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During the 1950s, at the time Elvis Presley was rocking the world with Hound Dog and the USA was aiming to become the world’s only superpower, plans were being drawn at North American Aviation in Southern California for an incredible Mach-3 strategic bomber. The concept was born as a result of General Curtis LeMay’s desire for a heavy bomber with the weapon load and range of the subsonic B-52 and a top speed in excess of the supersonic medium bomber, the B-58 Hustler. If LeMay’s plans came to fruition there would be 250 Valkyries in the air; it would be the pinnacle of his quest for the ultimate strategic bomber operated by America’s Strategic Air Command. The design was a leap into the future that pushed the envelope in terms of exotic materials, avionics and power plants. However, in April 1961, Defense Secretary McNamara stopped the production go-ahead for the B-70 because of rapid cost escalation and the USSR’s newfound ability to destroy aircraft at extremely high altitude using either missiles or the new Mig-25 fighter. Nevertheless, in 1963 plans for the production of three high-speed research aircraft were approved and construction proceeded. In September 1964 the first Valkyrie, now re-coded A/V-1 took to the air for the first time and in October went supersonic.This book is the most detailed description of the design, engineering and research that went into this astounding aircraft. It is full of unpublished details, photographs and firsthand accounts from those closely associated with the project. Although never put into full production, this giant six-engined aircraft became famous for its breakthrough technology, and the spectacular images captured on a fatal air-to-air photo shoot when an observing Starfighter collided with Valkyrie A/V-2 which crashed into the Mojave Desert.The loss of the $750 million aircraft and two lives stopped future development, although there were several attempts to redesign it as an airliner to compete against the European Concorde.
The Vought F4U was the best carrier based fighter of WW2. 12,571 aircraft were built and downed 2,140 enemy aircraft for the loss of only 189 Corsairs. It was developed early in 1938 for the US Navy. The designer, Tex Beisel, worked on the principle of the largest engine in the smallest airframe. Britain received 2012 of the type. This book contains the world famous color profiles created by Dave Windle of the type in different operational modes, configurations and color schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference.
The Tornado has been the backbone of the RAF within its many different theaters of operation. The aircraft started as a European venture between Germany, Italy and the UK, based on the original swing-wing technology invented by Barnes-Wallis. It has also been successfully exported to several Middle-Eastern air forces. It is likely to remain in service for several years to come.This book contains the world famous color profiles created by Dave Windle of the type in different operational modes, configurations and color schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference.
The Starfighter was once described as ‘a delight to fly, but one mistake and it will kill you’. It is one of the world’s fastest fighters with a top speed of Mach 2.2 and a service ceiling of 58,000 feet. First delivered to the USAF in 1958 it was also sold to the German, Greek, Italian, Turkish and Italian Air Forces. It could carry a variety of air to air, and air to surface missiles and was powered by a single General Electric J79 turbojet that developed 17,900lbs of thrust with afterburner. The Italian Air Force continued to fly it into the 21st Century.This book contains the world famous color profiles created by Dave Windle of the type in different operational modes, configurations and color schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts' reference.
This versatile single-seater aircraft was a joint development between the UK and France. It first flew in 1968, but its robust and flexible operational uses led to its long service life, only being retired from RAF service in 2008. It has seen front-line action in all major conflicts since introduced and has been exported to India, Ecuador, Nigeria and Oman.This book contains the world famous color profiles created by Dave Windle of the type in different operational modes, configurations and color schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference.
The Mustang was born from a British WW2 specification to North American during 1940. The prototype was completed within 117 days but the RAF was not happy with the aircraft's performance and suggested replacing the V-12 Allison with the more powerful RR Merlin. The result was a superbly fast and maneuverable aircraft that had the range to escort Allied bomber forces on raids deep into occupied Europe. A total of 15,469 of the type were built and used in combat until the Korean War.This book contains the world famous color profiles created by Dave Windle of the type in different operational modes, configurations and color schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts' reference.
During the history of aviation there have been very few aircraft that have achieved immediate success when entering front-line service. The de Havilland Mosquito was one such aircraft. It was not designed to an RAF requirement, but was the result of an initiative of the designers and builders to utilize the skills of woodworkers and the relative abundance of wood in the crisis years of World War II. The result was an airplane that could be built quickly, was extremely fast and extremely versatile. The pilots loved it.This book describes how it was built and utilizes many hitherto unpublished photographs from the design studio and production lines. It illustrates and explains the many different roles that the aircraft took as the war progressed. Fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, night fighter – there were few tasks that this brilliant design could not adopt.
