How to Fly a Battle of Britain Fighter
Spitfire, Messerschmitt, Hurricane
After an introduction comparing the performance of these three classic planes, facsimiles of the original Pilot’s Notes for the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane describe their fuel, oil and coolant systems, controls, operation and handling. The results of Air Ministry tests provide similar data for captured Messerschmidt Bf 109s. The material is illustrated by historic photographs of the aircraft and their crews, diagrams and cutaway views.
The Dambusters Story 1943
Max Hastings pays tribute to the heroism of the airmen and the inventiveness of Barnes Wallis in this new analysis of the Dambusters raid (Operation Chastise), but he also reveals failures in the mission that severely restricted its ultimate effectiveness. He describes the development of the bouncing bomb and the bombing raid itself as well as discussing the impact of the attack, both in the immediate aftermath and in the months following, as the Germans swiftly repaired the damage.
Knights of the Sky
This concise history explores how the idea of chivalric aces was established in the First World War; following the development of the Spitfire and Hurricane, pilots continued to be feted – now as ‘the Few’ who would save Britain from invasion. With profiles of leading figures and key planes, this narrative also covers later conflicts including the Arab-Israeli wars and the Falklands War, giving an overview of the changing role of fighter pilots.
We Speak from the Air
And Over to You, Broadcasts by the RAF
During the Second World War, RAF personnel made more than 1,200 radio broadcasts describing first-hand their operational and combat experiences above Europe and the Atlantic. Originally published in two wartime books, this volume brings together over 50 transcripts of their revealing recordings.
Wing Commander Paddy Finucane was at the height of his powers when, in July 1942, his Spitfire was hit by German fire and ditched in the English Channel. Drawing on family archives, this book tells how the Dublin-born accountant joined the RAF in 1938 and rose swiftly through the ranks, destroying 32 enemy aircraft before his own disappearance.
Blood and Fears
How America's Bomber Boys and Girls in England Won Their War
Drawing on letters, diaries and interviews, Kevin Wilson recreates the experiences of the men of the US 8th Air Force, and the Women’s Army who served alongside them, from their arrival in Britain in February 1944 to victory in May 1945. Their own words offer vivid glimpses of the camaraderie, relations with their British hosts, and the terror of daytime raids over Berlin.
Zeppelins Over the Midlands
The Air Raids of 31 January 1916
On 31 January 1916, nine German Zeppelins bombed several major towns in the Midlands, killing 70 people in the worst air raid of the First World War. Using local newspapers, coroner’s reports and GCHQ documents, this history records the routes taken by each airship and where its bombs fell, and names the officers, crew members and those who died.
War Amongst the Clouds
My Flying Experiences in World War I and the Follow-On Years, 1920–1983
Hugh White flew reconnaissance patrols aged just 18, in 1916, and within two years was Flight Commander of 29 Squadron, flying the SE5a biplane. This account of his aviation career begins with his own recollections of the First World War and continues with his son’s evaluation of his later posts: commanding fighter squadrons in India and Britain and then training technical staff before retiring as Air Vice Marshal.
A WWII German Airman's Story
Erich Sommer flew for the Luftwaffe as both navigator and pilot during the Second World War, from an early posting in Morocco to missions over Britain, the Russian front and Italy. His career culminated in the first reconnaissance sortie in a jet (the Arado AR234). His memoir also reflects on his childhood and early career in the brewing industry in the 1930s and includes insights into life and attitudes in pre-war Germany.
Moscow's Game of Poker
Russian Military Intervention in Syria, 2015–2017
Tom Cooper details the Russian involvement in the Syria conflict, outlining its military forces’ intentions and capabilities and explaining the complex geopolitical situation. The book includes action photos of the most significant aircraft that were deployed.
MiG-23 Flogger in the Middle East
Mikoyan I Gurevich MIG-23 in Service in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Syria, 1973–2018
Since the MiG-23 was introduced by the Soviets in the 1970s, it has been exported to five major Arab countries. Illustrated with rare images, this history shows pivotal the role it has played in subsequent conflicts in the region.
One of the RFC's Most Decorated Squadrons
Formed in September 1915 in response to the new threat posed by Germany’s Fokker monoplanes, 20 Squadron saved many lives through its aerial reconnaissance work, with its members winning some 70 gallantry decorations. Sellwood, whose grandfather was killed within a week of joining the squadron, presents the fruits of more than 15 years’ research into its almost daily air battles during the First World War.
