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Valiant Wings: Battle and Blenheim Squadrons Over France, 1940 Hardcover – 21 Nov 1988


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Hardcover, 21 Nov 1988
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Kimber & Co Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (21 Nov. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071830697X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718306977
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 926,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Ten squadrons of Fairey Battle bombers and four Blenheim reconnaissance squadrons were sent to France at the outbreak of the Second World War to support the Expeditionary Force. Using first-hand accounts of survivors, Franks tells the story of their bombing raids on bridges, tanks and road convoys until their evacuation. The author's other books include "Spitfires over the Arakan" and "The Greatest Air Battle".

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fréd04 on 29 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are not many books available that details the air battle in the sky of the low countries and France in 1939-40. The author has managed to compile detailed data on all the losses of the RAF light bomber squadrons suddenly facing the Luftwaffe. Looking at the daily losses, one can only wonder at the courage of these young men who would still board their slow, underpowered Battle planes and carry on.
The book contains some good pictures and a few maps.
Only three stars because it does not go further than describing daily missions, detailing losses and giving some extracts of witness interviews. There is no detailed description of the RAF strategy during the phoney war, nothing on coordination with the French, no German view and no overall view of the campaign. I was also disapointed by a lack of comparison of readiness status before the war: how did the RAF training, equipment, doctrine, manning levels, etc compared with French Armée de l'Air or German Luftwaffe?
This book is also written in a style that appears a bit old-fashioned and sometimes over-enthusiastic like one could expect in a 1940 newspaper, but not in a 1988 history book. The author continental geography is sometimes approximative (page 187: "the Germans were pouring through the Gembloux gap from Sedan": 150km by road between these two towns and going from Sedan to Gembloux would have seen the Germans divisions moving South to North, not East to West!) or some of the mission chronology does not check well with known events on the ground (e.g., P185: "bombing of an armoured column on 17th May on Le Cateau to Cambrai road": the Germans did not arrive there before the 18th).
Overall, a good book on a challenging topic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as my Mother's cousin is mentioned in it. He being the first Pilot (Sergeant) shot down
by the enemy in Second World War.
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