Crowood Press, Marlborough, 1st ed., 1997. 160 pp., numerous photo-ills., + ills. D.j., 28 x 22cm. FINE +. The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world's first turbojet powered combat aircraft. Much has been written of Hitler's insistence that the Me 262 should have been developed as a bomber, not a fighter, but the author shows that, far from being the victim of a Fuhrer's whim, the Me 262 was designed from the outset as a multi-role aircraft, able to provide the maximum capability from one basic airframe and the Fuhrer's words were little more than opportunist propaganda. The Me 262 was a 'first' in many ways but also a victim of its time. The technology that produced it was passed on to the Allies and it helped pave the way for the new generation of fighter-bombers that followed. This book tells the story of this remarkable aircraft, from its origin in a technical requirement of 1938, through to its operational use where, due to shortages of fuel, it was unable to reach its full potential. Sidebars detail the personalities and events surrounding the story and the book includes a listing of all sub-types and surviving airframes. Fully illustrated with archive photographs, many of which have not been published before. In the 'Crowood Aviation Series.'