The P-38 was used on virtually every front to which the USAAF were committed, but enjoyed its greatest successes in the Pacific and China-Burma-India (CBI) theatres. The speed, range and firepower of the P-38 made it the favourite of nearly all aircrew fighting in the Solomons, New Guinea and the Philippines, and over 1800 Japanese aircraft fell to its guns. From the first encounters at the end of 1942 until the Lightning scored the final Fifth Air force victories in August 1945, these pilots made the Pacific skies very much their own battleground.
Reviews of Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel. Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel (9780393254778): Robert Gandt: Books. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
The gripping story of how an all-volunteer air force helped defeat five Arab nations and protect the fledgling Jewish state.
In 1948, only three years after the Holocaust, the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states. The invaders vowed to annihilate the tiny country and its 600,000 settlers. A second Holocaust was in the making.
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The Third Reich's last ditch efforts to sweep the massed Allied bomber formations from the skies of Germany centred around the new crop of jet 'wonder weapons' that were issued to the Jagdwaffe from mid-1944 onwards. Far in advance of anything the Allies had even in the experimental phase, types like the Me 262, He 162, Me 163 and the Ar 234 could perform their combat sorties with relative impunity. However, paucity in numbers and unreliable jet engines eventually cancelled out any technological edge that these aircraft offered.
No single volume in English has ever appeared in the West dealing with this intriguing subject area, but now that restrictions have relaxed in the former Soviet Union, records of the deeds of the elite pilots of the various Soviet Air Forces are coming to light. Although initially equipped with very poor aircraft, and robbed of effective leadership thanks as much to Stalin's purges in the late 1930s as to the efforts of the Luftwaffe, Soviet fighter pilots soon turned the tables through the use of both lend-lease aircraft like the Hurricane, Spitfire, P-39 and P-40, and home-grown machines like the MiG-3, LaGG-3/5, Lavochkin La-5/7/9 and the Yak-1/3.
Flying aircraft such as the Macchi 200-202, Fiat G.50 and biplane Fiat CR.42, the Italian fighter pilots were recognised by their Allied counterparts as brave opponents blessed with sound flying abilities, but employing under-gunned and underpowered equipment. Following the Italian surrender in September 1943, a number of aces continued to take the fight to the Allies as part of the Luftwaffe-run ANR, which was equipped with far more potent equipment such as the Bf 109G, Macchi 205V and Fiat G.55. Flying these types, the handful of ANR squadrons continued to oppose Allied bombing raids on northern Italy until VE-Day.