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A Separate Little War: The Banff Coastal Command Strike Wing Versus the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe 1944-1945 Paperback – 31 Oct 2008


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A Separate Little War: The Banff Coastal Command Strike Wing Versus the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe 1944-1945 + Banff Strike Wing at War + Scottish Airfields: Grampians v. 3 (Airfields Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street; Updated Ed edition (31 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906502137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906502133
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Bird is a historian of the Second World War, as well as a writer and broadcaster. In August 2003, he published his first work of history, A Separate Little War: The Banff Coastal Command Strike Wing Versus the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe 1944-1945 (Grub St), which became a Glasgow Herald top ten best seller. It was published worldwide and became an instant success in Australia and New Zealand. In September 2012, his second work of history, was also published by Grub Street Coastal Dawn: Blenheim's in Action from the Phoney War Through the Battle of Britain, this is the first account to tell the events of RAF Coastal Command Bristol Blenheim's in 1940. It went straight into the Amazon top ten, reaching the No. 3 spot.

Andrew, has also taken part in historical documentaries: In May 2005, he presented a film called Davenport & Day for NRK Ostafjells by Stine Hanson. In 2012 he was a consultant and presenter on War Heroes In My Family (Series 1) on Channel 5, made by 360 Productions, with Series Producer Michael Wadding. He was a series historical consultant and contributor for Who Do You Think You Are (Series 10) 2013 for Wall-to-Wall Media. Acting as one of the consultants for research used by the BBC for the launch of the corporations BBC's World War One At Home - Local Stories from a Global Conflict. Andrew was a contributor on BBC Radio Berkshire, being interviewed by Janice Hunter on the Royal Flying Corps training in WW1 that took place on the Reading University Campus, which is due for transmission on 4 August 2014.

Andrew's full-time profession is as a creative designer, and has worked for an eclectic mix of people: Sir Julian Rose - Harwick Estates Organic's, George Harrison, Robert Hardy, Vince Hill and Rachel Goswell (of Slowdive, Mojave 3) to Reading Outreach Programme, HHR, Leander Club, The Guardian Media Group, Waitrose (part of the John Lewis Partnership) and 3 Mobile.

Internationally acclaimed artist Dryden Goodwin drew Andrew for his 'Open' exhibition.

He is a member of the Society of Authors, and lives in Berkshire - in Elizabeth Taylors (the novelist) former home.

Product Description

Review

'An impressive study of a largely forgotten air campaign. Thoroughly researched and full of first-hand accounts... paints a vivid picture of a bitter and costly campaign.' --Eastern Daily Press

Quite simply, this is as full as can be ... the author provides unequalled coverage of operations from the perspective of pilots, navigators, and many ground witnesses. A Separate Little War is a real gold mine and fully recommended. --Aviation News

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Henk Beentje TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book: RAF Banff airfield was, at the end of WWII, the biggest Coastal Command station with over 150 Mosquitos; the associated Dallachy airfield hosted Beaufighters on the same duties. These airfields were dedicated to anti-shipping on the Norwegian coast, and this strike offensive was extremely successful - at the cost of more than a hundred aircrew. Conditions were very tough, with extremely heavy flak over the Norwegian coast, plus weather conditions that could be atrocious - for pilots usually flying in at 50 feet above sea level! Aircraft losses were as high as 40% on some operations...
This book deals with operations from banff and Dallachy between September 1944 and May 1945, when German cargo movement along the Norwegian coast dropped from 8.5 million tons to half a million tons.
Squadrons at Banff were 143, 235, 248 and 333 (Norge), plus Beaus at Dallachy 144, 404 (RCAF, later moved to Banff and Mozzies), 455 (RAAF) and 489 (RNZAF). The book ends with a complete list of aircrew losses, and an inventory (with fates) of all Mosquitoes Mk VI stationed at Banff in 1944-45.

My opinion: there is an enormous amount of information here, well-researched and full of fascinating facts, many first-hand accounts... but it is almost completely unedited, which makes me feel I am drowning in detail. There are, for me, too many undigested facts, it is a wonderful story let down by lack of flow and cohesion. A relentless flow of details, unsorted, unedited, brilliant stories hidden in a mishmash of sentences. "Seeing operational service with 205 Squadron Atkinson was posted to Australia, fighting in the Indian Ocean flying Catalinas and Sunderlands while on detachment, commanding Nos. 11 and 20 (RAAF) Squadrons. He joined 235 Squadron in August 1944 on his return to England.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mclaren on 4 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of the 9-months of operations by the Banff Strike Wing. It's an illuminating source of information on a little-known campaign and would have been helped enormously by some decent maps - in a book covering the North-East of Scotland, most of Norway and a bit of Denmark, its not enough to simply name towns and fjords and expect the reader to know where they are. Here's a wish-list for the next edition: a map of the Banff area (not the British Railway map of north-east Scotland, the sole map in the book), a map of northern Denmark and a map of Norway with regional maps showing the principle targets and the enemy airfields. These as a basic minimum would help the reader understand the difficulties faced by the aircrews, the distances and endurance involved in getting to and from defended targets, the dangers inherent in flying single-engined Mustang escort-fighters across the North Sea in Winter. This gripe apart, it's a good account of a forgotten war.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Having driven past the main Banff airfield many times and stopped to look at the memorial, this book now tells me the detailed history of the activities of this important part of WW2. It also involves my favourite aircraft of all time so was a 'must have' item. This book is clearly written and tells some very personal stories to accompany the daily operations and ancilliary life of the Strike Wings. Anybody who is interested in the history of WW2 should get this book.
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Format: Paperback
I bought the book because I am researching my family history but it has turned out to be a compelling read. The book is a very detailed diary of events which relate the horrors and stresses of a little known conflict which was every bit as dangerous and frightening as the better known exploits of the fighter and bomber commands.

Because the book is essentially a record of events over a long period of time it lacks the dramatic structure of a novel and, I expect, will be repetitive and hard going to some readers. However it gives a compelling insight into lives of people who lived not so long ago but which were so different from our own.
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By Toby Tobias on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a most enlightening book on the R.A.F. " Banff Wing."
it took you into the briefing and de-briefing huts.
one could almost feel & hear the crackle of the attacking aircraft as they dived on to their targets, the sadness of seeing some of your friends crash and die.
I shall be passing this book onto a Norwegian friend who although knowing of these attacks via third parties, did not know the nitty gritty.
well done to Mr Bird for an insight into the planning & execution of the operations .

R.T
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