Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book Review: Israeli Phantoms: The 'Kurnass' in IDF/AF Service 1969-1988

Andreas Klein and Shlomo Aloni
Israeli Phantoms: The 'Kurnass' in IDF/AF Service 1969-1988
Erlangen, Germany: Double Ugly Books, 2009
Category: Israel Air Force - History

Rating: 4-Stars

Those who are familiar with Shlomo Aloni's writings will immediately recognize the hand of Andreas Klein throughout much of this book.  Whereas Aloni tends to emphasize the first-hand accounts of Israeli pilots as the central theme of his work, Klein tends to make full utilization of official records - documenting for example, the delivery schedule and serial numbers for every F-4E delivered to Israel in meticulous detail, or documenting day-by-day F-4 operations during the War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War.  Klein also tends to make more heavy usage of English abbreviations - something that takes a little adjustment to get used to.

Although this book doesn't have quite as many pilot interviews interwoven into it as Aloni's work is often noted for, it does have a good deal to recommend it, including lots of operational details, plus lots of photographs, and appendices that feature detail photos of the F-4E cockpit, weapons load-out, and full color profiles.  Photographs are identified by squadron and serial number where available, as well as the date of each photograph - something that a lot of books leave out.  All told, an exceptionally detailed work, and a worthwhile addition to any Phantom or Israel Air Force library.

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