Search Results for "what-the-raf-airman-took-to-war"

What the RAF Airman Took to War

What the RAF Airman Took to War

  • Author: Bill Howard
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1784420778
  • Category: History
  • Page: 120
  • View: 9066
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Between July and October 1940, in what became known as the Battle of Britain, a nation held its breath while the pilots of the Royal Air Force battled Hitler's Luftwaffe in the skies above England. A huge number of airmen lost their lives in this hard-fought episode and in the four years of air campaigns that followed, and those who survived faced terrifying risks; as Prime Minister Winston Churchill put it, 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'. In this beautifully illustrated tribute to 'The Few', Bill Howard catalogues the objects which were essential to every wartime pilot, from the superstitious good-luck charm to the parachute on which his life might have depended and a wealth of other poignant items relating to his day-to-day existence during the air war against the Nazis.

Home Run

Home Run

Great RAF Escapes of World War II

  • Author: Richard Townshend Bickers
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword
  • ISBN: 085052301X
  • Category: History
  • Page: 192
  • View: 9075
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Throughout the Second World War, the first duty of Allied airman brought down in enemy territory was to evade capture and make good their return to Britain. Preventing this was a major preoccupation of the Germans-both sides new that it took too much time and expense to train pilots and aircrew. Home Run collects the dramatic stories of some of those who succeeded in evading their hunters. They are stories of great courage and endurance, not only of the escapers, but also those who helped them; the penalty for those who hid, succoured and guided downed airman, if they were caught, was death. Inevitably, there were rotten apples among the helpers; one of the most fascinating pieces in this book tells of a British confidence trickster who, while he certainly helped some of the evaders on their way, equally certainly betrayed others- and many of his collogues- to the enemy. Here, too, is the engaging story of another confidence trickster, this time a Luftwaffe officer, who conned his way to freedom- and decoration by Adolf Hitler for deeds he had done. Richard Townshend Bicker's latest book is a very readable collection of accounts which, if we did not know them to be true, would be almost impossible to believe. It is also a tribute not only to the triumph of the human spirit over every kind of adversity, but also to the almost limitless extent of human ingenuity and daring.

The Birth of the RAF, 1918

The Birth of the RAF, 1918

The World’s First Air Force

  • Author: Richard Overy
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0241274222
  • Category: History
  • Page: 160
  • View: 7402
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A short, brilliant account of the birth of the RAF for the centenary of its founding The dizzying pace of technological change in the early 20th century meant that it took only a little over ten years from the first flight by the Wright Brothers to the clash of fighter planes in the Great War. A period of terrible, rapid experiment followed to gain a brief technological edge. By the end of the war the British had lost an extraordinary 36,000 aircraft and 16,600 airmen. The RAF was created in 1918 as a revolutionary response to this new form of warfare - a highly contentious decision (resisted fiercely by both the army and navy, who had until then controlled all aircraft) but one which had the most profound impact, for good and ill, on the future of warfare. Richard Overy's superb new book shows how this happened, against the backdrop of the first bombing raids against London and the constant emergency of the Western Front. The RAF's origins were as much political as military and throughout the 1920s still provoked bitter criticism. Published to mark the centenary of its founding this is an invaluable book, filled with new and surprising material on this unique organization.

The RAF Air-Sea Rescue Service in the Second World War

The RAF Air-Sea Rescue Service in the Second World War

  • Author: Norman Franks
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword
  • ISBN: 1473861330
  • Category: History
  • Page: 144
  • View: 3038
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When the Second World War began in 1939 it was thought that it would be fought along the same lines as the First World War, with the Allied air forces operating from both Britain and France. With the fall of Britain’s Northern European Allies in May 1940, all that changed. From then onwards, RAF aircraft operating over enemy and enemy-held territory necessitated flights across both the North Sea and the English Channel. This meant that aircrew in difficulties would be forced to come down in both of these bodies of water. Therefore it was essential that some form of rescue service be made available to fish these airman from the water. But there were no aircraft in existence at that time that were designed for such a task: initially all that could be done was to use land ‘planes to help locate anyone in the water, drop a dinghy to them, and then guide a boat to their position. Obviously a quicker and more reliable means of rescue was needed, and this came in the shape of the Supermarine Walrus, an amphibian airplane that could land on both sea and land. Several Flights of these airplanes were set up around the coast of Britain, concentrated mainly around the south and southeast of England. The Air Sea Rescue airmen did a magnificent job from 1941-45, rescuing hundreds of downed RAF and USAAF aircrew. It took a special type of airman to undertake these rescues – and another kind of courage. As the war in North Africa developed, Walrus aircraft were needed in the Mediterranean, and later on either side of the Italian coast. Walrus squadrons operated just as successfully in this theater as around Britain. Aircrew operating over any stretch of water could always count on the ASR boys coming to their aid. This is their story.

War Dog

War Dog

The no-man's-land puppy who took to the skies

  • Author: Damien Lewis
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1405528079
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 288
  • View: 7224
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In the winter of 1939 in the cold snow of no-man's-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey together, one that would bind them for the rest of their lives. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled the approaching Nazi forces. The other, a lost soul of a different sort - a Czech airman, flying for the French Air Force but soon to be bound for the RAF and the country that he would call home. Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German Shepherd after being shot down during a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert his charge, he hid the dog inside his flying jacket as he made his escape. In the months that followed the pair would save each other's lives countless times as they fled France and flew together with Bomber Command; the puppy - which Robert named Ant - becoming the Squadron mascot along the way. Wounded repeatedly in action, shot, facing crash-landings and parachute bailouts, Ant was eventually grounded due to injury. Even then he refused to abandon his duty, waiting patiently beside the runway for his master's return from every sortie. By the end of the war Robert and Ant had become very British war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the 'Animal VC'. Thrilling and deeply moving, their story will touch the heart of anyone who understands the bond that exists between one man and his dog.

