design history as service was so limited. I still find that interesting, but I also don’t see the need in having half a dozen modeling references for the reasons you state. It does keep my series complete, so there’s that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting aircraft- thankfully it seems to have fallen foul of the usual Nazi German production difficulties.

    Pretty sure I’ve got a 1/300th one in the shed somewhere….

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s fascinating that German designers developed so many types (and variations of existing aircraft) which never really made an impact. A lot of effort with not much to show from it.

      Liked by 1 person

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