Gun Button to Fire

Author: Tom Neil

Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1445607972

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 371


The Veterans' Tale

Author: Frances Houghton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108758150

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 1896


This is a unique account of the ways in which British veterans of the Second World War remembered, understood, and recounted their experiences of battle throughout the post-war period. Focusing on themes of landscape, weaponry, the enemy, and comradeship, Frances Houghton examines the imagery and language used by war memoirists to reconstruct and review both their experiences of battle and their sense of wartime self. Houghton also identifies how veterans' memoirs became significant sites of contest as former servicemen sought to challenge what they saw as unsatisfactory official, scholarly, and cultural representations of the Second World War in Britain. Her findings show that these memoirs are equally important both for the new light they shed on the memory and meanings of wartime military experience among British veterans, and for what they tell us about the cultural identity of military life-writing in post-war British society.

Flying, Fighting and Reflection

Author: Peter Jacobs

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

ISBN: 1784383910

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 5905


This is the thrilling account of the last remaining Battle of Britain ace fighter pilot, Tom Ginger Neil. Neil was one of an elite band, nicknamed The Few by Winston Churchill, he flew Hurricanes during 141 combat missions in that battle and went on to command the first Spitfire XII squadron during 1942/43 as the RAF went on the offensive in north-west Europe.In this, the only full account of Neil's life to be published in collaboration with his family, we learn how he became a poster boy for the war effort and how he credits his sixth sense for keeping him alive during the Second World War.There was, however, one terrifyingly close brush with death, when in 1940 he had a mid-air collision with another Hurricane. With the rear section of his aircraft gone, the plane was out of control and hurtling to the ground, yet somehow he managed to bail out and miraculously survived with only a minor leg injury.As well as RAF service during the Siege of Malta, Wing Commander Neil, who is now in his late nineties, also served with the Americans during the D-Day landings.During his career, Neil was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses for the destruction of at least fourteen enemy aircraft, and was a successful test pilot after the war before commanding a jet fighter-reconnaissance squadron in Egypt's troubled Canal Zone during the 1950s for which he was awarded the Air Force Cross.With contributions from the man himself, this book also looks at his life after the RAF and his career as a successful author. For military buffs and novices alike, it is a must-read account of a true war hero.

Australia's Few and the Battle of Britain

Author: Kristen Alexander

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 1473833795

Category: History

Page: 424

View: 3340


During the summer and autumn of 1940, the Germans launched their Luftwaffe campaign to gain superiority over the RAF, especially Fighter Command. They were not successful, and this defeat marked a turning point in the Allies' favour. This is the story of eight Australian fighter pilots engaged in the Battle of Britain, the first major battle of World War II (or any war) fought entirely in the air. Jack Kennedy, Stuart Walch, Dick Glyde, Ken Holland, Pat Hughes, Bill Millington, John Crossman and Des Sheen Ð only one of them came home.??A story we take for granted, here told afresh with insight and empathy.?Professor Peter Stanley, UNSW Canberra??In telling the stories of some of the Australians who flew in the Battle of Britain, Kristen Alexander has combined academic rigour with compelling personal detail. She has demonstrated that the ÒunknownsÓ of the Battle are as fascinating as those who gained celebrity status. This is a book for those who know much about what happened in 1940 and those who don't.... Geoff Simpson, Trustee, Battle of Britain Memorial Trust??The lives of eight Australian fighter pilots, from backyard to cockpit and beyond, lovingly and expertly told.... Andy Wright, Aircrew Book Review

Hurricane Squadron Ace

Author: Nick Thomas

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 1781593116

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 9225


Air Commodore Peter Malam 'Pete' Brothers CBE, DSO, DFC, and Bar (1917-2008) was one of the most heroic and highly praised pilots of the Second World War. Decorated extensively, he secured a total of 16 'kills' over the course of the conflict, with 10 of these occurring during the Battle of Britain. Pivotal moments in his career include the time, in August 1940, when his flight encountered around a hundred enemy aircraft, including Messerschmitt 110's; he led the flight in attack against them, and soon found himself in a stalled position, out of which he spun, only to be confronted by a Dornier 215, which he shot down, before later destroying a Messerschmitt 109. Scores of these kind of risky manoeuvres and winning victories punctuated a career defined by great courage, leadership and initiative in the face of fierce opposition. ??This new and engaging biography profiles a pilot who, until now, hasn't been the subject of such a thorough book-length study. The story of his career is incredibly entertaining, featuring a number of hair-raising episodes, and is sure to appeal to fans of aviation history as well as the more general reader seeking out an action-packed biography offering fresh insights into one of the most pivotal conflicts of the twentieth century.

