History of the de Havilland Vampire


Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom: Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second


Battle for the Channel: The First Month of the Battle of Britain 10 July-10 August 1940


Night Hawk: Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher DFC and BAR, the RAF’s Greatest Night Intruder Ace


Messerschmitt Bf 109: The Design and Operational History


The Ultimate Top Secret Luftwaffe Projects (bundle)


The USAAF in Suffolk


Axis Suicide Squads: German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War


Hawker Hurricane: The Multirole Fighter


The Fairey Battle: A Reassessment of its RAF Career


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History of the de Havilland Vampire

Product no.: 978-1-78155-616-0
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  • A wide-ranging history of the Vampire throughout its 46-year service history with the RAF, Fleet Air Arm and twenty-nine foreign air forces. A story that is of interest to aviation historians and those with a fascination in early jet aircraft, which also includes a new lease of life on the Warbirds circuit
  • Comprehensive appendices covering serial allocations, production, export details and preserved airframes
  • Gloriously illustrated throughout with a varied and interesting selection of images, many previously unpublished
  • Throughout its career, the Vampire collected many notable firsts: the first jet fighter to cross the Atlantic, the first to land on an aircraft carrier, and the first jet trainer in which students qualified for their ‘Wings’


The de Havilland Vampire was the second of the RAF’s first-generation, post-Second World War jet fighters to enter service. It began life as an interceptor but was soon retasked in the day fighter/ground attack roles with the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany from 1948 to 1954 and with the RAF’s Middle and Far East Air Forces. Throughout its 46-year career, it collected many notable firsts: it was the first jet fighter to cross the Atlantic; the first jet to land on an aircraft carrier; and the first jet trainer on which student pilots qualified for their ‘Wings’.

In addition to playing a full part in the RAF’s order of battle during the 1940s and 1950s, the Vampire also served with the Fleet Air Arm and became an export success story for the British aircraft industry with hundreds sold to air forces worldwide. For a brief period during the 1950s, the Vampire formed the backbone of the RAF’s night-fighter force and between 1952 and 1967, the Vampire trainer was responsible for a steady flow of trained pilots for the RAF, Royal Navy and foreign air forces.

This comprehensive history covers the Vampire’s development and operational service. It has been written with the full co-operation of the manufacturer, MoD, RAF and other world air forces, mixing narrative and technical detail with vivid personal accounts from those involved with the aircraft. Comprehensive appendices include technical specifications, production details, serials and export details. It is also lavishly illustrated and includes more than one story of encounters with UFOs by RAF Vampire pilots.

THE AUTHOR

David Watkins is a former member of the RAF and a keen aviation historian. His previous books include A History of RAF Chivenor, The de Havilland Vampire and Venom, 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron, RAuxAF and A History of RAF Aerobatic Teams From 1920.

FORMAT

248 x 172 mm - paperback - 384 pages - 316 black-and-white photographs
 

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Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom: Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second

Product no.: 978-1-78155-603-0
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  • The first comprehensive account of Danish men and women in Allied air forces during the Second World War
  • Detailed and extensively researched with previously untold stories of valour and the horrors of war
  • Handsomely illustrated with high-quality photographs


On 9 April 1940, German forces invaded Denmark. Within hours and without a real fight, the government capitulated, co-operating with the Nazis in order to secure as much self-determination as possible. Not everybody accepted the surrender. Abroad, Danes mobilised to fight back. Men and women – whether they had escaped from Denmark, been involuntarily exiled by the occupation, or were emigrants – turned up at recruiting offices around the world, volunteering to fight for Denmark’s freedom.

More than 250 volunteered for the Allied air forces. Britain’s Victory, Denmark’s Freedom: Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War offers the most comprehensive account of the Danish contribution to the Allied air forces of the Second World War ever written. It covers Danish pilots in Britain, Germany and Coastal Command; their involvement in the air wars of the Mediterranean and the Balkans; service in the Far East and Pacific; as well as Danes on the ground, often far from the frontline.

THE AUTHOR

Mikkel Plannthin was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1973. He has been researching Danes in the Royal Air Force and other Second World War Allied air forces for nearly fifteen years, and has a unique knowledge on this subject. He is the author of a number of aviation articles in Danish and the creator of danishww2pilots.dk, a website commemorating these men and women.

