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Big Week


Title : Big Week
Author : James Holland
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Total pages: pages
ISBN: 0802146317
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During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this aerial offensive quickly became known as “Big Week,” and it was one of the turning-point engagements of World War II. In Big Week, acclaimed World War II historian James Holland chronicles the massive air battle through the experiences of those who lived and died during it. Prior to Big Week, the air forces on both sides were in crisis. Allied raids into Germany were being decimated, but German resources—fuel and pilots—were strained to the breaking point. Ultimately new Allied aircraft—especially the American long-range P-51 Mustang—and superior tactics won out during Big Week. Through interviews, oral histories, diaries, and official records, Holland follows the fortunes of pilots, crew, and civilians on both sides, taking readers from command headquarters to fighter cockpits to anti-aircraft positions and civilian chaos on the ground, vividly recreating the campaign as it was conceived and unfolded. In the end, the six days of intense air battles largely cleared the skies of enemy aircraft when the invasion took place on June 6, 1944—D-Day. Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war.


Strategy For Defeat: The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945 [Illustrated Edition]


Title : Strategy For Defeat: The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945 [Illustrated Edition]
Author : Williamson Murray
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
Total pages: 661 pages
ISBN: 178625770X
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Includes the Aerial Warfare In Europe During World War II illustrations pack with over 200 maps, plans, and photos. This book is a comprehensive analysis of an air force, the Luftwaffe, in World War II. It follows the Germans from their prewar preparations to their final defeat. There are many disturbing parallels with our current situation. I urge every student of military science to read it carefully. The lessons of the nature of warfare and the application of airpower can provide the guidance to develop our fighting forces and employment concepts to meet the significant challenges we are certain to face in the future.


Footprints on the Sands of Time


Title : Footprints on the Sands of Time
Author : Oliver Clutton-Brock
Publisher: Grub Street Publishing
Total pages: 512 pages
ISBN: 1909166308
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This extensive book is divided into two parts. The first, which has eighteen chapters, deals with German POW camps as they were opened, in chronological order and to which the Bomber Command POWs were sent. Each chapter includes anecdotes and stories of the men in the camps - capture, escape, illness, and murder - and illustrates the awfulness of captivity even in German hands. Roughly one in every twenty captured airmen never returned home. The first part also covers subjects such as how the POWs were repatriated during the war; how they returned at war's end; the RAF traitors; the war crimes; and the vital importance of the Red Cross. The style is part reference, part gripping narrative, and the book will correct many historical inaccuracies, and includes previously unpublished photographs. The second part comprises an annotated list of ALL 10,995 RAF Bomber Command airmen who were taken prisoner, together with an extended introduction. The two parts together are the fruit of exhaustive research and provide an important contribution to our knowledge of the war and a unique reference work not only for the serious RAF historian but for the ex-POWs themselves and their families and anyone with an interest in the RAF in general and captivity in particular.


Air Force journal of logistics: vol24_no2


Title : Air Force journal of logistics: vol24_no2
Author :
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
Total pages: pages
ISBN: 1428990984
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A Patriot\'s History® of the Modern World, Vol. I


