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Luck And A Lancaster by Harry Yates Luck And A Lancaster by Harry Yates
This book takes you, raid by raid, through the author's tour of operational duty over the last five months of 1944. It is a bomber pilot's story, but it is also about the grinding operational pressure, the brotherhood of the crew and fears of injury and death. It is about a squadron of Bomber Command that bore a barely-equalled burden in operational effort and losses. It is about young airmen the author knew, who lived and too often died amid the turmoil in enemy skies.
Soft. 272 pages.
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Invasion '44 by John Frayn Turner Invasion '44 by John Frayn Turner
In the pre-dawn darkness of 6 June 1944, the greatest armada the world has ever seen began to disembark an Allied invasion force on the beaches of normandy. Invasion '44 tells the story of that assault.
Soft. 224 pages.
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One Night In June by Kevin Shannon and Stephen Wright One Night In June by Kevin Shannon and Stephen Wright
One Night in June, is an account of the Glider Pilot Regiment's role in Operation Tonga, the first stage of the Airborne assault in the Normandy landings in June 1944. The story is told through the eyes of those who were there - glider pilots, paratroops, pathfinders, tug crews and passengers and covers the Operation from training through to evacuations after D-Day. Operation Tonga was vital to the success of D-Day and included the now famous attacks on the Merville Battery and the bridges over the Orne River and the Caen Canal. The equally important though less well-known , part of the Operation was to provide an anti-tank screen to protect the southern and eastern flanks of the invasion beaches from counter attacks. The account includes stories of crew who evaded capture by the Germans and pays tribute to the help they received from local resident fighters. The contribution of the nine gliders which took part in the 'Coup de Main' landings has been well-documented but of the other eighty-nine gliders which took part little has been written. This book tells the full story.
Soft. 224 pages.
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Airymouse by Harald Penrose Airymouse by Harald Penrose
Harald Penrose made his first flight in 1919 with Alan Cobham in an AVRO 504K. There followed a long and distinguished career in aviation mainly as a test pilot. During this period he flew many unusual types such as the tail-less Pterodactyl, the Whirlwind and the Wyvern. In later years he became recognised as one of the finest aviation writers in the country. This book describes flights in 'Airymouse' - "A diminutive single seater aeroplane of significant horse power" - which he bought in his retirement. He sets out to recapture earlier times in his life when he first experienced the pure enjoyment of flight. He brilliantly communicates his love of England, its landscape and history, and of the birds who share with him the freedom of the air. It is pure enjoyment for all with a love of flying - Harald Penrose at his inimitable best.
Soft. 160 pages.
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VCs Of The Air by John Frayn Turner VCs Of The Air by John Frayn Turner
There were thirty-two VCs of the air during the Second World War, yet how many of their names are known today? We have all heard of the exploits of Guy Gibson and Leonard Cheshire, but every one of the VCs of the air is associated with deeds equally daring and courageous.
In these pages you will read of the forgotten VCs like Kenneth Campbell, who torpedoed the Gneisnau in the harbour of Brest froma height of 50 feet, racing between the flak ships at mast height; William Reid, whose citation reads: 'Wounded in two attacks, without oxygen, suffering severely from cold, his navigator dead, his wireless operator fatally injured, his aircraft crippled and defenceless, he showed superb courage and leadership in penetrating a further 200 miles into enemy territory to attach one of the most strongly defended targets in Germany'; Flight Sergeant Middleton whose 'devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds is unsurpassed in the annals of the Royal Aire Force.' to quote from the official citation.
VCs of the Air reflects the whole war in the air more graphically than any impersonal history could do. The story starts in the days before Dunkirk, and finishes a few days before the atom bombs were dropped on Japan.
Soft. 176 pages.
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The Remorseless Road by James McEwan The Remorseless Road by James McEwan
This is the compelling and at times harrowing account of the author's experiences whilst serving in the RAF during the Second World War. His autobiography recounts his posting to the Far East, where he served alongside those resolute airmen who fought the Japanese against all odds and to the bitter end, the survivors eventually laying down their arms. Then follows his account of the ordeal and humiliation of imprisonment for the last three-and-a-half years of the war, with only the atomic bombs putting an end to their plight. This is a story that had to be told. It records events in that momentous conflict in the Far East over fifty years ago; events that should never be forgotten. The book is a fascinating account of the bravery and fortitude that British airmen displayed in those most difficult of times. It also gives much-needed remembrance of the sacrifices those men made.
