B-17: Combat Missions takes the reader through every crew position of the "Flying Fort" to show what it was like to fly-and fight-in what was one of the most famous bombers of World War II. Uniquely, first-hand accounts from crewmembers are grouped with archive and commissioned photographs of the plane and of items of memorabilia, to bring the stories of these "gladiators of the air" alive in truly vivid detail.
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The plans that Nazi Germany had to raid and bomb New York and the eastern seabord are revealed in this book. They depended upon the use of transoceanic aircraft, such as the six-engined Ju 390, Me 264 or Ta 400, but the Third Reich was unable to produce these machines in sufficient numbers. If the Soviet Union had been conquered, however, these plans would have become a reality. With the seizure of vital resources from the Soviet Union the Wehrmacht would have had enough fuel and material to mass-produce giant bomber aircraft: it was a near-run thing. The collapse of the Wehrmacht infrastructure and the premature end of the Thousand Year Reich ensured that plans for long-range remote-controlled missiles never got past the drawing board. Manfred Griehl makes it clear that until the collapse numerous secret research laboratories seem to have worked in parallel developing nuclear power and explosives. Only classified material held within British, French and American archives can prove whether these laboratories were close to perfecting small atomic explosives. But, without a shadow of a doubt, Germany was far more technologically advanced by the end of 1944 than has been previously suspected.