Title : A Patriot\'s History® of the Modern World, Vol. I
Author : Larry Schweikart,Dave Dougherty
Publisher: Penguin
Total pages: 496 pages
ISBN: 110160168X
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“America’s story from 1898 to 1945 is nothing less than the triumph of American exceptionalism over liberal progressivism, despite a few temporary victories by the latter.” Conservative historian Larry Schweikart has won wide acclaim for his number one New York Times bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States. It proved that, contrary to the liberal biases in countless other his­tory books, America had not really been founded on racism, sexism, greed, and oppression. Schweikart and coauthor Michael Allen restored the truly great achievements of America’s patriots, founders, and heroes to their rightful place of honor. Now Schweikart and coauthor Dave Dougherty are back with a new perspective on America’s half-century rise to the center of the world stage. This all-new volume corrects many of the biases that cloud the way people view the Treaty of Versailles, the Roaring Twenties, the Crash of 1929, the deployment of the atomic bomb, and other critical events in global history. Beginning with the Spanish-American War— which introduced the United States as a global military power that could no longer be ignored—and con­tinuing through the end of World War II, this book shows how a free, capitalist nation could thrive when put face-to-face with tyrannical and socialist powers. Schweikart and Dougherty narrate the many times America proved its dominance by upholding the prin­ciples on which it was founded—and struggled on the rare occasions when it strayed from those principles. The authors make a convincing case that America has constantly been a force for good in the world, improving standards of living, introducing innova­tions, guaranteeing liberty, and offering opportunities to those who had none elsewhere. They also illustrate how the country ascended to superpower status at the same time it was figuring out its own identity. While American ideals were defeating tyrants abroad, a con­stant struggle against progressivism was being waged at home, leading to the stumbles of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Despite this rocky entrance on the world stage, it was during this half century that the world came to embrace all things American, from its innovations and businesses to its political system and popular culture. The United States began to define what the rest of the world could emulate as the new global ideal. A Patriot’s History of the Modern World provides a new perspective on our extraordinary past—and offers lessons we can apply to preserve American exceptional­ism today and tomorrow.


Aerospace power in the twenty-first century a basic primer


Title : Aerospace power in the twenty-first century a basic primer
Author :
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
Total pages: pages
ISBN: 1428990291
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Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe


Title : Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe
Author : Steven D Mercatante
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
Total pages: 408 pages
ISBN: 0313395934
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This book offers a unique perspective for understanding how and why the Second World War in Europe ended as it did—and why Germany, in attacking the Soviet Union, came far closer to winning the war than is often perceived. • Detailed maps show the position and movement of opposing forces during the key battles discussed in the book • More than 30 charts, figures, and appendices, including detailed orders of battle, economic figures, and equipment comparisons


Old Lessons New Thoughts...


Title : Old Lessons New Thoughts...
Author :
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
Total pages: pages
ISBN: 1428993754
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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich


Title : The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Author : William L. Shirer
Publisher: RosettaBooks
Total pages: 1280 pages
ISBN: 079531700X
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When the Third Reich fell, it fell swiftly. The Nazis had little time to cover up their memos, their letters, or their diaries. William L. Shirer’s definitive book on the Third Reich uses these unique sources. Combined with his personal experience with the Nazis, living through the war as an international correspondent, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich not only earned Shirer a National Book Award but is recognized as one of the most important and authoritative books about the Third Reich and Nazi Germany ever written. The diaries of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels as well as evidence and other testimony gained at the Nuremberg Trials could not have found more artful hands. Shirer gives a clear, detailed and well-documented account of how it was that Adolf Hitler almost succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has become one of the most authoritative books on one of mankind’s darkest hours. Shirer focuses on 1933 to 1945 in clear detail. Here is a worldwide bestseller that also tells the true story of the Holocaust, often in the words of the men who helped plan and conduct it. It is a classic by any measure. The book has been translated into twelve languages and was adapted as a television miniseries, broadcast by ABC in 1968. This first ever e-book edition is published on the 50th anniversary of this iconic work.


Blitzed


Title : Blitzed
Author : Norman Ohler
Publisher: Penguin UK
Total pages: 368 pages
ISBN: 0241256984
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The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives. 'Bursting with interesting facts' Vice 'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops' resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.


RAF Wings Over Florida


Title : RAF Wings Over Florida
Author : Willard Largent
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Total pages: 258 pages
ISBN: 9781557532039
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"In their own words, British pilots tell of their Florida experiences. Many of them still in their late teens, away from home the first time, pale and thin from years of rationing, these young men encountered immense challenges and overwhelming generosity during their training in Florida. Now retired, these former pilots still smell the scent of orange blossoms when they glance through the log books they kept while flying their Stearmans and Harvards over Florida citrus groves. They fondly remember the times when they buzzed over the homes of their Florida "families" to let them know to expect them for Sunday dinner. More than fifty years later, their stories still resonate with universal emotions: fear of failure, love of country, camaraderie, romantic love, and the pain of tragic deaths. Their stories also remind the American reader of a unique time in our history, when, poised on the brink of war, the United States reached out to help a country in distress."--BOOK JACKET.


