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Book Review
Albatros D.I - D.Va
Legendary Fighter
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

Originally published on:


The name "Albatros" derives from an Arabic word meaning “the diver.” The D.III type from this company was the sesquiplane layout of its predecessors the D.I and D.II. Entering the war in January 1917 the Albatros D.III and later D.V & Va series became the back bone of Germany’s Fliegertruppen. In the autumn of 1916, “Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik AG” (Oeffag) obtained a licence to build the D.III at Wiener-Neustadt. Deliveries commenced in May 1917. They were eventually built in three main versions (series 53, 153, 253) using the 185, 200, or 225hp Austro-Daimler engines respectively.

Kagero / Casemate

"Kagero Oficyna Wydawnicza" was established in 1991 with publishing "Air Show" magazine for modelers. Since then we have published almost 70 publications, mainly for plastic kit modelers. Albatros D.I - D.Va by Tomasz Kowalski has detailed information on the aircraft, archival photography, scale drawings, and colour profiles, this book is a valuable tribute to a classic and important aircraft for any aviation enthusiast. The series Legends of Aviation is a collection of books detailing the oldest aircraft of the 20th Century, their units and the pilots who flew and fought in them. Each volume contains archive photographs, scale drawings and colour profile artwork. Contrary to the website advertisements there are no free decals or "foil" included with the book.


296 x 210 mm
80 pages (not 72 as advertised)
Fully illustrated throughout
£ 20.99
Kagero #6005


The text is pretty well defined by a good attempt at covering the title's subject matter but it has a pronounced slant toward the Austrian Alb. D.III Oeffag and its post war service with the Polish Air Service. It puts most of the post war service into a new light and covers previously unknown subjects especially the national, unit and personal markings of the Polish based fighters. Some typos have crept into the text. For instance on p.16 the Albatros at the bottom of the page is the Dr.I not the Dr.II (the Dr.II is correctly identified on top of p.26.) MvR was wounded in an Alb. D.V not a D.Va on July 6, 1917. See p.18 Alb. D.III 1996/16 gives the colour references as dk green and light blue. Yet we have evidence that this machine was quartered longetudinally yellow and blue. (A former Jasta 11 machine.) It also mis-identifies a well known faked image of an SE 5a and an Albatros fighter in close proximity. (From the Cockburn-Lange series.) These are just a few issues. Pluses include images discussing two typical radiator differences in the German version.

When it comes to the Austria-Hungarian and Polish text & images it is clearly the author's forte. He obviously has some well fonded knowlege in this arena. Over-all there are seven colour plates (Squadron advertises 9) with profiles for 11 machines (Squadron says 13). Structural diagrams, appendices and data tables.

Book Sellers

I do note that many of the companies selling this book are offering 20% discounts. Squadron, Casemate & etc.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Some of the Austria-Hungarian and Polish text & images included that are not readily available anywhere else.
Lows: Contrary to the website advertisements there are no free decals or "foil" included with the book. Many of the photo images are 4-6 generation photos. Several text and photo captions suffer from typographical errors.
Verdict: I find this is a good photo and text reference. Though it doesn't stand alone as such it makes a fine addition to the members of its bibliography.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: #6005
  Suggested Retail: $28.99
  Related Link: NEWS
  PUBLISHED: Aug 13, 2010

Our Thanks to Kagero Publishing!
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.

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. 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.


Hi Stephen This is not a bad book, I bought it at the weekend, I am a little confused though, here is my question if you or anybody else could answer it, on the back cover it shows a brilliant colour scheme of a Oefag DIII, 253.64, with the swirl camo on the upper flying surfaces and fuselage, stating it was flown by Kpr. Geza Keisz, it also carry’s a large white number 6 on the sides and unusual sight of both types of cross. Now on Page 46, it shows the very same aircraft with lower right wing damage, but states a pilot by the name of Stfw. Friedrich Hefty, I understand that both pilots could have flown it, but it states its flown by one on page and the other on another page, just wondering if one or both were correct. As personalisation of the aircraft was very common, you perhaps would have expected some changes between pilots, but these both seem to have the same markings ....... Thanks for the review Dave Maddox
SEP 23, 2010 - 09:22 PM
The Austrian D-IIIs were shared in the squadrons, even the ones with personal markings. Also if one or the other pilot was transfered out (or KIA or WIA) the plane would stay. Also the sworl pattern was seen on several Austrian aircraft, it was a "common" camo style, (though it must have been hell to apply). "Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire" by Dr. Martin. is my reference. Captn Tommy
SEP 24, 2010 - 07:37 AM
Thank you very much for the info, most helpful Dave
SEP 24, 2010 - 08:42 AM

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