Air War D Day Series - Vintage Airfix


Air War D-Day series of books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- Air War D-Day: Assaults from the Sky - By Martin Bowman..
- Air War D-Day: Bloody Beaches - By Martin Bowman..
- Air War D-Day: Gold Juno Sword - By Martin Bowman..
- Air War D-Day: The Build Up - By Martin Bowman..
- Air War D-Day: Winged Pegasus and The Rangers - By Martin Bowman..

 


 

Result Pages:  1  Displaying 1 to 5 (of 5 Books)

Air War D-Day: Assaults from the Sky

By Martin Bowman

Air War D-Day: Assaults from the SkyDescription:

This is the second volume of a comprehensive five part work on D-Day that includes a multitude of personal military accounts from both Allied and German Aviation personnel 'who were there'. Overlord began with an assault by more than 23,000 airborne troops, 15,500 of them American, behind enemy lines to soften up the German troops and to secure key objectives. 6,600 paratroopers of the US 101st 'Screaming Eagles' Division in 633 C-47s and 83 gliders and 6,396 paratroopers of the US 82nd 'All American' Division in 1,101 C-47s and 427 gliders were dropped over the neck of the Cotentin peninsula.

By the end of the operation, the list of casualties was extensive. But 101st Airborne Division linked up with the US 4th Infantry Division beach landings at Pouppeville, the most southerly exit off 'Utah' Beach and the 82nd secured the area north of Ste-Mère-Église after fierce fighting and drove the enemy north, considerably delaying the German 243rd Infantry Division from contacting the Allied beach assault force. This important episode within the wider history of D-Day is enlivened in classic Bowman fashion, featuring both extensive historical notes as well as deeply personal accounts of endurance and individual gallantry.

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Air War D-Day: Bloody Beaches

By Martin Bowman

Air War D-Day: Bloody BeachesDescription:

This fourth volume of a comprehensive five part work on D-Day covers every aspect of aerial operations on and behind the beaches at 'Omaha' and 'Utah' beaches on 6 June 1944. It might be imagined that the passing years would blunt the outlines of the experience but the D-Day veterans do not forget. Their accounts convey the chaos, terror and hysteria as the first salvos of German fire clanged off the landing craft, in language that is all the more powerful for its terseness and simplicity.

The landings at 'Omaha' which were vital to connect the US troops at 'Utah' Beach with the British and Canadian beaches to the east were an unmitigated disaster with an estimated 3,000 killed, wounded and missing. The highest number of casualties of all the beaches, they were the greatest American losses in one battle since the Battle of Antietam Creek in the American Civil War in September 1862.

The situation on the beach was chaotic as troops were pinned down by enemy fire and had to take cover behind mined beach defenses. As things progressed, it was an accumulation of individual acts of self-sacrifice and gallantry which opened up an exit and a seaborne bombardment by the task force saw tenuous footholds finally gained by early afternoon. In stark contrast to Omaha, an almost textbook landing was made at Utah; the air bombardment was effective and a strong current actually landed the 4th Infantry Division 2,000 yards south of their intended target where the beach was less heavily defended. 

This account analyses each aspect of the aerial operation, noting how events on the ground and in the sea impacted upon pilots endeavors in the skies. Evocative images supplement the text effectively to create a real sense of what it was like for the pilots of D-Day, the individuals who made such a contribution to the Allied war effort in the Second World War.

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Air War D-Day: Gold Juno Sword

By Martin Bowman

Air War D-Day: Gold Juno SwordDescription:

This is the final volume of a comprehensive five part work, including a multitude of personal accounts of every aspect of the aerial operations on 'Gold' 'Juno and 'Sword' beaches during D-Day. It relays the sense of relief experienced as Allied troops gained a foothold on the continent of Europe after D-Day, both by the men caught up in the proceedings and the jubilant civilians on the home front.

By the end of June 875,000 men had landed in Normandy; 16 divisions each for the American and British armies. Although the Allies were well established on the coast and possessed all the Cotentin Peninsular, the Americans had still not taken St Lô, nor the British and Canadians the town of Caen, originally a target for D-Day. German resistance, particularly around Caen was ferocious, but the end result would be similar to the Tunisian campaign. More and more well-trained German troops were thrown into the battle, so that when the Allies did break out of Normandy, the defenders lost heavily and lacked the men to stop the Allied forces from almost reaching the borders of Germany.

In continuing style, Bowman pays respect to the men who fought in the skies above France on D-Day. This episode of Aviation history has never before been the focus of such detailed analysis; the five volumes of this series act as a memorial to the individuals who played their own individual parts in the wider proceedings. Far from being a mere operational record, this is the story of the men behind the headlines, the reality behind the iconic images of parachute drops and glider formations.