The Boeing B-17 was the first American heavy bomber to see action in World War when it was supplied to the RAF. The design originated in 1934 when the US Air Corps was looking for a heavy bomber to reinforce their air forces in Hawaii, Panama and Alaska. For its time, the design included many advanced features and Boeing continued to develop the aircraft as experience of the demands of long distance flying at high altitude was gained. When the USA entered WWII production of the aircraft was rapidly increased and it became the backbone of the USAAF in all theaters of war. This book describes how it was built and utilizes many hitherto unpublished photographs from the design studio and production lines. It illustrates and explains the many different roles that the aircraft took as the war progressed. Heavy bomber, reconnaissance, antisubmarine and air-sea rescue operations – there were few roles that this solid design could not adopt.
The Soviet T-34 medium tank was one of the most famous and effective fighting vehicles of the Second World War. Along with the German Tiger and the American Sherman, it was a milestone in tank design that changed the course of the conflict. Much has been written about the technical history of the tank and the vital part it played in the huge tank battles on the Eastern Front, but less has been said about the men who went to war in the T-34 and lived, fought and sometimes died in these remarkable machines. This pioneering book, which is based on extensive interviews with tank crews, records their experiences and offers a compelling inside view of armored warfare in the mid-twentieth century.
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As World War Two drew to a close, jet-powered aircraft were beginning to be introduced into service. To take advantage of this major development it was necessary for all the world’s air powers to rethink combat tactics and develop the means of handling these faster and generally larger aircraft in the air, on land and especially at sea. As this modern breed approached and finally broke the sound barrier, so did landing and takeoff speeds. The decade after the war saw rapid developments in the design of both naval aircraft and their seaborne bases – the aircraft carrier. The first jet to land aboard a carrier was a modified de Havilland Vampire in 1945 on H.M.S. Ocean. Progress was rapid and the application of British inventions such as the angled flight-deck, steam catapult and mirror landing sight soon became adopted by the major navies of the world. Naval aircraft too became more sophisticated by the addition of high-lift flap systems and strengthened undercarriages to allow them to operate more safely at sea. The author describes the development of these improvements and then their operational advantages in the Korean War and Suez. He goes on to describe the US development of a potential nuclear carrier-borne bomber, the French Navy and its withdrawal from Vietnam in 1954 and then the use of naval aircraft for anti-submarine work.
This amazing airplane first flew in 1949 and is still in front-line service with the RAF. It has served in a variety of roles including those of tactical bomber, photo-reconnaissance, navigational trainer, maritime strike, electronic countermeasures and target-towing. It was manufactured in the USA under license as the Martin B-57 and has been exported to Argentina, Chile, India, Peru, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries. This book looks at the development of the aircraft during the early days of jet power and especially at its Rolls-Royce Avon power-plant. Each of the many marks and variants are described and illustrated by many remarkable and rare photographs. The type's record of service with RAF squadrons throughout its service life is given together with descriptions of the many experimental models that were used in the development of a variety of weapons and avionic systems.
The history of weapons and warfare is usually written from the point of view of the battles fought and the tactics used. In naval warfare, in particular, the story of how these weapons were invented, designed and supplied is seldom told. Chris Henry, in this pioneering study, sets the record straight. He describes how, to counter the extraordinary threat posed by the U-boats in the world wars, the Royal Navy responded with weapons that kept open the vital supply routes of the Atlantic Ocean.He also celebrates the remarkable achievements of the engineers and inventors whose inspired work was essential to Britain's survival.
The Washington Naval Treaty of 1921 and subsequent treaties in the 1930s effectively established the size and composition of the various navies in World War II. In particular they laid down design parameters and tonnage limitations for each class of warship including battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers. With one or two exceptions, battleship construction was deferred until the mid 1930s but virtually all navies embraced the concept of the 8in gun armed 10,000 ton heavy cruisers and laid down new vessels almost immediately. This book will trace the political processes which led to the treaties, describe the heavy cruisers designed and built to the same rules by each nation and then consider how the various classes fared in World War II and will attempt to assess which was the most successful. Ships from the navies of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the USA and Japan will be included.Appendices cover Construction Tables, History of each ship, Technical Specifications, Armament and Aircraft Carried.
This is a must-buy for the Royal Navy and Submarine enthusiast, being a complete directory of RN submarines from the outset to the present day. There is a wealth of detail on each class. Every entry contains the specification, launch dates of individual boats, details of evolving construction and armament and other salient information in a compact form.The high quality of the drawings of the majority of classes adds to the value of this work which includes the very latest Astute submarines currently coming into service. This book is a complete directory of submarines and will be widely welcomed by all with an interest, professional or lay, in the subject.