Air Battles Over the Baltic 1941
The Air War on 22 June 1941 – The Battle for Stalin's Baltic Region
This overview of the Red Army’s air forces in the opening days of the German invasion of 1941 presents a survey of the technical specifications, personnel, key locations and strategic plans of the commanders. A detailed introduction also describes the preparations and the territorial infringements that preceded Operation Barbarossa. Drawing on German and Soviet archives, the book includes maps and over 300 photographs, many of them previously unseen.
Eyes All Over the Sky
Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War
The fighter aces took the glory but reconnaissance flyers had perhaps the more significant role during the First World War, sighting for the artillery, following troop movements, patrolling British coastal waters for U-boats and gathering data for constantly updated maps. Drawing on the experiences of British, American and German airmen, Streckfuss examines the work of balloonists, reconnaissance pilots and aerial photographers over the Western Front and UK seas.
Out in Front
A Polish Fighter Pilot's Dramatic Air War
Fighter pilot Lanowski tells the story of his Second World War – escape from Axis soldiers in his native Poland, his combat experience with three separate Allied air forces, and his legendary, rebellious exploits – with previously unpublished photographs of his comrades and aircraft.
The Flying Hours
The Compelling Memoir of Squadron Leader Andrew Millar, DSO, DFC, and the Second World War Battle Against Japan
In 1942–45 Andrew Millar carried out combat operations against the Japanese from India and Burma, initially in Westland Lysanders and then in Hawker Hurricanes, before commanding No. 20 Squadron and being awarded the DFC and DSO. He used his comprehensive logbook and notes from the period, and previously unpublished photographs, for this memoir of the ‘Forgotten War’, which gives an insight into not only the challenges and dangers of operations, but also everyday life and camaraderie.
One of the mainstays of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, the Focke-Wulf Fw190 was less effective at high altitude and its designer Kurt Tank worked on numerous developments that used turbojets, turboprops, ramjets and rocket engines to increase power. This analysis of these prototype aircraft contains detailed technical information and the author’s hand-drawn diagrams and sketches of each design.
Blenheims Over Greece and Crete
To help Greece respond to Italian attacks from October 1940, the RAF sent three squadrons of Bristol Blenheims (30, 84 and 211 Squadron) to reinforce the Greek Air Force’s own complement of 12 Mark IV Blenheims. Drawing on first-hand accounts, this study describes the efforts of British and Greek airmen against superior forces (particularly after Germany invaded) up to the fall of Crete in May 1941.
The Veteran's Story
For the bombers of the RAF and USAF, supporting the invasion on D-Day was the culmination of a planned series of strategic raids in preparation for the landings. Focusing on the service of eight crews, and drawing on first-hand accounts, this analysis of the campaign explains the wider strategy and describes the personal experiences of the airmen, from raids on German infrastructure in spring 1944 to supporting land forces several months after D-Day.
Fascinating Accounts from the Operators of an English Electric Classic
A jet-powered medium bomber, the Canberra was developed by English Electric in response to a 1944 Air Ministry request for a successor to the de Havilland Mosquito. This illustrated book tells its story, using anecdotes from the many pilots and operators who participated in its first test flights and in missions such as the Suez campaign, the Indonesian Confrontation and early British nuclear tests. Slightly off-mint.
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
Owner's Workshop Manual 1916 Onwards (S.E.5a, S.E.5b &SE-5E)
From the design and construction of the first SE5s in 1916 to the maintenance of surviving examples today, this Owners’ Workshop Manual tells the story of the First World War ‘mount of aces’ designed by Henry Follard and built at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough. The manual is illustrated with nearly 300 design drawings and archive and new photographs.
The Last Escaper
The Untold First-Hand Story of the Legendary Bomber Pilot, 'Cooler King' and Arch Escape Artist
Seven escape attempts earned Peter Tunstall 415 days of solitary confinement during his captivity in prison camps (including Colditz) during the Second World War. Written shortly before his death in 2013, this memoir is a mature reflection of his experiences as a bomber pilot and POW, balancing the excitement and adventure of his exploits with the pain, hunger, fear and boredom that came with it.
Their Finest Hour
Stories of the Men Who Won the Battle of Britain
Squadron Leader Reginald Peacock was the only Blenheim light bomber pilot of the war to become a fighter ace, forming a team with his navigator to overcome superior German aircraft in combat. This collection of stories from six Battle of Britain pilots, whose contributions to the RAF’s effort were previously little known, draws on personal accounts as well as squadron Operational Record Books and combat reports.
Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Early Years – Poland, the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain
The most numerous and successful Luftwaffe fighter of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a formidable opponent for the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. This photographic collection assembles over 150 archive images of the plane in active service in 1939 and 1940, from pilots and crew with their machines at base to the wreckage of downed aircraft.
Luftwaffe Fighter Force
The View from the Cockpit
Compiling the first draft of the history of the air war, Allied interrogators debriefed senior Luftwaffe officers – leading ace, Adolf Galland, chief among them – in the immediate aftermath of the cessation of fighting in 1945. The accounts presented here outline the operations, tactics, training and technology of the German air force, including their attitudes to Allied planes and pilots, and focus mainly on the later years of the conflict.
Launch Pad UK
Britain and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Had the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 escalated to nuclear strikes, American missiles would have been launched from sites in England and those locations were therefore targets themselves. Drawing on interviews with the RAF personnel responsible for holding the Thor ballistic missiles in a state of constant readiness, this analysis explores the most dangerous period of the Cold War from the perspective of Britain as the front line.
The Life of Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Browning
The husband of Daphne du Maurier, Frederick ‘Boy’ Browning was the founding commander of the British Airborne forces in the Second World War. This biography charts a colourful life in which he also achieved distinction in the First World War and competed in the Olympics .
De Havilland Enterprises
Geoffrey De Havilland not only designed the aerodynamics of his first biplane in 1909 but also the engine that propelled it. Later models, such as the Gipsy Moth, were among the most successful of the interwar period, and his Comet jet airliner of 1952 showed the way ahead for civil aviation. This directory profiles every one of his company's products, including unrealized design concepts and aircraft produced by the Canadian and Australian subsidiaries.
The Dambuster Raid
A German View
Although successful in its primary objectives, the ingenious ‘Dambusters’ bombing raid of May 1943 failed to halt production in the Ruhr factories but it did devastate infrastructure and inundate towns and villages over a wide area. Using eyewitness accounts and archive photographs, this analysis examines the Allied operation itself, looks at the resulting destruction and aftermath from the German perspective, and describes the rapid rebuilding programme.
Cold War Jet Combat
Air-to-Air Jet Fighter Operations 1950–1972
The primary role of American B-52 bombers in the earlier years covered by this study was to carry the US nuclear threat. Other jet operations of the 1950s and 1960s saw MiGs, Mirages and F-4 Phantoms in action in conflicts including the Six Day War and Vietnam.
Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire
Only two of Yorkshire’s wartime airfields are still in use by the RAF but during the Second World War the county was home to 33 stations of No.4 Group and No.6 Group, staging raids against the Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin. Brief histories of the airfields are given in this volume, together with stories of notable characters and events and details of what remains of the bases today.
Bolts from the Blue
From Cold War Warrior to Chief of the Air Staff
Trained as a jet pilot in the late 1950s when Britain was still a leading air power, Richard Johns achieved the top rank in the RAF in 1997, by which time Britain's military capacity had been much reduced. His autobiography examines his key operations as commander, including the First Gulf War and Balkan conflict in the 1990s, as well as reflecting on the evolution of the RAF and the other services during his career.
The Setting of the Rising Sun
Japanese Military Aviation 1877–1945
After importing British and European aircraft and designs in the 1910s and 1920s, the Japanese Army and Navy developed their own aviation capability between the wars. This study traces the development of the industry, culminating in the formidable fighters and bombers of the 1940s.
German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930–1945
Aviation technology advanced rapidly as Germany prepared for war and research continued throughout the conflict despite the chronic lack of fuel and raw materials by 1945. This analysis of the myriad projects undertaken by manufacturers such as Junkers, Messerschmitt, Dornier and Heinkel lists over 200 experimental aircraft from the period, including jet fighters, supersonic planes and helicopters, and includes over 300 contemporary photographs from the test sites of Nazi Germany.
Black September 1918
WW1's Darkest Month in the Air
By the last months of the war, the Allies had achieved air superiority, with American squadrons now operational and significantly greater numbers of aircraft available. Nevertheless, the effective German fighters inflicted the highest casualties of the air war during the fighting of September 1918.
