Bomber Command's air offensive against the cities of Nazi Germany was one of the most epic campaigns of World War II. More than 56,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew and 600,000 Germans died in the course of the RAF's attempt to win the war by bombing. The struggle in the air began meekly in 1939 with only a few Whitleys, Hampdens, and Wellingtons flying blindly through the night on their ill-conceived bombing runs. It ended six years later with 1,600 Lancasters, Halifaxes, and Mosquitoes, equipped with the best of British wartime technology, blazing whole German cities in a single night. Bomber Command, through its fits and starts, grew into an effective fighting force. In Bomber Command, originally published to critical acclaim in the U.K., famed British military historian Sir Max Hastings offers a captivating analysis of the strategy and decision-making behind one of World War II’s most violent episodes. With firsthand descriptions of the experiences of aircrew from 1939 to 1945 – based on one hundred interviews with veterans – and a harrowing narrative of the experiences of Germans on the ground during the September 1944 bombing of Darmstadt, Bomber Command is widely recognized as a classic account of one of the bloodiest campaigns in World War II history. Now back in print in the U.S., this book is an essential addition to any history reader's bookshelf.
The striking appearance of Luftwaffe's bizarre 'Mistel' Composite attack aircraft might seem ridiculous to modern eyes, but employed correctly, these original 'fire and forget' weapons were devastatingly effective, as Allied sources testify. This book draws on a wealth of first-hand reports and revealing contemporary photographs to tell the full, strange story of the Mistel units. They were the product of a remarkable mix of desperation and innovation, and were actually grounded in a pre-war, non-military practise. Indeed – the mounting of one aircraft atop another was initially conceived to extend the ranges of passenger and mail-carrying aircraft. But as early as 1942, German planners saw the potential for use as a guided missile, and by the end of the war, the sight of a Ju-88 lashed to a BF 109 or FW 190 fighter bearing down on an Allied target was not as rare as one might expect. This is the full story of the Mistel units, from their design and development, through the first deployments at D-Day, to the last, desperate missions against key bridges on the Oder and the Neisse in the final weeks of the war. It also reveals some of the activities of the mysterious and secretive Kampfgruppe (bomber group) 200.
Born in the 1930s, the Soviet Air Force's long-range bomber arm (known initially as the ADD and later as the DA) proved itself during World War II and continued to develop in the immediate post-war years, when the former allies turned Cold War opponents. When the strategic bomber Tu-4 was found to be too 'short-legged' to deliver strikes against the main potential adversary – the USA, both Tupolev and Myasishchev OKBs began the task by creating turbine-engined strategic bombers. By the Khrushchev era in the mid/late 1950's the Soviet defense industry and aircraft design bureau set about adapting the bombers to take air-launched missiles for use against land and sea targets. In 1962 the DA fielded its first supersonic aircraft – the Tu-22 Blinder twinjet, which came in pure bomber and missile strike versions. The Brezhnev years saw a resurgence of strategic aviation with the Tu-22M Backfire 'swing-wing' supersonic medium bomber entering service in the mid-1970s followed in 1984 by the Tu-95MS Bear-H and Tu-160 Blackjack which were capable of carrying six and 12 air-launched cruise missiles respectively. Soviet Strategic Aviation in the Cold War shows how the DA's order of battle changed in the period from 1945 to 1991. Major operations including the air arm's involvement in the Afghan War, the Cold War exercises over international waters in the vicinity of the 'potential adversary', and the shadowing of NATO warships are covered together with details of Air Armies, bomber divisions and bomber regiments, including their aircraft on a type-by-type basis. More than 500 photos, most of which are previously unpublished in the West, are supplemented by 61 color profiles, color badges, and line drawings of the aircraft and their weapons, making this an essential reference source for the historian and modeler alike.
Reviews of Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship. Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship – Kindle edition by C. Michael Hiam. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship.. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
By the time the Korean War erupted, the F-51 Mustang was seen as obsolete, but that view quickly changed when the USAF rushed 145 of them to the theatre in late 1950. They had the endurance to attack targets in Korea from bases in Japan, where the modern F-86 fighters and other jets did not. Rather than the interceptor and escort fighter roles the Mustang had performed during World War 2, in the Korean War they were assigned to ground attack missions – striking at communist troop columns advancing south. This is the chronicle of the Mustang units that fought in the Korean War, detailing the type's involvement in a series of intense actions, its successes and its considerable losses. Drawing on meticulous research and gripping first-hand accounts from aircrew, this book explains how the faithful Mustang was able to roll back the years, fight, and prove itself in a new era of aerial warfare.