This book offers a full examination and description of all the toxic chemical and microbiological agents, either tested, manufactured or used since 1914. It identifies the major research, testing and manufacturing plants worldwide with special emphasis on the UK and North America. Among the British sites are Porton Down (Wiltshire), Sutton Oak (Lancashire), Nancekuke (North Cornwall) and the ICI-operated plants at Rhydymwn (North Wales) and St Helens and elsewhere in Lancashire.It details all verifiable uses of CBW since 1914 and examines the rationale behind such operations. Also studied is the ‘arms race’ for CBW between competing powers. The author uncovers the scientific arrogance and political ignorance that has led to a greatly exaggerated perception of the potency of CBW, which he maintains is still the case today.Finally McCamley reveals the scandalous history of inadequate and dangerous storage and disposal practices.
The photographs in this collection belonged to Luftwaffe Stuka rear gunner and radio operator Erich Heine. The collection includes photographs of flights of Stukas in formation, operating training aircraft, and a selection of different Luftwaffe uniforms and flight gear. The photographer was based for a period in Czechoslovakia, was shot down over the Ukraine in August 1943 and for a time was listed as missing in action.
Sturmgeschütz III was originally designed as an assault weapon, but as war progressed it was increasingly used in a defensive role and evolved into an assault gun and tank destroyer. By 1943 its main role was providing anti-tank support to the units in its area of operation. This consequently led to many StuGs being destroyed in battle. Nonetheless they were very successful as tank killers and destroyed, among others, many bunkers, pillboxes and other defenses.While not considered to be a true tank because it lacked a turret, the gun was mounded directly in the hull, with a low profile to reduce vehicle heights, and had a limited lateral traverse of a few degrees in either direction. Thus, the entire vehicle had to be turned in order to acquire targets. Omitting the turret made production much simpler and less costly, enabling greater numbers to be built. Most assault guns were mounted on the chassis of a Panzer III or Panzer IV, with the resultant model being called either a StuG III or StuG IV respectively. The StuG was one of the most effective tracked vehicles of World War II, and over 10,000 of them were eventually produced.
Hobart’s reputation as an armored warfare specialist began in the pre-war era. In 1923 he transferred from the Royal Engineers to the Royal Tank Corps and quickly established himself as one of the foremost thinkers on armored warfare. By 1938 he was GOC Mobile Division, later 7th Armored Division, in Egypt. Unable to suffer fools at all, he was relieved of his command (sacked!) in 1939, retired in 1940 and became a corporal in the Home Guard.At Winston Churchill’s inspired behest, he was ordered to create and command 11th Armored Division. Although he trained the new division to a very high standard, he was seen as too old to lead it in action – he was 57. Instead he was told to form 79th Armored Division and design specialized armored vehicles necessary to breach the Atlantic Wall. The Division played a major part in the D-Day landings and the subsequent campaign in NW Europe. Hobart’s ‘Funnies’ included mine-clearing tanks, bridge-carrying tanks, flame throwers, swimming tanks and amphibious assault vehicles.Brigades and units of the Division were deployed wherever they were needed by Second (British) and First (Canadian) Armies and no major operation between Normandy and the final victory took place without them present.Percy Hobart’s skills played a significant part in the final Allied victory and the lasting tribute to that vision was the adoption by all armies of the specialized ‘funnies’ that his Division introduced to modern warfare.This book is based on official records, published materials and personal recollections.
For his latest book Colonel Roy Stanley presents aerial photographs of the German and Italian fleets that were selected as important six decades ago and have long lain dormant, unindexed and unexplained. Extensive use of aerial and other Intelligence imagery from long retired files would be enough to make this book a must for those intrigued by World War II intelligence and naval history. But it is the author's commentary that makes this work truly unique, thanks to his aerial photo interpretation experience, ability to provide Intelligence analysis, and academic background. Meticulously researched for ship identification, the eye of an experienced PI sees things others might miss, and the author tells us what he sees. Some of these photos may have appeared in contemporary documents but never with the insight presented in this book. We see warships under attack, at sea and in harbor as captured by photo reconnaissance. Analysis of selective enlargements adds to the understanding. Even the most devout follower of warships will learn something.
