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Thread: Desert air war books?

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Flare's Avatar
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    Desert air war books?

    With Tobruk finally out I'm realizing that while I've read countelss books on the BoB, Malta, RAF and USAAF over Northern Europe, etc, I have a pretty poor knowledge on the history of the desert campaign. Does anyone have any reccomendations of books about the air war in North Africa?

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    Manual Creation Group ATAG_Vampire's Avatar
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    Re: Desert air war books?

    Flare

    I found this book a good read.

    Tells the story of 205 Group RAF, flying the Wellingtons in the desert and later.

    I believe Ezzie would recommend this as well.

    IMG_0289.JPG

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    Manual Creation Group ATAG_Ezzie's Avatar
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    Re: Desert air war books?

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Vampire View Post
    Flare

    I found this book a good read.

    Tells the story of 205 Group RAF, flying the Wellingtons in the desert and later.

    I believe Ezzie would recommend this as well.

    IMG_0289.JPG

    Yes I would Vamps.

    Flare,

    Here goes with some of my collection

    Hurricanes over Tobruk (if you play Rats over Tobruk you will 'experience' some of this)
    Hurricanes over Malta
    Night Strike from Malta
    Wellington Wings
    Desert Scorpions: History of 459 Sqn RAAF
    Official History of the RAAF in World War 2: The relevant chapters (first one - https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws....t/5519959.PDF_ and there at least 1 more)
    The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in WW2
    The Luftwaffe in the North African Campaign, A photo chronicle
    Combat over the Mediterranean: The RAF in action against the Germans and Italians through rare archive photographs (Beaufighter book)
    Ultra and the Mediterranean Strategy

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    Re: Desert air war books?

    20200813_091910.jpg

    Lots of great detail, a lot of images from the location Tobruk is based around too. Highly recommended.. Here are just a couple of pictures, cheers, Mysticpuma

    20200813_092345.jpg

    20200813_092434.jpg
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    Novice Pilot Little Bill's Avatar
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    Re: Desert air war books?

    This is a good thread. I was thinking about how little I understand about the North African campaign, and was going to embark on buying more books, this thread is going to be helpful.
    I have a bunch of WWII air combat books but the only one I have that somewhat covers N Africa is this one. "Flying Start" by Hugh Dundas. Mr. Dundas flew in the RAF from Dunkirk to the end of the war, after the battle of Britain he was stationed in North Africa and later Malta and Italy. I enjoyed the book very much, it is mostly about his personal experiences, but since it covers the entire war period I thought someone here would be interested. By the way Hugh Dundas is the brother of John Dundas a BoB ace who was killed in a dogfight with the German ace Wicks in Nov. 1940.
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    ATAG Member ATAG_Flare's Avatar
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    Re: Desert air war books?

    Desert Air War by Ken Delve just arrived.

    Thanks for the reccomendations everyone!

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    Re: Desert air war books?

    Theres also Shores A History of Mediterranean Air War, (5vols) vol 1 particularly covers from june 40 through to Feb 42. Vol 3 I believe takes it on from there.

    There is also "Armed Rovers, beaufighter and beauforts in the Mediterranean ". Although it is more beaufighters than the forts (mainly I guess cos they wuz there longer).

    All are on kindle as well if you want cheaper

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    Re: Desert air war books?

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Vampire View Post
    Flare

    I found this book a good read.

    Tells the story of 205 Group RAF, flying the Wellingtons in the desert and later.

    I believe Ezzie would recommend this as well.

    IMG_0289.JPG

    I picked this up back in July, but have given up reading it (around the end of the desert section), so it may not be suitable to all tastes.

    It is a very detailed account of what missions were flown, on what day by whom and the reported effect, but after reading a few of such entries it tends to blur into one jumble for me. There is about one interesting additional 'human' or 'flavour 'bit of information on every couple of pages or so, but generally it is like reading someone's description of a spreadsheet. And for me, I would rather see such data in tables than written in text. It is paragraph after paragraph of things like '8 wellingtons of 70 squadron attacked Benghazi, 5/10ths coloud made bombing difficult but fires were reported. One aricraft burst a tyre on landing but all the crew were ok.'

    After reading a chapter of this it gives an excellent indication of what sort of sorties were flown, but it just gets stale as entertainment for me. One thing that I have taken from this is that CloD REALLY needs the ability to tell the wellington gunners to attack ground targets (and for them to do so) as every other mission mentions them strafing vehicles or gun positions from low level either at the target or even to/from it.

    The font in my version is also quite small, so as late night reading it is a bit of a pain to try and read for me.

    But the negatives aside, if you have money to spare, it is a really valueable reference and record of what the group did. Anyone making Wellington desert missions should read a bit of it at least. It has value in that it is so detailed, I think the author went through the various logs of the different squadrons and collated them together, so it's reference/record value is higher than it's readability/enjoyment value, and like I said a series of tables woudl actually make it shorter, the font larger and let the text focus on the more interesting human accounts and anecdotes which seem quite few in number, but probably only because they are drowned out with the repetative text on: mission date, target, number of planes, squadron, number lost.

    I'd give it 3/5 as a rating; 3 rather than 2 because of its detail and reference value.
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    Supporting Member IIJG27Rich's Avatar
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    Re: Desert air war books?

    I would like to get around to reading this one.


    https://www.scribd.com/book/206608961/Kittyhawk-Pilot
    Last edited by IIJG27Rich; Dec-23-2020 at 10:09.

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    Re: Desert air war books?

    There's also Derek Robinson's 'A Good Clean Fight' if you fancy a fictional account of the Desert Air War.

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