login   |    register
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEBSITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

Book Review
Mosquito Pocket Manual
The Mosquito Pocket Manual All Marks In Service 1939-1945
  • move

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:

The Mosquito Pocket Manual, Marks In Service 1939-1945 published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is one in a series of wartime pilot operating manuals reprints. It is a compilation of pilot manuals, combat reports and technical information about the de Havilland Mosquito. Using contemporary documents and notes from de Havilland, the Air Ministry, and test and operational units, this small hardback book is a wealth of information about Britain’s incredible Mosquito.
    The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed “The Wooden Wonder.” The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crews.

    Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito was adapted to a wide range of bombing roles. It was also used by BOAC as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to and from neutral countries through enemy-controlled airspace.

    This book collates a variety of pamphlets and manuals on the plane that were produced throughout the war for the benefit of pilots and others associated with the aircraft.
    - Bloomsbury

Within the dimensions of 4 3/4" x 7" are 160 pages of text supported by 30 line artworks and black and white photographs. Catalogued as ISBN 9781844863068 this book is compiled and introduced by Dr Martin Robson, PhD, Department of War Studies, King's College London.

Don't hate me because I admit that I am not interested in many WW2 British aircraft and yet the Mosquito is definitely one of my favorite aircraft of the war - on any side. Thus I was excited when this book unexpectedly arrived on my stoop. It is an entirely satisfying book.

The Mosquito Pocket Manual All Marks In Service 1939-1945 is 160 pages with three chapters, a 17-page Introduction, and a brief introduction to the Mosquito variants, and finally an index:

    Significant Mosquito Variants

    Design and Trials
      • Specification P.13/36
      • Design briefing letters to Air Ministry, 20 September 1939
      • Operational Requirements for High-Speed Light Reconnaissance Aeroplane -Draft for De Havilland
      • Specification 2/40/D.H
      • Mosquito W.4050 Preliminary Performance and Brief Handling Trails
      • Tactical Trials - Mosquito Bomber
    Pilot Notes
      Aircraft Introduction and Controls and Equipment for Pilots
      • Some Aspects of Operating Mosquito Night Bombers
      • Note on the Employment of Mosquito Aircraft in the Strategic Bomber Offensive
      • Memorandum on Mosquito Aircraft for Pathfinding
      • Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down, Sea Mosquito (Brief Handling Trials)
      • 105 Squadron Operations Record Book 16-28 September 1942
      • Mosquito Intruder Squadron for Malta
      • Account of the Amiens Prison Operation
      • 105 Squadron Operations Record Book 1 April-9 June 1944

The author introduces the reader to the "Mossie" and its significance through 17 pages. In those pages he explains how the legendary "wooden wonder" amazed even a Spitfire squadron when in November, 1941, a Mosquito bomber arrived at an air field and put on a brilliant flight display. So formidable was the night bomber variants that some in the RAF thought the Lancaster should have been terminated to concentrate on an all-Mosquito strategic bomber force. The author presents the remarkable versatility of the de Havilland compared with other aircraft. That information is supported by official documents as well as historical knowledge.

Mosquitoes were not only very versatile, they were hard to catch, so much so that the Luftwaffe put together special fighter units tasked with intercepting them, JG 300 and NJGr 10.

Design and Trials is where many readers will turn to first. It presents through 30 pages the specifications for Medium Bomber Landplane, Single-seat Fighter, dated 16 November 1934. This is the technical DNA for the Mosquito. We will find the requirements for G-loading at specified speeds, and other technical data.

Flight test trials are presented with tables showing climb and speed, etc. These have notes as to power setting, range, payloads etc.. Dozens of design and texting categories are included.

Operational Requirements for High-Speed Light Reconnaissance Aeroplane even includes the armor specifications to protect the crew from specific caliber of bullets fired from a specific range and angles. Mosquito W.4050 Preliminary Performance and Brief Handling Trails is interesting as the summary states that the test flight was incomplete due to structural failure of the fuselage.

Pilot Notes should thrill those who want to understand the Mosquito deeper. Anyone who has been checked out in an aircraft will be familiar with this content. Section 1 presents descriptions of each cockpit item numbered to match a keyed diagram. There are 114 items in the description. There are three diagrams, photographs of a Mosquito cockpit: instrument panel; left and right sides. Included are line art diagrams of aircraft systems.

Section 2 is the handling notes for pilots. These are the checklists, from starting the engine through all maneuvers thence getting back on the ground, taxiing, and shutting down. Included are airspeeds for flying. Want to know the speeds for different profiles? Can pilots spin the Mosquito? How should a pilot handle an engine-out situation? This section will instruct you.

Chapter 3, Tactical/Operations begins with a declassified report by Group Captain L.C. Slee, D.S.O., D.F.C., who discusses flying Mosquito night bomber in comparison with other bombers. It is a no nonsense report written from his personal experiences. Note on the Employment of Mosquito Aircraft in the Strategic Bomber Offensive is the June, 1944, paper that explored the idea of supporting or supplanting the strategic night bomber force with 4,000 lb. [bombload] Mosquito bombers. It explores the use of a strategic Mosquito bomber force against Japan and pathfinding, as well as limitations of using Mosquitos. Those include that the Mosquito's days as an effective reconnaissance or fighter-bomber platform were coming to an end. A further report discusses the use of Mosquitos by the "Tiger" Force against Japan. It includes an interesting remark that it was "impossible" to tropicalise the Mosquito B.25. Furthermore, the handling trials of the Sea Mosquito are presented.

Operations Record Book of No.105 Squadron, September 16-28 1942 is the daily operations log for 105 Sqdn. This chronicles pilot reports and combat records, and pilot fates. it is one of several operational records in this book.

Who can ask for more?

Photographs, Art, Graphics
Most of the black-and-white photos are reproductions no doubt from the pilot manual. There are numerous performance tables. Several diagrams are included:

    1. Control locking jig.

    2. Diagrammatic arrangement of fuel system.

    3. Emergency equipment.

    4. Undercarriage locking cap.

There are numerous tables of performance data based on power settings and weights and warloads.

The Mosquito Pocket Manual All Marks In Service 1939-1945 is a fascinating detailed overview of technical and operationally aspects of the Mosquito. Fans and enthusiasts of de Havilland's masterpiece should be absorbed by it. It is the closest to flying a Mosquito that most of us will ever get. It presents and confirms or dispels performance data that has been debated and accepted for decades. It is not a critical overview of the Mosquito in WWII. It is an operator's manual and series of reports.

I have no meaningful criticism of the book and happily recommend it.

Please remember to mention to vendors and retailers that you saw this book here - on Aeroscale.
Highs: Very detailed book with plenty of technical reports.
Lows: The photos are grainy reproductions.
Verdict: This is a fascinating detailed overview of technical and operationally aspects of the Mosquito. Fans and enthusiasts of de Havilland's masterpiece should be absorbed by it.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781844863068
  Suggested Retail: $15
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 23, 2017
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move