Tupolev Tu-2

The Forgotten Medium Bomber by Jason Nicholas Moore

One of the most successful combat aircraft of the Second World War, the Tupolev Tu-2 first entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1942 and incredibly was not retired until the late 1970s when in service with the Chinese Air Force. Over 3,000 were built between 1941 and 1948 and thanks to continual development and modification enjoyed its long post-war career deep into the Cold War. If it had not been for a premature halt in production in 1943 many more would have been produced and its already superb contribution to overall victory in support of the Red Army could have been even more significant and not quite so under the radar from a historical point of view.

The book is split between the Tu-2s wartime service and its long post-war career. Chapters begin with a study of what makes a tactical medium bomber followed by Soviet bombers before the Tu-2, genesis, first of the breed – The 103, the Tu-2S, Tu-2 medium bomber comparison (against the Ju88, B-26, Wellington, Do-217, Il-4 and He 111 to name a few), post-war development and experimentals, jet successors, post-war service and Tu-2 in detail. The book rounds of with four appendices covering specifications, survivors, production figures and scale model kits (the author is an enthusiastic modeller).

Picture quality throughout is to a high standard and numbers in at 151 black and white and 15 colour. The latter are of preserved examples at Central Aircraft Museum, Monino; Plovdiv, Bulgaria and the Chinese Aviation Museum, Datangshan in China. The central colour section of the book also includes 14 colours profiles of various Tu-2s in Soviet, Bulgarian, Chinese, Hungarian, Indonesian, North Korean and Polish Air Force service. There are also a number of maps and diagrams which all combine to make a nice rounded package about this overlooked aircraft.   

Moore has spent decades studying Soviet aircraft and has already books on the Lavochkin fighters and the Ilyushin IL-2 under his belt. This latest on the un-sung Tu-2 is a worthy contribution and rightly brings this superb multi-role aircraft out from the shadows. Thanks to Jay Slater at Fonthill Media for our review copy.


ISBN: 978-1-78155-532-3

Price: £25.00

Pages: 176

Format: hardback – 254mm x 180mm

Publisher: Fonthill Media

Website: www.fonthillmedia.com