FORMAT

234 x 156 mm - hardback - 272 pages - 30 black-and-white photographs

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Battle for the Channel: The First Month of the Battle of Britain 10 July-10 August 1940

Product no.: 978-1-78155-625-2
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  • A gripping account of the Battle of Britain as it was viewed in 1940 by the aircrews of both sides, the press – often for propaganda purposes – and the public
  • Many personal accounts and memories of the battle
  • With tabulations of aircrew and aircraft lost by the RAF and Luftwaffe, and with known combat claims made by both sides in this titanic struggle that changed the course of history
  • Illustrated with new and rarely seen photographs


10 July, the official first day of the Battle of Britain, witnessed increased aerial activity over the English Channel and along the eastern and southern seaboards of the British coastline. The main assaults by ever-increasing formations of Luftwaffe bombers, escorted by Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters, were initially aimed at British merchant shipping convoys plying their trade of coal and other materials from the north of England to the southern ports.

These attacks often met with increasing success although RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes endeavoured to repel the Heinkel He 111s, Dornier Do 17s and Junkers Ju 88s, frequently with ill-afforded loss in pilots and aircraft. Within a month, the English Channel was effectively closed to British shipping.

Only a change in the Luftwaffe’s tactics in mid-August, when the main attack changed to the attempted destruction of the RAF’s southern airfields, allowed convoys to resume sneaking through without too greater hindrance.

THE AUTHOR

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. These include the Bloody Shambles series, Hurricanes over Malta, Spitfires over Malta, Twelve Days in May, Diver! Diver! Diver!, Gladiator Ace, Screwball Beurling, and for Fonthill Media – Fighters over the Aegean, First of the Few and Blenheims over Greece and Crete. Cull lives with his wife Val in Suffolk.

FORMAT
234 x 156 mm - hardback - 352 pages - 32 black-and-white photographs

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Night Hawk: Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher DFC and BAR, the RAF’s Greatest Night Intruder Ace

Product no.: 978-1-78155-591-0
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  • Draws not just on official RAF records, but the personal log book and combat reports of the ace plus family records, letters and the recollections of many personal acquaintances
  • Provides a detailed account of a uniquely dangerous and little-known type of operation called night intrusion at which this ace was the supreme exponent
  • Handsomely illustrated with high-quality photographs from the author’s personal collection


Karel Kuttelwascher may have had a German surname, but he was a Czech who became the scourge of Luftwaffe bombers operating from France and the Low Countries in 1942. Flying with the RAF’s legendary No. 1 Squadron, his destruction of fifteen aircraft in only three months brought him the DFC twice in a mere forty-two days and made him the RAF’s top night intruder ace. After his daring escape from German-occupied Czechoslovakia, he flew in the ferocious Battle of France and was then in time to participate in the final weeks of the Battle of Britain as one of Churchill’s ‘Few’.

During the early circus operations, he clocked up his first three kills and then played a part in the famous Channel Dash. However, it was in the lauded but lonely night intruder role that his individualistic skills came to the fore. Flying a long-range Hawker Hurricane IIC armed with 20-mm cannon, the man the wartime media dubbed the ‘Czech Night Hawk’ unleashed a reign of terror that included the knocking out of three Heinkel bombers in just four minutes.

THE AUTHOR

Roger Darlington has had a lifelong interest in aviation as a result of his father being an RAF pilot towards the end of the Second World War. Most of his professional life has been involved in research and writing in the worlds of politics, trade unions and consumer advocacy. Therefore, when he married a daughter of the RAF’s greatest night intruder ace, he was uniquely placed to turn the treasure trove of personal records into an exciting biography. Contact with over 150 individuals and organisations in twelve countries has resulted in a rich account of a very special type of operation.

FORMAT
234 x 156 mm - paperback - 216 pages - 67 black-and-white photographs

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Messerschmitt Bf 109: The Design and Operational History

Product no.: 978-1-78155-586-6
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  • Covers development, production and service of the Bf 109 with the Luftwaffe
  • Includes details of the Bf 109 in service with every arm that operated the fighter, including post-war operations
  • With technical descriptions, every production variant is described
  • Includes details on prototypes, unbuilt projects and survivors, static and airworthy
  • Rare and unrecorded opinions of Allied pilots on the pros and cons of the Bf 109
  • Handsomely illustrated with high-quality photographs spanning over 80 years


More than 33,000 Messerschmitt Bf 109s were built between 1935 and 1945, making it the second-most produced warplane of all time. The Bf 109 was the mainstay of Luftwaffe fighter squadrons and the favoured choice of most fighter aces. Bf 109 pilots accounted for thousands of Allied aircraft with individual scores for some aces such as Erich Hartmann (352 kills) and Gerhard Barkhorn (301 kills) claiming hundreds of downed aircraft. The iconic Bf 109 saw service in Poland, the invasion of France and the Battle of Britain in 1940. Although gradually becoming obsolete, the Bf 109 remained in large-scale production until the end of the war.