Duty Calls: Battle of Britain

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141961139

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 352

View: 8185


Pilot officer Archie Jackson, 19, is in control of the RAF's newest fighter aircraft, a Supermarine Spitfire. Now he has the Luftwaffe in his sights and only one thing matters: defending Britain. Suddenly planes are falling from the sky, exploding and spiralling into the English Channel. France has fallen and the swastika flies over Occupied Europe. Only these young pilots - barely out of boyhood - stand between Britain and a Nazi invasion . . . Duty Calls: Battle of Britain, throws you deep into the heart - and horror - of Britain's darkest, and finest, hour. ** Historian James Holland is the bestselling author of the Jack Tanner adult war fiction books. Duty Calls is his first series for younger readers, and showcases his expertise on the Second World War. ** James Holland presented Battle of Britain: The Real Story on BBC2.

Warriors and Wizards

Author: Martin Bollinger

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

ISBN: 9781612510026

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 990


In August 1943 the Luftwaffe began using radio-controlled anti-ship glide bombs, and within weeks they had sunk one battleship, crippled another, wrecked two cruisers, and destroyed numerous merchant ships. Yet a year later the Germans abandoned their use, defeated in part by electronic systems to jam the radio links that guided the bombs. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Martin Bollinger examines what happened from both a historical and technological perspective and lays out a mission-by-mission analysis of effectiveness. Based on interviews with participants, intelligence documents, and archival records in four countries, his book chronicles the yearlong battle between Allied seamen and Luftwaffe airmen (the warriors) and German and Allied scientists (the wizards) for a story of courage, technical achievement, and sacrifice.

Coastal Dawn

Author: Andrew Bird

Publisher: Grub Street Publishing

ISBN: 1906502692

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 1589


In 1940, the defense of Great Britain rested with a handful of volunteer aircrew, Churchill’s ‘few’. Overshadowed in later folklore by the more famous Spitfire and Hurricane pilots, there were other pilots, observers and air gunners – just as courageous – flying the Bristol Blenheim MKIV-F. The future of the country and arguably that of the free world depended also on their skill, morale and sacrifice. Remarkably little has been chronicled of these men and their aircraft – the ‘Trade Protection’ squadrons formed by Hugh Dowding – allotted to 11 Group in October 1939. The aircraft’s range and endurance made it suitable for defense of coastal shipping against attack on the southern and eastern shores of Britain, and for operations further afield. Indeed during bitter fighting casualties among Numbers 235, 236, 248 and 254 Squadron Blenheims were high on operations over Norway, Holland, France, Dunkirk and then the Battle of Britain where the Blenheims were completely outclassed by Messerschmitt 109 and 110 fighters and fell easy victims, scythed from the sky. But the record of the aircraft and their crew was an immensely proud one. Drawing on contemporary diaries, periodicals, letters, logbooks, memoirs and interviews with survivors, lauded historian Andy Bird reassesses the vital role they played and repositions it in history. In doing so, he justifiably embraces the heroes we have left behind.

Hurricane

Author: Leo McKinstry

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1848543948

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 7660


In the summer of 1940 the fate of Europe hung in the balance. Victory in the forthcoming air battle would mean national survival; defeat would establish German tyranny. The Luftwaffe greatly outnumbered the RAF, but during the Battle of Britain it was the RAF that emerged triumphant, thanks to two key fighter planes, the Spitfire and the Hurricane. The Hurricane made up over half of Fighter Command's front-line strength, and its revolutionary design transformed the RAF's capabilities. Leo McKinstry tells the story of the remarkable plane from its designers to the first-hand testimonies of those brave pilots who flew it; he takes in the full military and political background but always keeps the human stories to the fore - to restore the Hawker Hurricane to its rightful place in history.