The UK publisher has just released a fascinating study of the Luftwaffe’s so-called Kauz night-fighters, based on Dornier Do 17/Do 215 airframes.
Whether you’re simply into building Luftwaffe subjects, or more generally focussed on nocturnal combat aircraft, Chandos Publications’ stunning new 208-page hardback Kauz Night Fighters is unmissable. It details the project in which the Luftwaffe employed Dornier Do 17Z, ‘217 and ‘215 medium bombers as night-fighters. The Do 217s were early attempts at changing the role of these machines, but the Do 17s and ‘215s received special Kauz (screech owl) equipment to help them home in on Allied aircraft. Spanner 1 and 2 infra-red searchlights and receiver scopes were fitted in the nose and windscreen respectively, while Spanner III plucked the best elements of its predecessors to improve the system. Selected airframes also received radar gear and the associated antennas.
Chandos’ book, written by subject expert Mikael Olrog, is a superb attempt at telling the full story… the accuracy of which, in part, has eluded other authors tackling the same subject. More photos of relevant aircraft than ever before have been gathered for this engaging examination… many are previously unpublished.
Learn about Chandos’ book on the Arado Ar 234
In modelling terms there is much to savour and apply to your builds, whether you are converting standard Dornier kits with the help of Owl 1/72 decals/resin (for the Airfix kit) or building Kauz airframes via the recent ICM/Revell kits, which come with the relevant parts in the box. Regardless, it’s a fascinating and fun modelling theme, and Olrog’s work will make your builds all the better in terms of accuracy.
Besides the revealing aircraft imagery, there are factory drawings, photos of preserved Spanner infra-red units, tables with useful data on individual airframes (and the equipment fitted) and superb colour artwork. Also provided are black and white side elevations showing the different variants and their structural nuances. The colour profiles are especially useful in depicting the various camouflage schemes, as well as the more traditional black liveries.
Altogether this is a fabulous study of the subject, produced to the usual Chandos quality. It costs £50, direct from Chandos Publications.
Kauz Night Fighters
DORNIER’S FIRST NIGHT FIGHTERS AND THEIR OPERATIONS WITH THE LUFTWAFFE
Dornier Do 17Z-7 Kauz I, Do 17Z-10 Kauz II & Do 215B-5 Kauz III
By: Mikael Olrog
Format: 330 x 215mm