The second of Britain's four-engined bombers to enter frontline service during World War II (1939-1945), Handley Page's Halifax has forever lived in the shadow of Avro's superb Lancaster. However, it was a Halifax which became the first RAF 'heavy' to drop bombs on Germany when No 35 Sqn raided Hamburg on the night of 12/13 March 1941. Between 1941-45, the Halifax completed some 75,532 sorties [compared with the Lancaster's 156,000] with Bomber Command alone, not to mention its sterling work as both a glider tug and paratroop carrier with the Airborne Forces, maritime patrol mount with Coastal Command and covert intruder with the SOE.
One of the Best Books of 2015--TIME, NPR, Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Seattle Times, The Kansas City Star, Kirkus, Bookpage, Hudson Booksellers, AARP The stunning companion to Kate Atkinson's #1 bestseller Life After Life, "one of the best novels I've read this century" (Gillian Flynn). "He had been reconciled to death during the war and then suddenly the war was over and there was a next day and a next day. Part of him never adjusted to having a future." Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again. A GOD IN RUINS tells the dramatic story of the 20th Century through Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy--would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather-as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have. An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times, A GOD IN RUINS proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.
One of the first Thunderbolt groups to see action in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) with the US Army Air Forces, the 56th Fighter Group (FG) was also the only fighter unit within the Eighth Air Force to remain equipped with the mighty P-47 until war's end. Led by the inspirational 'Hub' Zemke, this group was responsible for devising many of the bomber escort tactics employed by VIII Fighter Command between 1943 and 1945. By VE-Day the 56th FG had shot down 100 more enemy aircraft than any other group in the Eighth Air Force, its pilots being credited with 677 kills during 447 missions. The exploits of this elite fighter unit are detailed in this volume together with photographs, their aircraft profiles and insignia.
The Avro Lancaster was a four-engine heavy bomber used by the RAF in 1942 and, together with the Handley Page Halifax, was the main strategic bomber of the RAF and other air forces of the Commonwealth countries. It was mainly used as a night bomber. Around 7,378 were realized Lancaster (excluding prototypes), 430 of them in Canada and they were lost in action 3,932. The Handley Page Halifax was a major British four-engined heavy bombers, remaining in service until the end of the conflict, with numerous tasks in addition to bombing. Halifax's career began in November 1940 and continued until the end of the war. These four engine, however, continued to operate, albeit in minor roles, until 1954-56. In practice, however, the Lancaster showed better performance and as soon as it was available in sufficient numbers, he replaced the Halifax. The Short S.29 Stirling was a British heavy bomber, the first in its class. Along with Lancaster and the Halifax constitute the three main bombers used by Britain in World War II with capacity of bombs from 6,000 kg to 10,000 kg Bomb Grand Slam, one of the heaviest bombs ever built.
Of the RAF's trio of four-engined heavy bombers in World War 2, the mighty Short Stirling was the first to enter service in August 1940. From its first raid in February 1941, the Stirling was at the forefront of the British night bombing offensive against Germany before unacceptably high losses forced its relegation to second-line duties later in the war. In its modified form as the Mark IV the Stirling fulfilled vital roles with the RAF as a paratroop transport and glider tug on D-Day, at Arnhem and on the Rhine crossing as well as flying countless Special Duties operations over Occupied Europe and Norway. Its last gasp was in 1948-49 when a handful of Mk Vs were acquired by the Royal Egyptian Air Force to bomb Israel in the First Arab–Israeli War. Containing numerous first-hand combat accounts from the crews that flew the bomber and detailed profile artwork, Short Stirling Units of World War 2 uncovers the history of one of the RAF's greatest World War 2 bombers.
Aircrew on a bomber in World War II experienced a cold, tiring and perilous existence. The RAF flew at night, when the human spirit is at its lowest ebb and for many it did not seem prudent to think further ahead than the target, and then hope for a safe return. Daytime raids brought the fear of defending fighters preying on the massed formations of heavily laden aircraft as they struggled over enemy territory. The ground crew saw their aircraft heave themselves into the air and their imagination filled the silent hours until they counted in the returning aircraft and saw the ravages of the enemy defenses and the hazards of foul weather. This is their story.
On the outome of the Battle of the Atlantic from 1939 to 1945 depended Britain's survival in the midst of a global war. The need to control the sealanes to Britain was mirrored by a need to control the skies above. Carrier based aircraft and seaplanes would play an important role in defeating the German submarine menace and in combating her surface fleet. However, at the start of World War II Britain possessed neither the training or industrial establishment necessary to develop this arm of warfare. From 1940 onwards the United States provided answers to the problem firstly in the form of American built aircraft, then American built aircraft carriers and finally American trained pilots. Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm pilots were being trained in the United States under a scheme set up by the United States Navy as part of the Lend Lease agreement. In the safer skies over the United States American Navy pilots would train British aviation cadets how to fly and to fight. This process is examined from a variety of different perspectives including the military, diplomatic, educational and cultural. For many young British aviation cadets the journey across the Atlantic and across America was as surprising as it was lengthy. Many would find themselves caught up with issues such as segregation in the American South of which they had little understanding. The book is based on interviews and correspondence with hundreds of former cadets who trained in the United States in the 1940s together with material from the British and American archives.