Following the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, at which the Americans refused to back Britain’s plan to invade the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean, to be followed by an invasion of the Greek mainland, a weakened British attempt was made with disastrous results. The Americans wished to concentrate all their forces in capturing Sicily and then invading southern Italy.
In this first comprehensive account of aerial operations over the Eastern Mediterranean/Aegean, the first chapter covers the disastrous Hurricane attack on Crete (Operation Thesis), an attempt to divert Axis attention from Sicily; subsequent chapters deal with British landings on the islands of Kos and Leros when Spitfires vainly attempted to hold the Luftwaffe at bay.
Meanwhile, Beaufighters flying from North Africa and Cyprus roamed over the Aegean attacking shipping and aerial transports with success but at a heavy cost, until the Germans withdrew from the Aegean and the Greek mainland. In addition, specially modified Spitfires are detailed to combat pressurised high-altitude Ju 87 spy planes used by the Luftwaffe based on Crete, and the Fleet Air Arm with its Seafires, Wildcats and Hellcats over the Aegean. Also, the book includes many first-hand accounts from both British and German aircrew extracted from official reports and memoirs.
Brian Cull has been writing Second World War aviation history for the past twenty-five years and has more than twenty-five titles to his credit, many of which have been highly acclaimed. For Fonthill Media, he is the author of First of the Few: 5 June-9 July 1940, The Diary of Sonny Ormrod DFC: Malta Fighter Ace (with Frederick Galea), 249 at Malta: RAF’s Top-Scoring Fighter Squadron (with Frederick Galea), Fighters Over the Aegean: Hurricanes Over Crete, Spitfires Over Kos, Beaufighters Over the Aegean, 1943-44 and Battle for the Channel: The First Month of the Battle of Britain 10 July-10 August 1940.
234 x 156 mm - paperback - 272 pages - 44 black-and-white photographs