Ardennes 1944


Title : Ardennes 1944
Author : Antony Beevor
Publisher: Penguin
Total pages: 480 pages
ISBN: 0698411498
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The prizewinning historian and bestselling author of D-Day, Stalingrad, and The Battle of Arnhem reconstructs the Battle of the Bulge in this riveting new account On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his ‘last gamble’ in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back. The allies, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians abandoned their homes, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While some American soldiers, overwhelmed by the German onslaught, fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters which slowed the German advance. The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the Eastern Front. In fact the Ardennes became the Western Front’s counterpart to Stalingrad. There was terrible ferocity on both sides, driven by desperation and revenge, in which the normal rules of combat were breached. The Ardennes—involving more than a million men—would prove to be the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht. In this deeply researched work, with striking insights into the major players on both sides, Antony Beevor gives us the definitive account of the Ardennes offensive which was to become the greatest battle of World War II.


Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945


Title : Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945
Author : Claudia Baldoli,Andrew Knapp,Richard Overy
Publisher: A&C Black
Total pages: 376 pages
ISBN: 1441180486
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Luftwaffe Over Germany


Title : Luftwaffe Over Germany
Author : Don Caldwell,Richard Muller
Publisher: Frontline Books
Total pages: 336 pages
ISBN: 1473896967
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The Luftwaffe over Germany tells the story of one of the longest and most intense air battles in history. The daylight air struggles over Germany during World War II involved thousands of aircraft, dozens of units, and hundreds of aerial engagements. Unti


Big Week


Title : Big Week
Author : Bill Yenne
Publisher: Penguin
Total pages: 320 pages
ISBN: 1101618965
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In just six days, the United States Strategic Air Forces changed the course of military offense in World War II. During those six days, they launched the largest bombing campaign of the war, dropping roughly ten thousand tons of bombs in a rain of destruction that would take the skies back from the Nazis . . . The Allies knew that if they were to invade Hitler’s Fortress Europe, they would have to wrest air superiority from the mighty Luftwaffe. The plan of the Unites States Strategic Air Forces was extremely risky. During the week of February 20, 1944—and joined by the RAF Bomber Command—the USAAF Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force bombers took on this vital mission. They ran the gauntlet of the most heavily defended air space in the world to deal a death blow to Germany’s aircraft industry and made them pay with the planes already in the air. In the coming months, this Big Week would prove a deciding factor in the war. Both sides were dealt losses, but whereas the Allies could recover, damage to the Luftwaffe was irreparable. Thus, Big Week became one of the most important episodes of World War II and, coincidentally, one of the most overlooked—until now.


D-Day 1944 - Air Power Over The Normandy Beaches And Beyond [Illustrated Edition]


Title : D-Day 1944 - Air Power Over The Normandy Beaches And Beyond [Illustrated Edition]
Author : Richard P. Hallion
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
Total pages: 41 pages
ISBN: 1782898875
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Includes over 12 photos and maps of the Overlord Operations Operation Overlord, the Normandy invasion-like William the Conqueror's before it or the Inchon landing afterwards-will long be studied as a classic in military planning, logistics, and operations. OVERLORD depended to a remarkable degree upon the use of air power in virtually all its forms. A half-century ago, aircraft were primitive vehicles of war compared to the modern attackers of the Gulf War era, with their precision weapons, advanced navigational, sensor systems, and communications. Yet, the airplane still had a profound impact upon the success of the invasion. Simply stated, without air power, Normandy would have been impossible.


Air Battle for Burma


Title : Air Battle for Burma
Author : Bryn Evans
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Total pages: 272 pages
ISBN: 147385895X
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After a long series of crushing defeats by the apparently unstoppable Japanese air and ground forces, the eventual fight back and victory in Burma was achieved as a result of the exercise of unprecedented combined services cooperation and operations. Crucial to this was the AlliesÕ supremacy in the air coupled with their ground/air support strategy. Using veteransÕ firsthand accounts, Air Battle For Burma reveals the decisive nature of Allied air power in inflicting the first major defeat on the Japanese Army in the Second World War. Newly equipped Spitfire fighter squadrons made the crucial difference at the turning point battles of the Admin Box, Imphal and Kohima in 1944. Air superiority allowed Allied air forces to deploy and supply Allied ground troops on the front line and raids deep into enemy territory with relative impunity; revolutionary tactics never before attempted on such a scale. By covering both the strategic and tactical angles, through these previously unpublished personal accounts, this fine book is a fitting and overdue tribute to Allied air forcesÕ contribution to victory in Burma.


