Share This Article

From the Discovery Channel comes a visit to the other aerial battlefield of World War II, the skies over Europe. This Windows-based CD-ROM encyclopedia is a delightful collection of video clips, statistics, and stories about the war between the Allies and the Luftwaffe.

The program is divided into segments of history in which a particular aircraft was paramount in importance. Eight warbirdshave been selected for this treatment. For example, in the first segment, titled “Blitzkrieg,” the plane used to represent the war’searly stages is the Messerschmitt Bf-109. Another section is called “Nazi Juggernaut,” associated with the Junkers Ju-87.Germany’s final days of fighting are covered in the “Victory” chapter, symbolized by the North American P-51 Mustang.

At each stage, viewers can read text entries, watch videos, study a 3-D model of the featured craft, and compare the plane’scapabilities to others on a graph. Other sections feature stories about pilots and historical moments of interest. Some of thesevignettes are presented in a simulated magazine format, with text and pictures nicely integrated.

The disk’s material is closely linked to that seen in Discovery’s Wings of the Luftwaffe series and other Wings episodes. Atrivia section tests the user, and an index allows one to move to any section of the program and also serves as a good overviewof the disk.

Wings Over Europe’s interface is a little confusing, but Discovery claims it is working to improve the interface of future Wingsproducts. This CD-ROM is the first in a series of related releases, and the next in the series will study military aviation in Koreaand Vietnam. In all, Wings Over Europe is a very nice multimedia piece for the family.

Bernard Dy

Discovery Communications, Bethesda, Md., 1994, $49.95.