The Junkers Ju 52 Story

The book starts with the description of the predecessors to the Junkers 52/3m and the market they were designed for. It explains how the three engined version of the Junkers 52 came into existence and the features that made it desirable for civilian airlines. Initially the Junkers 52/3m was designed for the civilian market as a rough and ready cargo transport but it’s qualities also lent itself to passenger transport. There is a good description of its airline operations in Germany and subsequent explosion onto the world market.

The production and usage of the Junkers 52/3m by various foreign operators is comprehensively covered with all the various countries having their own paragraphs. It really is quite surprising how many different countries have operated the Junkers 52/3m.

The wartime usage by the German Armed Forces is covered in several chapters and takes about half of the book. There are details of all the different variants used, and all the major operations that it was employed in. The book also covers the post-war use of the Junkers 52/3m by countries who already operated the type and by countries that acquired produced their own such as France. This section covers both civilian and military operators with all sorts of interesting information about how they used the aircraft.

There are black and white photographs throughout the book as well as a photograph section in the middle of the book 43 photographs from early black-and-white to modern colour, all on glossy paper.

The book finishes with details of preserved aircraft in museums and those still flying and gives details of the history of these aircraft and often there’s photographs of the same aircraft earlier in their history.

There are five appendices listing all the aircraft used by Lufthansa, all the Luftwaffe transport units, all the aircraft produced in France after the war and all the aircraft produced by Spain. For the three production lists it gives details of the tail codes of each aircraft and when available, their ultimate fate. For the Luftwaffe units the appendices give details of the unit names and tail codes.


  1. The Junkers Flugzeugund Motorenwerke AG and its predecessors
  2. A shift to civilian transport aeroplanes
  3. Technical description
  4. Ju 52/3m airline operations in Germany
  5. Lufthansa around the world
  6. Ju 52/3m production in Germany
  7. Foreign production
  8. Further development
  9. Into Luftwaffe service
  10. Other duties
  11. Let’s create
  12. Operations
  13. Stalingrad
  14. North African defeat
  15. On the retreat
  16. Final defeat
  17. Civilian operators
  18. Military operators
  19. Preserved Junkers Ju 52/3m

From the publisher’s website:

The single-engine Junkers Ju 52 first flew in 1930. Designed and built by the Junkers Aircraft Company of Dessau, Germany, the Ju 52 was originally intended as a cargo aircraft. An upgraded model, the Ju 52/3m, was powered by three engines, excelling as an 18-seat airliner. By the late 1930s, hundreds of the safe and reliable Ju 52/3m were serving with airlines in more than 20 countries, including the prewar British Airways. It was used as a bomber by the reestablished Luftwaffe, particularly in the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War, the Ju 52/3m was the mainstay of the Luftwaffe transport squadrons. Affectionately known as ‘Faithful Old Annie’ and ‘Iron Annie’, the Ju 52/3m was used during the invasions of Norway, the Low Countries, Crete as well as the resupply of Stalingrad and Rommel’s Africa Corps. In all, more than 5,000 were built. After the war, production continued in France and Spain. Amazingly, captured Ju 52/3ms were rebuilt postwar and briefly operated as airliners on domestic routes in Great Britain! Today, about 50 Ju 52/3ms survive, with less than ten flying. The Junkers Ju 52/3m is one of the most significant transport airplanes in the history of aviation.

Jan Forsgren has an MA in History. He has had five books published previously, including two in English; ‘Swedish Fortresses’ and ‘Messerschmitt Bf 108’, both for MMP, as well as hundreds of aviation-related articles for various aviation magazines, including ‘Aeroplane’, the ‘Aviation Historian’ and ‘FlyPast’. He has also written articles on the Air Forces in South East Asia that are available on For Fonthill, he has written ‘Sinking the Beast: the 1944 RAF Lancaster Raids Lancaster Raids’.

The details of the book are:

  • Authors: Jan Forsgren
  • Publication date: September 2016
  • Publisher : Fonthill Media
  • Language: English
  • Illustration : black & white and colour photographs.
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • ISBN: 9781781555156
  • Available at Casemate in the US

This book covers the complete story of the Junkers 52 from its predecessors that led to its development all the way through to the surviving examples today. It is a comprehensive and detailed look at where the Junkers 52/3m came from, its extensive use with both civilian and military operators and contains a lot of details of of its usage around the world from 1932 to 1982. It is quite surprising to learn just how widely used the Junkers 52/3m was and that its wartime use with the Luftwaffe is just one chapter in its story.

Many thanks to Casemate for sending the book along for review.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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