Apart from the Luftwaffe, Bf 109s were supplied to more than ten countries, including Finland, Hungary and Rumania. After the war, development and production continued in Czechoslovakia and Spain as the Avia S-199 and Hispano HA-1112 respectively, the latter powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Incredibly, the state of Israel operated Czech-built Avia S-199s during its War of Independence in 1948-1949.

THE AUTHOR

Jan Forsgren has an MA in History and specialises in Sweden’s relationship with Cambodia from 1975 to 1989; other academic merits include international law and archival science. He enjoys travelling, aviation history and previously contributed towards Fonthill Media with the critically acclaimed Sinking the Beast: The RAF 1944 Lancaster Raids Against Tirpitz and The Junkers Ju 52 Story.

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The Ultimate Top Secret Luftwaffe Projects (bundle)

Product no.: 978-1-78155-372-5-B
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The Ultimate Piston Fighters of the Luftwaffe
Profusely illustrated with technical drawings and fascinating data and information on the Luftwaffe’s most radical fighter projects, Justo Miranda chronicles the revolutionary designs that might have changed the course of the war. A fascinating book for the military historian, modellers and those interested in aviation, this shows how advanced German scientists were towards the end of the Second World War and how the beloved Spitfire and Mustang would have been instantly superseded by radical Nazi fighters.

248 x 172 mm - hardback - 256 pages - illustrations: 154 technical drawings

The Ultimate Flying Wings of the Luftwaffe
Impossible to detect by radar or intercepted by fighters, the Luftwaffe embarked on top secret projects to create supersonic and stealth flying wings to end the war.

248 x 172 mm - hardback - 248 pages - 133 black-and-white technical drawings

Axis Suicide Squads: German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War
A previously unpublished compilation of German and Japanese secret projects of suicide aircraft.

248 x 172 mm - hardback - 288 pages - 125 back-and-white scale drawings

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The Ultimate Piston Fighters of the Luftwaffe
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The USAAF in Suffolk

Product no.: 978-1-78155-346-6

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  • Suffolk became home for many American airmen during the War. They brought with them chewing gum and Coca-Cola. In return, the British taught the GIs the art of darts and dominos when the newcomers ventured into English pubs
  • USAAF missions are included to show what desperate times these were for the American airmen
  • Handsomely illustrated with many unpublished photographs


The East of England, particularly Suffolk, became a new home for thousands of American airmen during the Second World War. After their arrival in 1942, there were over 10,000 in the country by 1943. The largest concentration was in Suffolk, which had more USA airfields than any other English county. Their arrival was called the ‘Friendly Invasion’ as they suddenly found themselves in the middle of the East Anglian countryside. The Americans brought with them chewing gum, Coca-Cola and peanut butter, and introduced the big band sounds and ‘jitterbugging’ dancing. In return, the British taught the GIs the gentle art of darts and dominos when the newcomers ventured into the sacred English public houses.

The USAAF in Suffolk examines the meeting of two cultures, while stories are related of the aircraft victories and losses, plus accidents, which sometimes shook the countryside. Missions by the bombers and fighters of the USAAF are included to show what desperate times these were for airmen and country folk of Suffolk.

THE AUTHOR

Roy Brazier is a history and sports writer. He is chairman and trustee of the Haverhill Local History Group and editor of the Haverhill Historian with over twenty books to his name. He has contributed articles for the Essex Countryside and This England magazines. He has written books on Tottenham Hotspur, plus speedway publications. A native of Essex, he resides in Suffolk and has recently been awarded the Freedom of Haverhill for his contributions in the town.

FORMAT
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Binding: hardback
Extent: 352 pages
Illustrations: 327 black-and-white photographs and maps

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Axis Suicide Squads: German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War

Product no.: 978-1-78155-565-1
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  • Previously unpublished scale drawings of Axis piloted bombs with historical framework and performance for each model/variant
  • Suicide: the dark side of the Axis’ aerial defence and alternative to radio-guided missiles, fighters and bombers
  • Of great interest to aviation historians, military historians and modellers with technical data and measurements


During the Second World War, Germany and Japan developed several types of anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles; however, the Allies were technologically superior in electronic warfare by mid-1944 to interfere with the guidance systems of first generation missile weapons. Consequently, the Japanese were believed to have found the tactic to stop US invasion fleets with terminal dive bombing and the Germans adapted their Sturmjäger hunting squadrons with ramming tactics learnt from the Russians. Once the radio frequency war was lost, Axis scientists tried to develop other control techniques, but the acoustic, electrostatic and infrared sensors, together with television guidance systems, were not ready on time and broken cables made the wire-guided bombs frequently fail.

