It was a crucial moment of WW2. 1940. The Royal Air Force, virtually alone, defended the skies of Britain against massed formations of German bombers. They put up such a ferocious defence that Hitler gave up ideas of invading Britain and turned his attention to an assault on the Soviet Union. Of those pilots who courageously flew their Spitfires and Hurricanes against the Luftwaffe barely a handful remain. However the authors have interviewed no less than eighteen survivors and it is their memories and anecdotes that make this book unique. Highly illustrated throughout with rarely seen images, Battle of Britain is packed with great stories of aerial combat and being shot down, of the classic fighters that they flew and fought in and against, of making and losing friends and colleagues; of a strained social life in the midst of battle; and, most of all, of standing steadfast in the face of overwhelming odds. It is coupled with an authoritative and lively narrative.
To mark the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
The Italian aces of World War One have gone down in history as the irrefutable masters of the skies in the battle against their Austro-Hungarian enemies. In this often forgotten theatre of warfare these remarkable pilots gave the Italian forces an undisputed air superiority and left an enduring legacy as extraordinary men. Having interviewed the descendants of almost every Italian ace from the Great War, Paolo Varriale uncovers these fighters’ incredible and sometimes tragic histories. Years of painstaking research has culminated in this truly groundbreaking study which brings to life the exploits of such famous aces as Baracca, Ruffo and Piccio, and the lesser known Riva, Sabelli and Nardini. Letters, diaries and unpublished photographs shed light on previously unknown personal and unit insignia, exposing many myths and making this a commanding addition to the aviation history of World War One.
The four-year long Eastern Front campaign fought between Germany and the Soviet Union produced not only the greatest number of aces, but also the highest individual and unit scores ever recorded in the history of aerial warfare. An ideal complement to its bestselling predecessor, this fully illustrated volume covers the Luftwaffe fighter pilots credited with scores of between 50 and 100; every single one of them amassing a greater number of victories than the highest and most celebrated of any British or American World War II ace. Despite these huge personal totals, the names of these pilots who fought against the Red Air Force remain almost unknown to many English speaking readers. More Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front rectifies that omission, providing first-hand accounts from the combat veterans themselves, as well as never-before published photographs, vividly conveying the terrible experiences of the protagonists in this difficult theatre of war.