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.
Politics and Decline of Britain's Post-War Air Force
Although Britain was in decline as a world power after the Second World War, advances in military technology made the RAF ever more important to its defences as increasingly sophisticated aircraft patrolled the front line of the Cold War. In this assessment of the RAF and its planes since 1945, Ian Watson charts a golden age for the service and decries the political wranglings and budget management of recent years that has led to calls for its abolition.
The Life and Death of Germany's Last Great Battleship
Sister ship to the Bismarck, the Tirpitz spent most of the Second World War in the Norwegian fjords but remained a looming threat to the important Arctic convoy routes. This examination of Hitler’s mightiest ship describes how it came to be built, its wartime service and the repeated Allied efforts to destroy it, including the famous midget submarine raid and the successful ‘Tallboy’ bombing mission of 1944.
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.
Axis Suicide Squads
German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War
The necessity of gaining some material advantage from the inevitable loss of men and machinery in aerial warfare led both the Japanese and German air forces to resort to ramming and suicide tactics during the Second World War. This study of these attacks features detailed technical drawings of the planes used, from the various Japanese kamikaze planes to the Messerschmitts of Germany’s suicide squadron, Rammkommando Elbe.
Bismarck and Hood
The Battle of the Denmark Strait: A Technical Analysis for a New Perspective
HMS Hood was instantly destroyed by the Bismarck in May 1941, sinking rapidly after an explosion in its magazine. This detailed examination of the famous engagement is written by a gunnery expert and rear admiral of the Italian Navy who, through a ballistic analysis of Bismarck’s fire and assessment of the two commanders’ actions, questions some of the long-held assumptions about the battle.
Britain's Cold War Fighters
British aviation technology was at the cutting edge after the Second World War, the Gloster Meteor the first of many home-grown jets to be engineered before American and internationally developed aircraft took over from the 1970s. This study of the rapid improvement in fighters up to the 1990s examines all the designs deployed by the RAF and Royal Navy during the period including the Hunter, Javelin, Lightning, Phantom and Tornado.