Both countries began to design ramming fighters and suicide bombers when the futile devastation of their cities by Allied bombers ensured that there would not be a lack of volunteer pilots. A fascinating book for the military historian, modeller and those interested in aviation, Axis Suicide Squads: German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War is gloriously illustrated and covers all known designs of Axis suicide and panic fighters.

THE AUTHOR

Justo Miranda is a widely-known aviation historian. The exciting discovery of microfilm on secret German weapons in the early 1990s drove him to publish Secret Wonder Weapons of the Third Reich, later published by Schiffer in 1996. Miranda’s books for Fonthill Media was the critically acclaimed The Ultimate Piston Fighters of the Luftwaffe and The Ultimate Flying Wings of the Luftwaffe.

FORMAT
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Binding: hardback
Extent: 288 pages
Illustrations: 125 back-and-white scale drawings

 

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Hawker Hurricane: The Multirole Fighter

Product no.: 978-1-78155-587-3
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  • Previously unpublished accounts from the designers, builders and aircrew of the beloved Hawker Hurricane
  • Many contemporary and previously unpublished photographs
  • Comprehensive details on the conservation of surviving aircraft


Hawker Hurricane: The Multirole Fighter covers the design, development, production and operations of the Hawker Hurricane before, during and after the Second World War. Without the courage of the young men from Britain and the Commonwealth risking their lives to beat the Luftwaffe and forestalling the enemy invasion of Britain, there would not have been a Battle of Britain.

The Hurricane was a simple and rugged metal structure that did not require expensive assembly jigs and not only absorbed battle damage, but was simple to repair. Its wide-track undercarriage allowed operations from rapidly prepared grass fields and its cannon and rocket projectiles could destroy soft skin and armoured targets. Spitfires took over much of the air to air interception while Hurricanes roamed over Europe destroying ground targets. Hurricanes operated off merchant ships on Russian convoys and were vital in the defence of Malta.

Hurricanes operated with the Soviet Air Force and the deserts of North Africa, supporting the 8th Army against the forces of Rommel, as well with distinction in Asia.

THE AUTHOR

Philip Birtles started work as an engineering apprentice at the de Havilland Aircraft Company in September 1957. Following the completion of his training, he was appointed as PA to John Cunningham—the famous Second World War night-fighter ace. Philip held a number of marketing positions over the remainder of his career in the aerospace industry, taking early retirement when Hatfield Aerodrome finally closed at the end of 1993. He spent over forty years as a trustee of the de Havilland Aircraft Museum, and he has written over forty books.

FORMAT
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Binding: hardback
Extent: 448 pages
Illustrations: 473 black-and-white photographs

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The Fairey Battle: A Reassessment of its RAF Career

Product no.: 978-1-78155-585-9
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  • New insights into the early development of the Fairey Battle
  • The truth behind the decision to declare the plane obsolete
  • Based on original documentation
  • The story of what might have been had the Air Ministry used the plane correctly

The Fairey Battle is best known for being one of the worst aircraft to serve in the Royal Air Force. On operations, it suffered the highest loss rate of any plane in the RAF’s history. The missions flown by its brave crews became a byword for hopelessness and futility. Born out of muddled thinking, condemned before it even reached the squadrons and abandoned after the briefest of operational careers, the plane seems to thoroughly deserve its reputation. But was the Battle so useless? Why did it suffer such terrible loses? Was there nothing that could have been done to prevent the disasters of 1940?

A fresh look at the documents of the time suggest there was. They reveal a very different story of ignored recommendations and missed opportunities. It was the way it was used rather than fundamental flaws in the design that ensured its operational career was such a dismal failure. It might even be argued that in the desperate days of the summer of 1940, the Fairey Battle was exactly what Britain needed.

THE AUTHOR

Greg Baughen was educated at Sussex University where he obtained a degree in Mathematics. His interest in military aviation was sparked by curiosity over the calamitous defeat of British and French forces in the Battle of France in 1940. For many years, he has delved through public archives in Paris and London seeking explanations. Baughen is currently working on a series of studies that will trace the history of the RAF from its origins through to the thermonuclear age. Baughen’s series of books is supported by talks he is giving up and down the country (www.facebook.com/gregbaughen).

FORMAT
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: hardback
Extent: 176 pages
Illustrations: 61 black-and-white photographs

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