Soft. 320 pages.
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Silent Invader by Alexander Morrison Silent Invader by Alexander Morrison
This is the wartime autobiography of one of the first officers to join the British Army's Glider Pilot Wing, a unique force that was at the forefront of the invasion of France and Holland in 1944.
The author takes the reader through the 'D-Day' invasion and describes the exacting tasks given to the regiment, tasks that provided a major contribution to the success of the sea landings. Three months later he flew into Arnhem to deliver the Airborne Anti-tank Battery. That achieved, his pilots formed a fighting unit to take part in the battle for the main bridge. Sadly, the planned relief by advancing British forces failed to materialise and the army pilots found themselves fighting for survival behind enemy lines. Eventually Morrison was captured and suffered in the hands of the Gestapo. After three months he was transferred to a large aircrew PoW camp where hehelped to bring about the overthrow of the guards.
The arrival of Russian forces delayed his final evacuation and created many hair-raising episodes before final freedom and a return to England became possible.
Soft. 168 pages.
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John 'Cats-Eyes' Cunningham by John Golley John 'Cats-Eyes' Cunningham by John Golley
In an action-packed life John Cunningham has attained a legendary status which few have equalled. His wartime fame as an outstanding night-fighter ace was followed by a long career in test-flying during the exciting post-war period when the jet engine was developed to power both military and civil aircraft. As Chief Test Pilot for the de Havilland Aircraft Company he was at the leading edge of the quest for supersonic flight and in the development of the Comet - the World's first jet airliner.
As 'Cat's-Eyes Cunningham' he became a household name during the bombing blitz of Britain, symbolising the growing effectiveness of the RAF's embryonic defending night-fighter force. Few knew of his major role in perfecting the operational use of radar interception. He was the first squadron pilot in the world to shoot down an enemy aircraft using radar. His partnership with Jimmy Rawnsley, his navigator, provides a fascinating insight into the air war under the cover of darkness.
Soft. 240 pages
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The Day Of The Typhoon by John Golley The Day Of The Typhoon by John Golley
Reading more like fiction than fact, and a fast-moving action-packed novel of war at that, this account of rocket Typhoon operations overNormandy in th eweeks immediately following the D-Day Invasion of Europe is all the more enthralling for its authenticity. Written by a former ground attack pilot who flew 73 missions wit 245 Squadron over Northern France in 1944-5, the book has all the immediacy of a first-hand account of the action, excitement, terror and the camaraderie experienced by a close ground support squadron 'moving up the line'. In thoses few dramatic weeks, when the fate of Europe hung in the balance, when Allied forces struggled to establish the crucial foothold on the bloody beaches and fields of Normandy, it was the daring and courage of the pilots who fought the vital air-to-ground battles which guaranteed th esuccess of the Invasion.
Soft. 224 pages.
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Tail Gunner by Chan Chandler Tail Gunner by Chan Chandler
By the close of the Second World War, Flight Lieutenant Chan Chandler had flown a remarkable 98 missions, 65 of them with No. 49 Squadron and 28 with the famous Dambuster Squadron, No.617. In addition he flew five trips with No. 1 Photo FU. His career started early in the war, flying the twin-engined Handley Page Hampden, an aircraft that did not boast any power-operated gun turrets and which was particularly vulerable in the presence of night-fighters. Later, he moved into the lonely en of the venerable Avro Lancaster. In that aeroplane the tail turret was power driven and boasted four .303in (7.7mm) guns.
Chan describes in vivid detail, the experience of the remote tail gunner's position, what it was like to be cramped into a Perspex cocoon for seven hours, your only link with the crew via RT.
This is an extremely vivid recollection of life with Bomber Command, and more significantly, life with 617 Squadron under Leonard Cheshire, VC.
Soft. 176 Pages
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The Bader Wing by John Frayn Turner The Bader Wing by John Frayn Turner
This book reveals the fascinating story of the charismatic, Wing Commander and the five squadrons which he led. The story is set against the broader canvas and controversy of the Big Wing. The tactics and strategy favouring the Wing are forcibly argued by the author, who comes down heavily on the side of Bader the man, whose outspoken views and forceful personality made the Wing possible.
Soft. 176 pages.