The Supreme Commander


Title : The Supreme Commander
Author : Stephen E. Ambrose
Publisher: Anchor
Total pages: 768 pages
ISBN: 0307946630
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In this classic portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower the soldier, bestselling historian Stephen E. Ambrose examines the Allied commander’s leadership during World War II. Ambrose brings Eisenhower’s experience of the Second World War to life, showing in vivid detail how the general’s skill as a diplomat and a military strategist contributed to Allied successes in North Africa and in Europe, and established him as one of the greatest military leaders in the world. Ambrose, then the Associate Editor of the General’s official papers, analyzes Eisenhower’s difficult military decisions and his often complicated relationships with powerful personalities like Churchill, de Gaulle, Roosevelt, and Patton. This is the definitive account of Eisenhower’s evolution as a military leader—from its dramatic beginnings through his time at the top post of Allied command.


Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force


Title : Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force
Author : Jerry Scutts
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Total pages: 100 pages
ISBN: 1782006753
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Unquestionably the best American fighter of World War 2, the North American P-51 Mustang served in large numbers with the USAAF's Eighth Air Force from late 1943 until VE Day, and was the mount of most aces in-theatre. Charged with the responsibility of escorting huge formations of B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers on daylight raids deep into Germany, the P-51 pilots of the various fighter groups within the 'Mighty Eighth' went head to head with the cream of the Luftwaffe's fighter squadrons for control of the skies over the Third Reich. Aircraft of the Aces 1, 19 and 24 are also available in a single volume as 'Aces of the Mighty Eighth'.


The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943


Title : The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943
Author : James Holland
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Total pages: 720 pages
ISBN: 0802190146
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By June 1941, Germany’s war machine looked to be unstoppable. The Nazi blitzkrieg had taken Poland, France, and Holland with shocking speed. The Luftwaffe had bombed London, while German U-boats wrought havoc on Allied shipping on the Atlantic. And yet, as James Holland shows at the start of The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943—the second volume in his magisterial narrative of World War II in the West—cracks were already appearing in Germany’s apparent invincibility. Shortages of food and materiel were becoming critical. And, having failed to defeat Britain, Adolf Hitler fatefully pivoted east to invade the Soviet Union—territory he felt compelled to conquer for Germany’s protection—and on June 22, 1941 precipitated the largest clash of arms the world had ever seen. Built for speed and quick conquest, German forces by that fall were bogged down in a horrible war of attrition that blunted the Nazi momentum. The Allies Strike Back offers fascinating new perspective on the critical middle years in World War II’s western theatre, as the advantage between Axis and Allied forces swung back and forth on the Atlantic and eastern front, and in north Africa and Europe. Acclaimed historian James Holland has spent years conducting original research and interviews, mining newly available archives, visiting battlefields and uncovering letters and diaries previously unread. Acknowledging that strategy and tactics have been the focus of previous histories, he gives equal space to the logistics and supply of men and materiel without which no war can be fought. Allied and Axis leaders criss-cross Holland’s narrative, but he also memorably introduces readers to heretofore unknown participants: Sgt. Ralph Schaps, who experienced the Louisiana Maneuvers that propelled him into Europe; Colonel Hermann Balck, in command of a German panzer regiment in Africa; U-boat captain Teddy Suhren, operating against Allied shipping in the Atlantic; Billy Drake, squadron commander in Britain’s Desert Air Force that helped turn the tide in North Africa; and many others. Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The Rise of Germany, and offering frank assessments of successes and failures on both sides, James Holland has crafted a masterful and gripping narrative of the events that ultimately determined the outcome of World War II.