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Air War D-Day: The Build Up

By Martin Bowman

Air War D-Day: The Build UpDescription:

This is the first volume of a most impressive tribute and comprehensive five part work that includes a multitude of personal military and civilian accounts of every aspect of air, land, paratroop and seaborne operations on D-Day, 6th June. At fifteen minutes after midnight on 6 June 1944 'Operation Overlord', the Allied invasion of Hitler's Festung Europe, became reality. Almost exactly four years earlier the British Expeditionary Force had been forced to retreat to Dunkirk in the face of the German Blitzkrieg. D-Day was the climax of almost two years' planning. Had it not been for stormy weather in the Channel area, June 5 would have gone down in history as D-Day, the day that Britain and the Allies returned to France in force with the aim of liberating not only France but the rest of Europe from Nazi domination. The logistics of landing almost 250,000 men by amphibious craft and several thousand vehicles including tanks, hundreds of artillery pieces and about 4,000 tons of supplies on five beaches along a 65-mile stretch of heavily fortified coastline are almost unimaginable yet close to 7,000 ships from battleships to landing craft, almost a quarter of a million sailors and fighting men and a massive aerial umbrella of 3,000 RAF and USAAF fighters, fighter-bombers and heavy bombers, headed for France and more than 1,000 transport aircraft dropped more than 17.000 paratroopers to secure the flanks and beach exits of the assault area. Air superiority in the invasion areas was total. By the end of D-Day, the Allies had landed as many as 155,000 troops; in the eastern sector the British and Canadians landed on Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches while the Americans landed on two beaches in the west, at Utah and Omaha. It was a day that changed the whole course of the war and it resulted in the first steps to final victory in Europe. Yet Feldmarschall Erwin Rommel who took command Army Group B in northern France in January 1944 had said: 'We'll have only one chance to stop the enemy and that's while he's in the water. Everything we have must be on the coast... the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive. For the Allies as well as Germany, it will be the longest day.'

The author's use of direct reporting is this series' main thrust and gives the view from the beach, as well as from the English towns and ports from where the invaders departed. He has gone to great lengths to bring D-Day back to life by using copious quotes from American and British and Dominion forces and fighting men, sailors and airmen from the occupied countries and their German opponents and French civilians. They tell of incredible, illuminating and often under-stated actions of extraordinary courage, companionship and a common fear of death or serious injury which offer a more personalised view of D-Day in actions that were at times very confused. A narrative of events contained in well-placed timelines cuts through the fog of battle to explain the overall situation from well-placed planning to the successful conclusion to give an overall picture of each phase of the battle and supporting air and airborne operations. Well illustrated with well chosen historical photographs gathered from the archives, 'D-Day: The First Steps To Victory' provides a fascinating insight into the myriad operations on 6th June 1944.

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Air War D-Day: Winged Pegasus and The Rangers

By Martin Bowman

Air War D-Day: Winged Pegasus and The RangersDescription:

This is the third release in a series that attempts to detail each aspect of air and paratroop operations on the night of 5/6 June 1944. The 6th Airborne Division was to support British Second Army and First Canadian Army; it's task was to seize and hold the left flank of the bridgehead. The 5th Parachute Brigade was to seize the ground each side of the bridges over the Canal du Caen and the Orne River, whilst on the same day seize and hold positions on the long wooded ridge beyond the waterways, running from Troarn in the south to the sea. This ridge with the bridges behind would eventually form the critical left flank of the army and the bridges had to be intact to permit Allied troops and supplies to pass easily to and fro. The 3rd Parachute Brigade, which included the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion (1,800 men) was to prevent enemy reinforcements moving towards the British beachhead. Another Battalion and the 1st Canadian Brigade had to destroy five bridges in the flooded valley of the Dives. The 9th Battalion had to silence a battery of four concrete gun emplacements on high ground near the village of Merville, 3 miles east of Ouistreham. For these tasks 38 and 46 Groups RAF dispatched 264 aircraft and 98 glider combinations, the glider tugs being Albemarles, Dakotas, Halifaxes and Stirlings, the gliders mainly Horsas with a few Hamilcars (carrying light tanks and 17-pounder anti-tank guns). Meanwhile, Brigadier Lord Lovat's 1st Special Service Brigade, composed of four Army and one Royal Marines Commando, reached Pegasus Bridge en route to help other units of the Airborne Division. 

Allied intelligence had pinpointed 73 fixed coastal gun batteries that could menace the invasion. At Pointe-du-Hoc, a cliff rising 100 feet high from a very rocky beach, a six-gun battery which potentially could engage ships at sea and fire directly onto 'Utah' and 'Omaha' was taken by three companies (225 men) of the US 2nd Ranger Battalion using rocket propelled grapple hooks attached to climbing ropes and portable extension ladders to scale the cliffs within ten minutes after landing and capture the position.

This dynamic episode in the history of D-Day is expertly researched and relayed with both style and reverence for the aircrew who participated in proceedings. Two plate sections of black and white images supplement the text, working further to create a real sense of the times at hand at this most pivotal point in the history of D-Day.

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