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In August 1940, the Luftwaffe began an operation to destroy or neutralize RAF Fighter Command, and enable Hitler to invade Britain that autumn. It was a new type of air warfare: the first ever offensive counter-air campaign against an integrated air defence system. Powerful, combat-proven and previously all-conquering, the German air force had the means to win the Battle of Britain. Yet it did not. This book is an original, rigorous campaign study of the Luftwaffe's Operation Adlerangriff, researched in Germany's World War II archives and using the most accurate data available. Doug Dildy explains the capabilities of both sides, sets the campaign in context, and argues persuasively that it was the Luftwaffe's own mistakes and failures that led to its defeat, and kept alive the Allies' chance to ultimately defeat Nazi Germany.
Following Argentina's military operation to take possession of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government launched a major naval operation to return them to British rule. Defending the Royal Navy task force were two small squadrons totalling 20 Sea Harriers (SHARs). Initial clashes between SHARs and Argentine Mirages and Daggers on 1 May 1982 failed to eliminate the Sea Harrier defenders. FAA fighter-bomber pilots relied on daring and courageous ultra-low level attacks, frequently escaping the Sea Harrier's limited capabilities, against Royal Navy warships and auxiliaries, causing considerable damage during Operation Corporate, the large-scale amphibious operation to repossess the islands. Publishing 35 years after the end of the conflict, this fully illustrated volume offers a balanced and objective examination of the SHAR and the Argentine Mirage and Dagger aircraft, highlighting the attributes of both and the skills and courage of the pilots flying them.
Designed following the relatively poor performance of America's multi-role fighters during the Vietnam War, the F-15 Eagle was conceived as a dedicated air superiority fighter. But, having trained for 15 years in the Eagle it wasn't Eastern Bloc operated MiGs that the F-15 eventually came up against, but pilots of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi airforce. This book analyses the combat between the American and Soviet 'Cold War fighters' in a balanced manner, examining how the technical abilities of the aircraft combined with the different levels of training available to opposing pilots and groundcrews allowed the F-15s to destroy the Iraqi offensive abilities within weeks of the First Gulf War starting. Packed with artwork, illustrations and photographs, this book places the reader in the cockpit during one of the last major dogfighting air wars in modern history.
The great blitzkrieg campaign of May/June 1940 saw German forces pour through Holland and Belgium to confront the French and British. The assault was audacious; it relied on speed, feinting and manoeuvre as much as superior force, and in the end these qualities were to prove decisive to German success. Featuring vivid illustrations, illuminative bird's eye views and maps, this book charts the unfolding of an unprecedented 'lightning war', which saw the first ever airborne assault at a strategic level, and the largest clash of armour to date. Never in the history of warfare had the clash between such large, powerful, and apparently equal forces been decided so swiftly and conclusively.
Never in the history of warfare has the clash between such great and apparently equal forces been decided so swiftly and conclusively as the German conquest of France and the Low Countries in May and June of 1940. Not deigning to spend itself against the extensive fortifications of France's Maginot Lines, Hitler's Wehrmacht planned to advance its 136 (of 157) divisions through Belgium and northern France in order to destroy the Allied forces there and gain territory from which to prosecute continued combat operations against France and England. Beginning on 10 May 1940, this title follows the fortunes of Heeresgruppe A as its three Panzer Korps moved stealthily through the dark, hilly, and thickly forested Ardennes in southern Belgium before forcing a passage across the river Meuse and racing through France to the Channel in one of the most daring campaigns in history.
As the routed North Korean People's Army (NKPA) withdrew into the mountainous reaches of their country and the People's Republic of China (PRC) funneled in its massive infantry formations in preparation for a momentous counter-offensive, both lacked adequate air power to challenge US and UN. Reluctantly, Josef Stalin agreed to provide the requisite air cover, introducing the superior swept-wing MiG-15 to counter the American's straight-wing F-80 jets. This in turn prompted the USAF to deploy its very best - the F-86A Sabre - to counter this threat. Thus began a two-and-a-half-year struggle in the skies known as MiG Alley. In this period, the unrelenting campaign for aerial superiority witnessed the introduction of successive models of these two revolutionary jets into combat. This meticulously researched study not only provides technical descriptions of the two types and their improved variants, complete with a fighter pilot's assessment of these aircraft, but also chronicles the entire scope of their aerial duel in MiG Alley by employing the recollections of the surviving combatants - including Russian, Chinese, and North Korean pilots - who participated.
In May 1943, a specially established RAF squadron made its permanent imprint on military aviation history by flying a high-risk, low level, nighttime attack against German hydro-electric dams vital to the Nazi armaments industry in the Ruhr Valley. A comparatively tiny part of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris' four-month-long Battle of the Ruhr, this one raid had an impact totally out of proportion to the small number of aircraft involved. It highlights the synergy of science and technology, weapons development and production, mission planning and practice, and the unflinching courage in the execution of a highly dangerous bombing raid. Furthermore, it established a legend that still resonates today.
The evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from Dunkirk is one of the most dramatic and famous episodes of the Second World War. Dunkirk 1940 assesses Operation Dynamo from start to finish, with reference to the plans, forces and operations involved. It is a unique and comprehensive compilation of all the facts with excellent illustrations, photographs and maps detailing every significant event in the Operation. For the first time in military literature this title discusses the theory that the results of Dynamo largely depended on the results of an 'asymmetric' battle.
On 9 April 1940, German forces invaded Denmark, and then Norway, in an attempt to secure the vital mineral resources of Scandinavia for their war industry. This assault, Operation Weserubung, represents the first joint air-land-and-sea campaign in the history of warfare, and was the only such campaign planned, launched, and completed by the three services of the Wehrmacht. It also included the use of the rarest of German armoured vehicles, the Naubaufahrzeug NbFz.A/B (PzKw V/VI) experimental 'land battleship'. This book describes the events of this tumultuous campaign that not only led to Winston Churchill's appointment as British Prime Minister, but also saw the crippling of the German Kriegsmarine as a fighting force, as it was reduced to a fleet of submarines and a handful of heavy warships used as commerce raiders.