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Vulnerability & Armament of German Aircraft 1944
A superb original booklet published by the Air Ministry A.I.2. branch in 1944. The cover is stamped 'Secret Registry' and has been signed above by an Adjutant Officer. The card covers enclose a total of 13 separate loose leaf pages held in position by string binding. Inside the front cover is key to the diagrams with images indicating crew positions, fuel tanks, armour plate and armament with a notation 'N.B. Guns are not to scale.' This page is stamped like the cover A.I.2 (G) followed by No W/111 and is dated 1/44.
Each page contains a drawing of the key Luftwaffe aircraft of the time showing detailed images of the aircraft from front, top, side and rear. The cut away images then indicate the crew positions, fuel tanks, positioning of the armour and gun position and type. Each page is stamped A.M. A.I.2 (g) and dated 1944. All the drawings are signed 'Drawn K.L. Approved J.J. 'A little online research has identified 'KL' as Kerry Lee, born in Hackney in 1903 and who became an artist with works ranging from text-book illustrations to wartime cut-away drawings of German aircraft. In February 1941 Lee was recruited by the Air Intelligence branch of the Secret intelligence Service MI6 (referred to as A.I.2.) and made up a trio of talented artists by joining Peter Castle and Hubert Redmill. They had full access to crashed and captured German aircraft, including The Enemy Aircraft Evaluation Unit (nicknamed appropriately 'The Rafwaffe'!) which resulted in detailed drawings as shown in our booklet and also a range of cutaway posters all designed to help allied aircrew and AA crews to maximise the effectiveness of their attacks.
These artists work is now largely forgotten but at the time played a critical part in the war effort. Very few of their wartime posters remain although copies are held by the Imperial War Museum. We have certainly never seen another example of this booklet offered for sale and is again incredibly rare, and despite its 74 years is in remarkably clean condition, with just minor foxing on some pages. The range of aircraft illustrated are the FW 190 the 109G, ME110, JU88, DO217J, ME410, JU88A, JU188, Do217, JU97, HS129, and interestingly the Messerschmitt ME323. The detailed cut away drawings show angle of fire for the guns and detail as bullet proof glass. This would have been an invaluable document for allied aircrew.
Lee left MI6 in 1946 and worked as a commercial artist and illustrator, forming Pictorial Maps Ltd just off Baker Street. The contributions made by Peter Endsleigh, Hubert Redmill and Kerry Lee working as Air Ministry draftsman to the War effort cannot be underestimated and many aircrew almost certainly owed their lives to this dedicated team. Kerry Lee died in 1988 aged 85. In view of the loose left binding of this booklet the 13 illustrations could easily be removed and framed and so make a fine matched collection for wall display without causing any damage. The booklet size is rather larger than A4 measuring 13 1/2" x 8 1/2" (34 cm x 22 cm). A one off item that we are unlikely to be able to replace; as with all our stock we are happy to supply additional photographs on request.