Reaching for the Sky
One Hundred Defining Moments from the Royal Air Force 1918–2018
Scott Addington uses infographics, fact boxes and photographs to present this concise overview of RAF history, which includes the first military balloon, the design of the roundel insignia, leading aces of the world wars and a list of pilots’ slang. Each entry has played its part in shaping the service, and the selection reflects the innovation, courage and heritage of the world’s first independent air force.
Best Foot Forward
The Autobiography of the RAF's Other Legless Fighter Pilot
A training accident in a Fleet Air Arm Tiger Moth in 1939 resulted in Colin Hodgkinson losing both his legs but, with Douglas Bader as a role model, he was determined to resume his duties as a pilot. This memoir, first published in 1957, recounts his wartime experiences, including rehabilitation under the surgeon Archibald McIndoe, active service in Spitfires and time spent in a PoW camp after crash-landing in France.
School of Aces
The RAF Training School that Won the Battle of Britain
RAF Sutton Bridge was the site of an important training centre in the Second World War, turning out nearly 500 Hurricane fighter pilots, many of whom flew in the Battle of Britain. This review of the station's activities reveals the genesis and development of the highly effective training programme and examines the Central Gunnery School, which was established in 1942 to instruct air gunners from Bomber Command, as well as fighter pilots.
From Jet Provost to Strikemaster
A Definitive History of the Basic and Counter-Insurgent Aircraft at Home and Overseas
Over 700 Jet Provost and Strikemaster aircraft were produced in Britain between 1954 and 1983, the former responsible for training generations of RAF jet pilots, the latter an armed version of the Provost which saw action during the Dhofar War in Oman. This well-illustrated history of both aircraft charts their evolution, from initial production in 1954 to the final sales of three aircraft to Ecuador in 1988. A comprehensive appendix lists the complete production and technical histories of both jets.
The Red Baron
A History in Pictures
By 1918, the Red Baron was a national hero and his death in April of that year was a significant loss for the German Air Force and the nation; the event has been the subject of conflicting accounts and theories ever since. This biography is led by a collection of archive photographs of Richthofen during the war years, as well as significant people, places and aircraft.
The Fallen Few of the Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain (1940) was the first military campaign to be fought entirely in the air and was a turning point in the Second World War. This book lists all 544 British and Commonwealth pilots who gave their lives over the skies of southern England. The entries are listed in chronological order and each includes a short biography, the type of plane, name of squadron, previous missions and the manner of death.
Operation Big Ben
The Anti-V2 Spitfire Missions
To defend the home counties from the terrifying V2 rocket attacks, formations of Mark XVI Spitfires carrying 250 lb and 500 lb bombs divebombed launch sites in Holland between 1944 and 1945. Drawing on records declassified in 2004, this updated account of Whitehall’s covert operation not only covers the daring raids of five different Spitfire squadrons, but also the intelligence-gathering activities in Europe of special commando units, including Ian Fleming’s 30 Assault Unit.
The Cooler King
The True Story of William Ash: Spitfire Pilot, POW and WWII's Greatest Escaper
Long before the USA entered the Second World War, William Ash (1918–2014) had left Texas, joined up in Britain and was flying Spitfires with 411 squadron. In 1942 he was shot down over France, captured and incarcerated in Stalag III; he spent the rest of the war trying to escape from various Nazi PoW camps, including Oflag XXIB in Poland. In this book, Bishop explores the PoW experience while telling the exciting and inspirational story of Ash’s determined efforts to break free.
Imperial Russian Air Force 1898–1917
In Photographs at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Compared with the US and France, Russian colonization of the skies was almost a decade behind, but by 1910 a nascent aviation industry, with its flying schools, festivals and maiden flights, began capturing the nation’s imagination. This collection of over 400 photographs documents the flying machines of pre-revolutionary Russia, from turn of the century balloons and dirigibles to First World War bombers, and portrays the enthusiasts and aviators that made the Russian skies come alive.
German Elite Pathfinders
KG 100 in Action
With its formation rooted in the development of German 'X-system' radio navigation, KG 100 was an elite Luftwaffe pathfinding and special operations bomber unit during the Second World War, flying Dornier 217s, Heinkel 111s and Heinkel 177s. From missions in Norway and Britain to the Eastern Front and North Africa, this book captures the operations of KG 100 throughout the war in a series of photographs and extended captions.