From Battle of Britain Airman to PoW Escapee

From Battle of Britain Airman to PoW Escapee

The Story of Ian Walker RAF

  • Author: Angela Walker
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword
  • ISBN: 1473890748
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 240
  • View: 2913
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This is the Second World War story of a champion cyclist turned airman who lived to tell the tale against almost impossible odds. A New Zealander in the RAF, Ian Walker took part in the Battle of Britain before transferring to Bomber Command and surviving three plane crashes in his Wellington bomber. The last of these saw him crash land in enemy territory, where he was eventually captured and taken prisoner. Confined within the claustrophobic walls of a POW camp, he hatched a plot with a fellow inmate to escape. This they achieved, almost miraculously, in broad daylight. Living on basic rations, they navigated the enemy wilds until they were captured, yet again, and taken back to prison.After languishing in POW camps and hospitals for more than two years, Ian had the good fortune of being placed on a list of injured men to be exchanged, man for man, with German prisoners. The little-known story of the history-making exchange that took place in Barcelona in October 1943 is detailed here, describing how thousands of allied and axis prisoners were safely returned to their homelands in the midst of war.Ians daughter, Angela Walker, has endeavored to preserve the details of her fathers extraordinary odyssey in full. Her tale circumnavigates the globe, weaving snippets taken from letters and extensive journals kept by her father in order to create a compelling, warm hearted and thrilling account of his war. Having once inspired her to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, her father now continues to inform and inspire her through the stories shes recovered from his past. Her book commemorates the efforts of all New Zealands wartime airmen who, like her father, made significant contributions in the fight for allied victory.

The Armed Rovers

The Armed Rovers

Beauforts and Beaufighters Over the Mediterranean

  • Author: Roy Conyers Nesbit
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • ISBN: 1526704544
  • Category: History
  • Page: 224
  • View: 5639
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By far the most dangerous of the RAF operations during the Second World War were daylight attacks on enemy shipping, yet little has been written about this aerial campaign and the brave airmen who took part. In particular the intense air-sea battles that were fought in the Mediterranean have been neglected in histories of the war in North Africa and Italy. Roy Nesbit, in this classic account, sets the record straight by describing in vivid detail how a few RAF squadrons were successful in destroying supplies that were vital to the Italian and German armies during the fighting in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. At critical moments during the land battles during the dramatic advances and retreats that characterized the fighting in the desert the failure of supplies to get through to Rommels Afrika Korps was decisive. But the casualties suffered by the airmen in these low-level attacks were daunting, as were those among the naval and merchant seamen whose vessels were targeted.

World War II From Above

World War II From Above

An Aerial View of the Global Conflict

  • Author: Jeremy Harwood
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 0760345732
  • Category: History
  • Page: 208
  • View: 2123
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"[The] story of the battle waged by Allied and Axis spies in the skies to obtain accurate aerial intelligence during the Second World War"--Page 4 of cover.

The Bombing War

The Bombing War

Europe, 1939-1945

  • Author: Richard Overy
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141927828
  • Category: History
  • Page: 880
  • View: 8945
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The ultimate history of the Blitz and bombing in the Second World War, from Wolfson Prize-winning historian and author Richard Overy The use of massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize civilians was an aspect of the Second World War which continues to challenge the idea that Allies specifically fought a 'moral' war. For Britain, bombing became perhaps its principal contribution to the fighting as, night after night, exceptionally brave men flew over occupied Europe destroying its cities. The Bombing War radically overhauls our understanding of the War. It is the first book to examine seriously not just the most well-known parts of the campaign, but the significance of bombing on many other fronts - the German use of bombers on the Eastern Front for example (as well as much newly discovered material on the more familiar 'Blitz' on Britain), or the Allied campaigns against Italian cities. The result is the author's masterpiece - a rich, gripping, picture of the Second World War and the terrible military, technological and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all its participants into an abyss. Reviews: 'Magnificent ... must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war ... It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century' Richard J Evans, Guardian 'Monumental ... this is a major contribution to one of the most controversial aspects of the Second World War ... full of new detail and perspectives ... hugely impressive' James Holland, Literary Review 'This tremendous book does what the war it describes signally failed to do. With a well-thought-out strategy and precision, it delivers maximum force on its objectives ... The result is a masterpiece of the historian's art' The Times 'It is unlikely that a work of this scale, scope and merit will be surpassed' Times Higher Education 'What distinguishes Mr Overy's account of the bombing war from lesser efforts is the wealth of narrative detail and analytical rigour that he brings to bear' Economist 'Excellent ... Overy is never less than an erudite and clear-eyed guide whose research is impeccable and whose conclusions appear sensible and convincing even when they run against the established trends' Financial Times 'Hard to surpass. If you want to know how bombing worked, what it did and what it meant, this is the book to read' Times Literary Supplement About the author: Richard Overy is the author of a series of remarkable books on the Second World War and the wider disasters of the twentieth century. The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia won both the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hessell-Tiltman Prize. He is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Penguin publishes 1939: Countdown to War, The Morbid Age, Russia's War, Interrogations, The Battle of Britain and The Dictators. He lives in London.

Observers and Navigators

Observers and Navigators

And Other Non-Pilot Aircrew in the RFC, RNAS and RAF

  • Author: Wg Cdr C.G. Jefford
  • Publisher: Grub Street Publishing
  • ISBN: 1909808407
  • Category: History
  • Page: 416
  • View: 8020
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This title first appeared in 2001 to universal acclaim, quickly went out of print and has remained so since. The author, meantime, has continued his research and the result is this updated edition, over half as long as the first, with stacks of new photographs. Absolutely essential reference for all those interested in military aviation.