The Fall of Berlin 1945


Title : The Fall of Berlin 1945
Author : Antony Beevor
Publisher: Penguin
Total pages: 528 pages
ISBN: 9781101175286
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"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc—tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women are children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known. Antony Beevor, renowned author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem, has reconstructed the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse. The Fall of Berlin is a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanaticism, revenge, and savagery, yet it is also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice, and survival against all odds.


Bf 109 Defence of the Reich Aces


Title : Bf 109 Defence of the Reich Aces
Author : John Weal
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Total pages: 96 pages
ISBN: 1780963491
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This volume tells the story of the daylight air battles over Germany through the eyes of the Bf 109 aces involved. It traces the development of the aerial defence of the Reich from its small beginnings to arguably the most savage and costliest campaign in the history of aerial warfare. The Luftwaffe pilots explain their tactics and relate their experiences – in the early days, waiting for short-ranged Allied fighters to turn back before attacking the bombers, the see-saw battle for aerial supremacy that followed, the advent of the P-51 and its devastating effect, the growing might of the heavy bomber streams and the final desperate measures against overwhelming odds. The story is predominantly that of the Bf 109's struggle to defeat the US Eighth Air Force, although latterly both the 'mediums' of the US Ninth Air Force and the 'heavies' of RAF Bomber Command were also active by day over Germany.


Masters of the Air


Title : Masters of the Air
Author : Donald L. Miller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Total pages: 688 pages
ISBN: 9780743298322
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The riveting history of the American Eighth Air Force in World War Two, the story of the young men who flew the bombers that helped bring Nazi Germany to its knees, brilliantly told by historian Donald Miller and soon to be a major HBO series. Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes you on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people. Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured US air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America—white America, anyway. The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland. Masters of the Air is a story of life in wartime England and in the German prison camps, where tens of thousands of airmen spent part of the war. It ends with a vivid description of the grisly hunger marches captured airmen were forced to make near the end of the war through the country their bombs destroyed. Drawn from recent interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, Masters of the Air is an authoritative, deeply moving account of the world’s first and only bomber war.


Fortress Malta


Title : Fortress Malta
Author : James Holland
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Total pages: 464 pages
ISBN: 1780225970
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The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against impossible odds told through the eyes of the people who were there. In March and April 1942, more explosives were dropped on the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta - smaller than the Isle of Wight - than on the whole of Britain during the first year of the Blitz. Malta had become one of the most strategically important places in the world. From there, the Allies could attack Axis supply lines to North Africa; without it, Rommel would be able to march unchecked into Egypt, Suez and the Middle East. For the Allies this would have been catastrophic. As Churchill said, Malta had to be held 'at all costs'. FORTRESS MALTA follows the story through the eyes of those who were there: young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths, American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford - who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first-hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.


Why The Allies Won


Title : Why The Allies Won
Author : Richard Overy
Publisher: Random House
Total pages: 512 pages
ISBN: 1448112389
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The Allied victory in 1945 - though comprehensive - was far from inevitable. By 1942 almost the entire resources of continental Europe were in German hands and Japan had wiped out the western colonial presence in Asia. Democracy appeared to have had its day. In this remarkable study, Richard Overy provides a reinterpretation of the war through an account of the decisive military campaigns that created the astonishing revival in Allied fortunes. He also explores the deeper factors that determined success and failure: industrial stength, fighting ability, the skills of leaders and the moral contrasts between the two sides. Today the modern world is once more in the throes of painful transformation. It is essential to establish why and how the last great war was won. Richard Overy casts a brilliant light on the most important turning-point of the modern age.