It is not widely remembered that mines were by far the most effective weapon deployed against the British Royal Navy in WW1, costing them 5 battleships, 3 cruisers, 22 destroyers, 4 submarines and a host of other vessels. They were in the main combated by a civilian force using fishing boats and paddle steamers recruited from holiday resorts. This unlikely armada saved the day for Britain and her allies. After 1916, submarine attacks on merchant ships became an even more serious threat to Allied communications but submarines were far less damaging to British warships than mines.This book contains the following:Mines in WWIMain cause of ship losses; The Konigin Louise; Loss of Amphion; The Berlin; Loss of Audacity; Losses in the Dardanelles; The Meteor; German mines and how they worked; Minefields - British and German; Fast minelayers; Submarine minelayers.Formation of RNMRPersonnel and discipline; Sweeping technique and gear; Trawlers and drifters; Paddlers; Fleet minesweepers; Sloops.ActionsEast Coast and the Scarborough Raid; Dardanelles; Dover Straight; Mine ClearanceSome Typical IncidentsMine strikes and Mine sweeping.StatisticsMines swept; Ships lost; Minesweepers lost.
Many aircraft, some famous and some rare, gained a reputation for being difficult to fly and sometimes downright dangerous. This book looks at some of the worst culprits over a period spanning World War One to the age of supersonic flight. The following aircraft are included.BE.2 - The RFC went to war in it in 1914. The BE was easy to fly and very stable - but it was difficult to maneuver and very easy to shoot down. Tarrant Tabor - The Tabor was grotesque, a massive misfit of an experimental bomber that predictably came to grief on its first flight. Avro Manchester - The twin-engined Manchester would fly all the way to Berlin and back - only to burst into flames over its own base. Messerschmitt Me 210 - The Me 210 was developed as a successor to Goering's Destroyer, the Bf110. It was a disaster with a phenomenal accident rate. Martin B-26 Marauder - They called the B-26 the Widow-maker, fast and powerful, with some savage characteristics. Reichenberg IV - a manned version of the V-1 flying bomb, was a desperation weapon, its pilots intended to fly suicide missions against Allied shipping. Tu-144 - Rushed prematurely into its test program to beat the Anglo-French Concorde, the TU-144 was intended to be Russia's supersonic dream.
The photos in this book are taken from an unpublished album belonged to a member of the crew of famous German Battleship Tirpitz. It is a little known fact that before the start of World War Two the ship went on a shakedown voyage into the Atlantic, traveling north into Arctic waters and south into the more tropical climbs of the Caribbean. There are superb photos of the officers and crew both above and below decks, including some unique shots of the crew during their stint on a magnificent sail training vessel. Other stunning shots show the vessels mighty weapons during gunnery practice during her sea trials. This unique collection gives a close up view of one of the most powerful ships of World War Two, a ship that proved to be a persistent thorn in the side of the Royal Navy until sunk in Norway towards the end of the war.
Using previously unpublished photographs, many of which have come from the albums of individuals who took part in the war, Hitler’s Panzers presents a unique visual account of Germany at arms.The book analyses the development of the Panzer and shows how it became Hitler’s supreme weapon. It describes how the Germans carefully built up their assault forces utilizing all available reserves and resources and making them into effective killing machine. From the Panzerkampfwagen.1 to the most powerful tank of the Second World War, the Jagdtiger, the volume depicts how these machines were adapted and up-gunned to face the ever-increasing enemy threat. Hitler’s Panzers is a unique sight into the full workings of the various light tanks, main battle tanks, self-propelled assault guns and tank destroyers. It is a vivid and fully illustrated account of the development and deployment of the German tank and brings together a captivating glimpse at the cutting edge of World War Two military technology.
The story of HMS Invincible, a ship whose eventful life story, it is argued, embodies that of the Royal Navy itself during the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st. From her conception and design, through her various deployments (including the Falklands) and her evolving role and technical adaptation to meet changing strategic requirements, her fluctuating fortunes have been intertwined with those of the Royal Navy as a whole. Now, as a new breed of carriers is being commissioned to replace her, this thoroughly researched analysis of her career is the perfect platform from which to ask the important questions regarding the future role of the Royal Navy and Britain’s place in the world.
On 15 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, tanks - one of the decisive weapons of twentieth-century warfare - were sent into action for the first time. In his previous books Trevor Pidgeon, one of the leading authorities on the early tanks, has told the story of that memorable day, but only now has his account of later tank operations during the Somme battle become available. In this, his last work which was completed shortly before he died, he reconstructs the tank actions that took place between late September and November when the Somme offensive was closed down. His account gives a vivid insight into the actions and experiences of the tank crews, and it shows the appalling dangers they faced as they maneuvered their crude, vulnerable and unreliable machines towards the enemy. His book will be essential reading for anyone who is familiar with his previous studies of the subject and for anyone who wants to follow in the tracks of the tanks as they lumbered across the battlefield nearly 100 years ago.