German Bombers Over England
The Luftwaffe favoured light bombers in support of ground forces during the blitzkrieg advances of 1939 and 1940 but turned to heavy bombers for the mass attacks on England in 1940 and 1941. Including Heinkel 111s, Junkers 88s, Messerschmitt 410s and Dornier 217s, this book presents 100 photographs of German bombers and their crews from the preparations for Operation Sea Lion in 1940 to the V1 and V2 rocket attacks.
A Complete Account of the RAF's Support Role during the Audacious Commando Raid on St Nazaire, March 1942
The British raid on St Nazaire in March 1942 deprived Germany of an important seaport for the duration of the war but the RAF's diversionary role in the attack has been criticized as ineffectual. This new assessment of the RAF's part in Operation Chastise explains the restrictive orders that hampered the bombers and outlines the other crucial functions that they performed: sweeping the Bay of Biscay and searching for survivors in the aftermath.
1 Group: Swift to Attack
Bomber Command's Unsung Heroes
Formed in June 1940, No 1 Group Bomber Command became one of the principal offensive weapons wielded by Britain over the next five years, the force including squadrons that flew the most sorties, dropped the most bombs and suffered the highest casualties of any during the war. This account describes 1 Group's wartime activities, explaining its structure, analysing its aircraft, reviewing principal operations and paying tribute to the 8,760 men who lost their lives.
Somewhere in England
American Airmen in the Second World War
In 2012 the Imperial War Museums acquired a remarkable collection of 15,000 photographs showing American servicemen who were stationed at air bases in Britain during the Second World War. This selection presents more than 70 of the images illustrating the GIs’ work and recreations, both at military sites and among local communities. The accompanying text gives brief biographies of those pictured and celebrates the resilience and bravery with which pilots flew deep into enemy territory.
The Secret Life of Fighter Command
The Men and Women Who Beat the Luftwaffe
The Battle of Britain may have been won by 'the Few' but resistance to German aerial attack in the early part of the Second World War also relied on a well-organized network of support staff. Based on interviews with members of this formidable team, the book pays tribute to the men and women who enabled the Spitfires and Hurricanes to prevail, from radar engineers and coastal spotters to Wrens in the control rooms and pilots in the air.
Honour to the Airborne
Part One: 1939–48
The British Airborne forces were created during the Second World War and took part in crucial campaigns in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East between 1939 and 1948. This definitive record of the honours achieved by its personnel during that period is an updated edition of the reference work, now including the battalion of each recipient, brief narratives of the events rewarded and an index of recipients.
Yanks In The RAF
The Story of Maverick Pilots and American Volunteers Who Joined Britain's Fight in WWII
Before Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into the Second World War, American pilots seeking adventure, or with strong political motivations, volunteered for the RAF to fight the Germans. From cultural conflicts with their English hosts to action over France, particularly the Dieppe raid of August 1942, this book charts the experiences of the 270 airmen who flew in the three RAF 'Eagle' squadrons of American volunteers before being reassigned to the USAAF by late 1942.
Finding the Fallen: Outstanding Aircrew Mysteries from
the First World War to Desert Storm Investigated and Solved
Major Mick Mannock, who was shot down behind enemy lines in July 1918, is the first aviation mystery scrutinized in Saunders's third book, which widens the field of enquiry beyond the Second World War to include other 20th century conflicts including Korea, Vietnam and the First Gulf War.
Letters From A Flying Officer
In this 1928 account of a pilot in the First World War, the letters and diaries of Flying Officer Michael John Enderby and the comments of Group Captain Merrivale are ostensibly fiction. They are in fact closely based on the experiences of the author and offer an insight into the workings of the Royal Flying Corps, with descriptions of real combat events and observations on the development of aviation technology and the tactics of aerial combat during the war.
Ace of the Black Cross
Above the trenches of the First World War, the battle in the air between the first primitive aircraft and the intrepid aviators who flew them was played out like a medieval knightly tournament. This deadly contest is brought to life in the memoir of Ernst Udet (1896–1941), the German ace whose reputation was second only to that of the Red Baron. Richard Overy introduces this new edition of this aviation classic.
Wartime Bombing Decoys in Wales
Pathfinder bombers in the Second World War dropped incendiary bombs so that the main force could target the resulting fires. This system led to a network of decoys being built across Britain, where fires were created in an unpopulated area to divert enemy bombs. Ivor Jones’s investigation into the once-secret sites across Wales includes details of how they were constructed, contemporary aerial images and modern photographs of what remains of 'Q' and 'starfish' decoys, as well as dummy airfields.
