Sunday, September 6, 2015

Book Review: Israeli Mirage and Nesher Aces

Shlomo Aloni
Israeli Mirage and Nesher Aces
Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2004
Category: Israel Air Force - History

Rating: 4-Stars

The Mirage holds a special place for Israeli pilots.  This goes far beyond being the fighter that exemplified Israeli air power during the Six Day War.  More than that, this was the airplane that many of them first fell in love with.  Elegant, compact, it was the ideal stick-and-rudder fighter of its day.  Many of Israel's leading pilots would go on to fly other aircraft successfully in other wars: the F-4 Phantom, the F-15, even the F-16.  But for those pilots who first flew during the 1960s, it was the Mirage that was their undisputed first love.

Shlomo Aloni has made a career out of collecting the stories of Israel's fighter pilots - and this slim volume does not disappoint.  Packed with first-hand accounts, photographs and full color artwork, it is everything that we have come to expect from Aloni and the publishing houses that he frequents.  He caps it off with a series of appendices listing every pilot who made ace in the Mirage or Nesher, and every air-to-air victory scored by the Shahak (Israel's internal name for the Mirage) or Nesher fighter - including dates, and whether it was a cannon or missile kill.  At 96 pages, this slim paperback volume is a worthwhile addition to any Israel Air Force or fighter aviation library.

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