German P-51B Mustang

During World War II, belligerents actively searched reliable data concerning their opponent’s equipment. This was particularly true of air forces, which could obtain a decisive tactical advantage if given the opportunity to examine enemy aircraft. The most famous example of this was the Japanese A6M Zero fighter : American forces managed to salvage a copy of this “invincible” fighter shortly after the battle of Midway. Restoring it to flyable status, they discovered the aircraft had many weaknesses and were able to devise tactics that exploited those weaknesses to maximum effect. On the European front, the large number of Allied aircraft flying – and crashing or ditching – over Axis soil meant that, sooner or later, the Luftwaffe would be able to recuperate Allied aircraft wrecks, study them and, hopefully, restore them to flying status. The P-51 Mustang brought the Luftwaffe so much trouble that the Germans certainly longed to get their hands on an airworthy model… […]


PZL P.24

The PZL P.24 was a next-generation fighter aircraft designed by Zygmunt Pulawski at the PZL factory in Warsaw in the mid-1930s. The design aroused international interest, but the Polish Air Force never bought it because it wanted to […]


Jeep Willys

Jeeps served as indefatigable pack horses for troop transport and towing supply trailers, carrying water, fuel, and ammunition, and pulling through the most difficult terrain. […]

Historical Portraits

Saburo Sakai: A Samurai on a plane

Saburo Sakai is probably Japan’s best-known pilot of World War II, with the possible exception of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida of Pearl Harbor infamy. In a seven-year combat carrier, he credited with at least 28 aerials victories and shooting down or severly damaging well over 60 Allied aircraft, despite later in the war flying a plane that was vastly inferior to his opponents’ planes. […]