Adolf's British Holiday Snaps
Luftwaffe Aerial Reconnaissance Photographs of England, Scotland and Wales
At the beginning of the Second World War, Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to take aerial photographs of Britain in preparation for an invasion. In 1945 British Intelligence discovered 16 tons of pictures in Bavaria, which were sent to Britain and classified top secret; but other Luftwaffe photographs were found and kept by ordinary servicemen. Here, Nigel Clarke presents approximately 200 such photographs, many with bomb runs marked, along with wartime images of the corresponding damage on the ground. Slightly off-mint.
The First Blitz
Bombing London in the First World War
The military potential of aviation was first exploited in the First World War, when London and other major cities were attacked by Zeppelins and, from 1917, Gotha and Staaken 'Giant' biplanes. This book examines the offensive and defensive strategies, the impact of each of the attacks and their legacy in defence planning. This is an updated, single volume version of London 1914–17: The Zeppelin Menace (2008) and London 1917–18: The Bomber Blitz (2010).
The Men Who Gave Us Wings
Britain and the Aeroplane 1796–1914
Given Britain's scientific pre-eminence at the beginning of the 20th century, one might have expected that the significant early breakthroughs in flight would have come from this country, rather than America or France. This book examines British experimentation in the 19th century, explains how the initiative was lost to the Wright Brothers and others, and describes how independent enthusiasts laid the foundations of an aeronautical industry before the First World War, despite little interest from the military establishment.
Stay the Distance
The Life and Times of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham
Sir Michael Beetham joined the RAF as a pilot in 1941 and stayed on after the war, serving as a commanding officer at a number of critical moments, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and Aden in 1964 to the Falklands War, and was appointed Marshal of the RAF in 1982. This biography traces his long, distinguished and very active career, from flying Lancasters in the Second World War to sending Vulcan bombers to the Falklands.
The German Air Force I Knew
Major Georg Paul Neumann was a former German Air Force officer who had served in the First World War, and produced his outstanding survey of Germany's air services in 1920. Drawing on his own and others' experiences, he compiled a full and accurate account of the force that began as the Imperial German Army Air Service in 1910 and ended the war as the Luftstreitkräfte. Translated by JE Gurdon; edited and introduced by Bob Carruthers. Eyewitnesses from the Great War series.
Naval 8/208 Squadron, RAF: A Centenary of Service from 1916 to 2016
208 Squadron, based at RAF Valley in Anglesey, was disbanded during its 100th year of operations in 2016. In this history marking the centenary, Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork, who formerly commanded the squadron, describes how it evolved, from its formation as Naval 8 on the Western Front during the First World War, through its activities in the Second World War and Gulf War to its modern-day role as an advanced flying training squadron.
Battle of Britain Voices
37 Fighter Pilots Tell Their Extraordinary Stories
The RAF's resources in facing the Luftwaffe in 1940 may have been meagre, but 'the few' left an abundance of first-hand testimony in the form of combat reports, letters, diaries, contemporary interviews and memoirs written in the immediate aftermath of the battle or shortly after the war. This book compiles a selection of accounts from Fighter Command pilots covering the period from the Battle of France in May 1940 to the end of the year.
The Life of Viscount Trenchard, Father of the Royal Air Force
Hugh Trenchard (1872–1956) had an unpromising start in life, failing the Army and Navy entrance exams, but found his métier when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912. Nicknamed 'Boom' for his stentorian voice, he was obstinate and tactless, yet inspired unflagging loyalty in his men. As this fascinating biography makes clear, it was these very qualities that enabled him to create the Royal Air Force in the face of entrenched opposition from the older services.
Churchill's Secret Mission to Save Stalin
Second World War fighter pilot Eric Carter is one of the few surviving members of a top-secret mission code-named Force Benedict. In 1941, as Hitler closed in on the Soviet Union, Churchill sent a task force to Murmansk, the only Russian port that had not fallen to the Germans. Now, for the first time, Carter tells how two squadrons of Hurricanes and their crew were dispatched on the Arctic Convoy with orders to 'defend Murmansk at all costs.'
Bomber Command 1939-1940
The War Before the War
The period from the declaration of war in September 1939 to the beginning of the Battle of France in May 1940 is usually known as the 'Phoney War' or even the 'Bore War'. RAF Bomber Command, however, was far from inactive, losing 68 aircraft and crews in the four months of 1939 alone. This book describes the struggles of Bomber Command to become an effective offensive force in 1939 and 1940, flying missions in Scandinavia, France, Belgium and Germany.
