Friday, 18 November 2016
Osprey: November 2016 Book Vote
This month we are asking you which titles you would like to see in our upcoming Air Campaign series. For more on this new series click here to be taken to a special blog by its editor Tom Milner. Check out the descriptions below and let us know which of these you’d like to see us publish!
Bloody April 1917: The Royal Flying Corps’ battle over Arras
World War I’s first experiments with combat aircraft were followed by rapid developments in their power and sophistication. In spring 1917, the Royal Flying Corps was deployed to support a major offensive at Arras. Having been built up with new machines and fresh pilots, the RFC was expected to operate over German-held territory, providing the Army with vital reconnaissance and air support. But with the Germans boasting better-trained pilots and superior aircraft, and fighting over their own turf, the RFC was bled dry in its struggle to support the advance.
The Battle of the Atlantic 1939–42: Coastal Command’s early struggle against the U-Boats
RAF Coastal Command had one of the most important jobs of the early war years – defending Allied convoys in the Atlantic. But with the Air Ministry giving priority to the strategic bombing of Germany, Coastal Command was the ‘Cinderella service’, denied the long-range heavy bombers that could have aided its war against the U-boats. This book examines how Coastal Command fought the crucial early war with limited resources and outdated aircraft, before the 1943 introduction of new Liberator bombers and radar transformed its capabilities.
D-Day 1944: The Transportation Plan
With the Luftwaffe’s fighter force weakened by early 1944, the Allies turned their attention to preparations for D-Day. The Transportation Plan was a key part of the RAF and USAAF’s contribution to the success of Overlord – an air campaign to systematically cripple the rail networks in France, and limit the Germans’ ability to respond to the planned invasion. Despite the opposition of Arthur Harris, who believed that it was an unnecessary distraction from Bomber Command’s war against German cities and industrial targets, the Transportation Plan secured precious heavy bombers for the missions, which devastated German logistics in the north of France.
Operation Bodenplatte, 1944–45: The Luftwaffe’s last throw of the dice
The Luftwaffe at the end of 1944 was a shadow of its former self, but it still had enough aircraft, pilots and fuel for one more major operation. With German forces counter-attacking through the Ardennes in December 1944, the Luftwaffe planned a surprise air attack, using its remaining strength in the West, to destroy Allied aircraft on the ground and try to secure air superiority over the Ardennes battlefield. Bodenplatte was launched on 1 January 1945, surprising the Allies and destroying significant numbers of enemy aircraft. But the cost was high, especially in pilots, and the Luftwaffe was so weakened that it could never again mount an offensive air campaign against the all-conquering Allies.
Operation Focus 1967: Israel’s devastating first strike in the Six-Day War
The Israeli Air Force’s pre-emptive destruction of the Arab air forces in June 1967 was one of the most decisive uses of air power in history. Heavily outnumbered by the modern, mostly Soviet-supplied jets of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, Israel committed almost all of its 196 combat aircraft to the operation. Using a new French/Israeli anti-runway weapon, the audacious campaign first neutralized and then destroyed hundreds of Arab jets on the ground in the first day of the war. The success of these air strikes left the Israelis with air superiority and opened the door to victory just six days later.
Osprey Publishing Ltd