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The Men Who Breached the Dams by Alan Cooper The Men Who Breached the Dams by Alan Cooper
Alan Cooper writes about an operation which at the time and ever since has captured the imagination of the world - the attack of the German dams in May 1943. This forms a deeply-researched history of one of the most successful operations of the Second World War carried out by the famous 617 Squadron led by Guy Gibson.
This account includes the whole lead up to the final mission; the development of the bouncing bomb, the forming of 617 Squadron and the intense course of training carried out to make the operation a success. The raid itself is viewed form both British and German camps; many of the aircrew who took part in 617 operations give their accounts, as do several Germans, including Albert Speer, the Armaments Minister.
All in all, the book recreates the excitement and aura of danger and uncertainty which surrounded the dam busters' mission, giving the reader the full story of one of the greatest episodes of the war.
Soft. 224 pages
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The Last Patrol by Harry Holmes The Last Patrol by Harry Holmes
The Last Patrol is an operational history of the fifty-two United States submarines lost during the Second World War.
The Submarine Service of the U.S. Navy suffered the highest percentage of losses of any branch of the American armed forces with almost one in five vessels failing to return. However, the achievements of United States submarines are legend as their crews, while representing only two per cent of Japanese shipping losses. The Japanese merchant marine was second to none and vital to the fighting potential and economy of that island nation, but by 1945 it had ceased to exist as the submarines succeeded in near total destruction.
Of the submarines which were reported as 'Overdue presumed lost', some were famous with high scores and commanders renowned for their audacious attacks, while others were less well-known and were lost before they could make their mark in history. Netherless, submarines have a great camaraderie and each loss was felt deeply throughout the Service.
This is the story of those submarines, their successes, their failures and their final dive when the sea closed over them forever.
Soft. 216 pages.
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Desert Eagles by Humphrey Wynn Desert Eagles by Humphrey Wynn
Desert Eagles tells the story of two American pilots who served in P-40 Kittyhawk fighter/bomber squadrons in the desert air force in 1942 before, during and after the battle of El Alamein. Both pilots kept diaries of the Middle East experiences and it is on these first-hand accounts that the book is based. Humphrey Wynn has used his own knowledge of the period to provide a background to the diary material and has produced a fascinating account of these two mens' war. Both pilots, Hal Marting and Ed Miluck, had come to Britain in 1941 as volunteers of the American Eagle Squadrons. Both men kept diaries of their Middle East experiences and it is on these first-hand accounts that the book is based. Hal Marting was shot down on the day the Battle of El Alamein began, captured and taken by the Germans to Athens. There he escaped and with the help of the Greek Resistance evaded recapture, being taken across the Aegean Sea to Turkey and journeying from their back to Cairo by train. The two pilots were reunited in Cairo on 31 December 1942. Marting was awarded the Military Cross in july 1943 but was sadly killed in an air crash in September 1943. Humphrey Wynn has used his own knowledge of the period to provide a background to the dairy material and has produced a fascinating account of these two mens' war.
Soft. 164 pages.
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The Air Battle for Malta by Lord James Douglas-Hamilton The Air Battle for Malta by Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
For both the Axis and the Allied Powers, Malta was a vital key to victory - not only in the Mediterranean, but in North Africa and the Middle East as well. In this new paperback edition of this highly-praised book, The Air Battle For Malta, James Douglas-Hamilton provides one of the most intriguing and realistic accounts of the struggle for possession of the island, a fight to the death which lasted two-and-a-half years, during which time 14,000 tons of bombs were dropped on a defiant population. The book is based largely on the diaries of Lord David Douglas-Hamilton, the author's uncle, who was sent out to Malta as a Spitfire Squadron Leader at a time when the island was sustaining heavier bombing than London at the height of the Blitz, and the Axis forces were preparing for invasion. The author's scrupulous research, combined with his uncle's uniquely authoritative viewpoint, vividly recreates the period, the comradeship and the grimness of life on the beleaguered island. The air battle, which was the second largest of the entire war, involved some of the most famous fighter aces of World War II, including 'Screwball' Beurling and Laddie Lucas. They all played a vital part in what proved to be one of the greatest defensive and strategic operations of all time, and their exploits, along with those of many others, are recorded here, a reminder of their indomitable spirit in the face of appalling odds.
Soft. 160 pages.
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