Curtiss P-40

ISBN: 978 1 78096 912 1
Review Date:

As the title suggests, Curtiss P-40: Snub-nosed Kittyhawks and Warhawks by author Carl Molesworth was dedicated to the Hawk 87, which translated to P-40D and later in US Army Air Forces terminology, whose shorter engine cowlings led to the author's unofficial "snub-nosed" nickname. Although these improved P-40 fighters would soon be eclipsed by the performance of later fighter designs, they nevertheless played an important role from their first delivery in Jul 1941 all the way through the end of the war, serving in multiple theaters of war, painted with roundrels of multiple nations, and even stepped out of its intended fighter role and served as fighter-bombers. Molesworth did an excellent job providing an overview of how the successes and shortcomings of the earlier variants led to the "Snub-nosed" variants, of the technical specifications of the variant designs, and of their service in WW2. I found the latter section to be most interesting, giving me a refresher on the reliability of the P-40 fighters, and learning new trivia about Soviet pilots who achieved ace status flying aircraft of this design. The brief detour by the author on Curtiss' final venture into the failed XP-87 design was off-topic for sure, but this narration about Curtiss' exit from the business of military aviation nicely concluded his multi-volume series about the Curtiss Hawk line within the Osprey "Air Vanguard" series. Those who enjoy the finer details of P-40/Tomahawk/Kittyhawk/Kittybomber/Warhawk aircraft might find this book particularly interesting in that it offered some nice period photographs and paintings to accompany the text.

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