The Secret History of the Blitz


Title : The Secret History of the Blitz
Author : Joshua Levine
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Total pages: 368 pages
ISBN: 1471131033
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The Blitz of 1940-41 is one of the most iconic periods in modern British history - and one of the most misunderstood. The 'Blitz Spirit' is often celebrated, whereas others dismiss it as a myth. Joshua Levine's thrilling biography rejects the tired arguments and reveals the human truth: the Blitz was a time of extremes of experience and behaviour. People werepulling together and helping strangers, but they were also breaking rules and exploiting each other. Life during wartime, the author reveals, was complex and messy and real. From the first page readers will discover a different story to the one they thought they knew - from the sacrifices made by ordinary people to a sudden surge in the popularity of nightclubs; from secret criminal trials at the Old Bailey to a Columbine-style murder in an Oxford College. There were new working opportunities for women and clandestine homosexual relationships conducted in the shadows. The Blitz also allowed for a melting pot of cultures: whilst prayers were offered up in a south London mosque, Jamaican sailors crossed the country. Unlikely friendships were fostered and surprising sexualities explored - these years saw a boom in prostitution and even the emergence of a popular weekly magazine for fetishists. On the darker side, racketeers and spivs made money out of the chaos, and looters prowled the night to prey on bomb victims. From the lack of cheese to the increased suicide rate, this astonishing and entertaining book takes the true pulse of a 'blitzed nation'. And it shows how social change during this time led to political change - which in turn has built the Britain we know today.


Escape to the Sky


Title : Escape to the Sky
Author : Donald E. Fink
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Total pages: 341 pages
ISBN: 9781479722433
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It is 1936, and BEN FINDLAY, a 16-year-old Michigan farm boy, wanders to a local airport to escape his abusive father. Ben meets BRICE, a crusty flight instructor and veteran pilot with the U. S. Army Air Corps in the 1914-1918 Great War, who teaches Ben to fly in a bi-wing, open-cockpit Stearman trainer. Ben quickly masters advanced maneuvers, including aerial combat tactics, and is recruited to fly for Spains Republican Air Force in that countrys bloody civil war. Ben slips away from home before his eighteenth birthday, and after additional combat training, sails for Barcelona, Spain. Thus begins an adventure filled odyssey that sweeps Ben from Spain to England and into the early days of World War 2 as a Spitfire pilot with Britains Royal Air Force. Following Americas entry into the war Ben transfers to the U. S. Army Air Force and opts to fly Boeing B-17 bombers to carry the war directly to Germany. Escape to the Sky ends with Bens thirtieth and final bombing raid over Regensburg, Germany.


Besieged


Title : Besieged
Author : J. Bowyer Bell
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Total pages: 323 pages
ISBN: 9781412817974
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J. Bowyer Bell's Beseiged is built on the premise that as long as men have constructed walls, other men have tried to scale them. From ancient Jericho and Joshua's trumpet to London and the onslaught of the Luftwaffe, people have always devised cunning weapons, with all the skills at their command, to breach such barriers and invade the camps and fortified places of their enemies. Beseiged is the story of seven great modern sieges: Madrid in the Spanish Civil War; London, Warsaw, Singapore and Stalingrad in World War II; Berlin during the Post World War II Airlift; and Jerusalem under Arab attack from four sides in 1947. Bell, a veteran historian, describes in detail the actual battles involved, clearly demonstrating the universality of sieges and siegecraft and showing that all these beleaguered places have things in common and obey certain basic laws or principles. Bell points out commonalities showing, for example, though no bullets were fired during the Berlin Airlift, the city itself was as much under siege as was Warsaw, where the Polish Underground fought a fierce but hopeless battle against Hitler's Wehrmacht. By the same token, Bell shows though no German infantry ever came close to London, it was nonetheless besieged by aerial squadrons just as surely as Stalingrad was by both German and Russian ground forces. The histories of these sieges are ones of heroism and cowardice, meticulous planning and incredible blunders, all of which can be studied and used even currently in similar situations in either defending, or piercing the defenses of, a location in times of unrest or war. Beseiged is a must-read for those interested in modern conflict pondering the enigma of human endeavor in wall building and breaking involved in siegecraft. A must-read for everyone from military strategist aficionados and historians to science and technology buffs. If it is to be believed the danger of not knowing history is the possibility of unknowingly repeating it, then Beseiged should appear on all required reading lists. J. Bowyer Bell (1931-2003) was professor of International Relations at Columbia University, and president of International Analysis Center, focusing on problems of unconventional law, terrorism, deception, and crisis management.


Big Week: Smashing the Luftwaffe, February 1944

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