Into the Blue
An accomplished author and war correspondent during the Second World War, Norman Macmillan was a fighter pilot during the First World War and turned his literary skills to recording his experiences in this classic book, first published in 1929. Joining the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, Macmillan's active service included flying Nieuports, Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters and Camels in France and Italy, claiming nine victories before an injury forced him to take up a training post.
I Chose the Sky
As the First World War progressed and the capabilities of combat aircraft improved, new units were formed to keep pace with the German aerial threat. No.3 (Naval) Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was among them and this classic memoir, first published in 1977, is pilot 'Tich' Rochford's account of his time with the unit flying Sopwith Camels and Pups on the Western Front from January 1917 through to the end of the war.
The Bombers and The Bombed
Allied Air War Over Europe, 1940–1945
Between 1939 and 1945, hundreds of European cities, towns and villages were devastated by aerial bombing; around 600,000 Europeans were killed and more than a million injured. In this first full narrative history of the air war, Overy deals with the whole of Europe, Scandinavia and the USSR; he considers bombing as part of broader strategies; and he looks at the campaigns from two perspectives: what they were meant to achieve and the impact they had in reality on bombed populations.
The Second World War in the Air in Photographs
The progress of the air war is followed month-by-month through Archard's remarkable collection of contemporary photographs of aircraft in action, air crew, anti-aircraft defences and the devastating effects of Allied and Axis bombing. This volume covers bombing raids on Singapore and Rangoon, the war in the Pacific, the beginning of the US Eighth Air Force campaign against Germany and continuing operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Billy Bishop VC
Lone Wolf Hunter: The RAF Ace Re-examined
A leading First World War ace, Billy Bishop's preference for 'lone wolf' attacks was daring and dangerous but also left him open to suspicion over the accuracy of his victory claims. With over 70 illustrations and archive photographs, this forensic examination of his flying career cross-references his combat reports with other accounts by both friend and foe and his own private correspondence (which relate some death-defying experiences) to build up a complete picture of the Canadian-born pilot's aerial exploits.
An Alien Sky: The Story of One Man's Remarkable Adventure
in Bomber Command During the Second World War
Born in Berlin to Polish-American parents, Andrew Wiseman was forced to flee from the Nazis twice, first to Poland and then to England. Having enlisted in the RAF, he was shot down over France, captured, and in 1945 suffered the 'long march' as the Germans forced prisoners hundreds of miles westward to evade the advancing Russians. This biography traces a remarkable life through these extraordinary experiences and into post-war London, where Wiseman became a television producer for the BBC.
Voices of the British Airborne Forces in the Second World War
Volunteering for the new airborne forces in 1941 did not guarantee entry – the selection process eliminated all but the fittest and most resilient soldiers. The men who made it were therefore an elite band with a supreme esprit de corps. This book collects first-hand accounts from Paras who fought in the Second World War, recalling their experiences from the brutal training to action in the Mediterranean, Normandy, Arnhem and the Rhine.
Charlie Radford's Operations in Enemy Occupied France and Italy
Following regular service with the Royal Engineers in North Africa, Charlie Radford joined the SAS and carried out sabotage operations in France and Italy where, after a failed mission, he ended up living and fighting with the Partisans. This memoir is unusual in being written by a soldier of the ranks rather than an officer and describes his service life as he rose from an Apprentice Sapper in 1938 to senior NCO during post-war assignments in Kenya and Somaliland.
Heroes and Landmarks of British Military Aviation
From Airships to the Jet Age
In a relatively short period of time, between the late 19th century and the middle of the 20th, the British aviation industry produced a profusion of groundbreaking and history-making inventions, establishing the names of aircraft designers and manufacturers such as de Havilland, Sopwith, Hawker and Handley Page. Each chapter in this review of the era looks at one of these key innovators, from airship pioneer Ernest Willows to Spitfire designer RJ Mitchell and the inventor of the jet engine, Frank Whittle.
The History of the War in the Air
Based on the records of the Air Ministry, along with eyewitness accounts of military and naval officers, this is the first volume of Professor Raleigh's great history of the British air forces' contribution to the First World War. Written in 1922, it remains one of the most important accounts of early aerial warfare and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Naval Air Service. Tragically, Raleigh did not live to write volume two. Eyewitnesses from the Great War series.