Versatile, successful, and generally revered by its crews, the Ju 88 was truly a star among frontline combat aircraft flown by Germany’s Luftwaffe during World War Two.
Built in large numbers (around 15,000) in a wide variety of different versions, it ably fulfilled several vital frontline roles during that conflict. The type is therefore unquestionably a fitting subject for this, the third volume in Key Publishing’s successful Combat Machines series.
Conceived originally as a ‘schnellbomber’ or fast light/medium bomber (a role it performed during much of World War Two), Junkers’ Ju 88 progressed effortlessly into other demanding mission profiles. It became a heavy fighter, destroyer, ground-attack and close-support aircraft, radar-equipped night fighter, conversion trainer, and a long-range reconnaissance asset…and was the basis of a closely related development, the Ju 188. This ubiquitous twin was active on all fronts, in war-torn skies as far flung as Western Europe, the Soviet Union and North Africa. Britain’s equally superlative de Havilland Mosquito alone matched the Ju 88 as such a versatile ‘maid of all work’.
The Ju 88 has long been popular among modellers, too, and there has been a veritable profusion of kits, aftermarket accessories and decals available over the years...and they are still being released. The most recent offerings are the 1/48 ‘glass-nosed’ Ju 88s from Ukraine’s ICM, but the firm is also planning a gun-nosed C-6 to boost the range.
It has been my pleasure to research this aircraft type over many years, and it’s always been fascinating. I hope this book will appeal to both modellers and aviation enthusiasts alike as an entry-level guide to the type, via a wide selection of period imagery, detailed text (some of which corrects erroneous data published elsewhere), high-quality colour artwork, a cutaway drawing and exclusive walk-around images.
Malcolm V Lowe, Author