Seventy-nine heavy bombers failed to return from the catastrophic raid on the industrial city of Leipzig on the night of 19/20 February 1944. Some 420 aircrew were killed and a further 131 became prisoners of war. It was at that time by far the RAF’s most costly raid of World War II. The town was attacked in an attempt to destroy the Messerschmitt factory which was building the famous and deadly Bf 109 fighter. The bomber stream flew into what appeared to be a trap. It seemed that the Luftwaffe and anti-aircraft guns were aware of the intended target and waiting to pounce as soon as the bombers crossed the coast. They were subjected to constant attack by night fighters and intense flak until those aircraft that remained clawed their way home and secured relative safety over the North Sea.This book analyses what went wrong. Espionage played a part, two bombers collided shortly after take off, as did others as they wove their way through enemy searchlights and maneuvered violently to escape Luftwaffe night fighters. At the outset poor navigational and meteorological briefings had hindered the bombers attempts to locate the target and confusion reigned. The author explains the concept of this third raid on Leipzig and describes the two previous ones in October and December 1943, both of which had been deemed successes. He looks at the third raid from every angle, including the defending forces and describes the daylight raid that followed on the 20th by the USAAF. The book includes appendices listing all RAF aircraft and crew on the raid, route maps and includes many photographs.
This is the story of the Royal Navy battle-cruiser H.M.S. Renown, a famous ship with a long and distinguished operational career. Originally built for the First World War she subsequently served in the post-war fleet and took royalty around the world. Modernized just in time for World War Two, she re-joined the fleet in September, 1939 and for the first two years of the war her speed and heavy gun armament made her one of the most important ships of the fleet. She escorted the famous carrier Ark Royal for most of her illustrious career as flagship of Force ‘H’ in the Mediterranean and took part in many stirring battles and convoy actions. Later she covered Russian convoys in the Arctic before going out to the Indian Ocean where she took part in attacks on Japanese targets in the Indian Ocean. Her final duties included the meeting of King George VI and President Truman in 1945. A host of fresh detail coupled with eyewitness memoirs from former crew members make this an outstanding warship biography.
During the Second World War the Germans developed a specially adapted U-boat oil tanker with two aims. First, by refueling the attack U-boat fleet their range of operations and duration of patrol could be significantly increased. Secondly, these underwater tankers were far more likely to avoid detection than surface support ships.The submarine tankers, affectionately known as ‘Milk Cows’, were regarded by both the Germans and the Allies as the most important element of the U-boat fleet. Allied forces had orders to attack the tankers first whenever a choice was presented.Until late 1942 the German Milk Cows operated with great success and few losses. But from 1943 onwards the German rendezvous ciphers were repeatedly broken by the Allies and losses mounted rapidly. The Milk Cows were highly vulnerable during the lengthy refueling procedure as they lay stationary on the surface, hatches open. By the end of the war virtually every tanker had been sunk with severe loss of life.The story of this critical campaign has been thoroughly researched by the author and is told against the background of changing U-boat fortunes.
The 'little ships' of the Second World War - the fast and highly maneuverable motor torpedo boats and gunboats which fought in coastal waters all over the world - developed a special kind of naval warfare. With their daring nightly raids against an enemy's coastal shipping - and sometimes much larger warships - they acquired the buccaneering spirit of an earlier age. And never more so than in the close hand-to-hand battles which raged between opposing craft when they met in open waters.Large numbers of these small fighting boats were built by the major naval powers. The Germans called them Schnellboote (Fast Boats), referred to by the British as E-boats (E for Enemy). In the Royal Navy they were MTBs and MGBs. The American equivalent were PT boats (for Patrol Torpedo). They fought in the narrow waters of the English Channel and the stormy North Sea, in the Mediterranean off the coasts of North Africa and Italy and among the islands of the Aegean, across the Pacific from Pearl Harbour to Leyte Gulf, in Hong Kong and Singapore, and off Burma's Arakan coast.Bryan Cooper's book traces the history and development of these craft from their first limited use in the First World War and the fast motor boats designed in the 1930s for wealthy private clients and water speed record attempts. With account of the battles which took place during the Second World War, when the vital importance of coastal waters came to be recognized, he captures the drama of this highly individual form of combat. And not least the sea itself which was the common enemy of all who crewed these frail craft.