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Air War Over North Africa – USAAF Ascendant (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

WWII American History Photographic Books WWII Photographic Books Military

By David Mitchelhill-Green
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781473881792
Published: 23rd October 2019



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The year 1942 began badly for the Allies. German U-boats were indiscriminately sinking merchant shipping off America’s east coast and in the Caribbean. Allied fortunes were no better in the Far East under the relentless Japanese advance. America was struggling to hold the Philippines, while the Soviet Union was fighting a series of bitter winter battles against Hitler’s Wehrmacht at the gates of Moscow. General Erwin Rommel’s surprise offensive in North Africa brought a renewed threat to the Middle East in mid-1942, which hastened the transfer of U.S. aircraft to Egypt to assist the beleaguered British.

The vast, sprawling deserts of North Africa were a new and strange terrain to American aircrew. Confronted by sand storms, flooding rains, extremes of temperature and primitive living conditions, the United States Army Air Forces were pitted against an experienced and determined enemy. U.S. air power nevertheless played a decisive role in the Allied invasion of Northwest Africa and the subsequent surrender of Axis forces in Tunisia in May 1943. Later bombing missions flown from North Africa struck Axis targets across Europe and supported the Allied invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy.

This book is a pictorial account of U.S. fighter aircraft and bombers — including the iconic B-17 Flying Fortress, P-38 Lightning and B-24 Liberator — and the aircrews that fought to establish ascendancy over North African skies and beyond.

Another volume in the ground-breaking Images of War series looks at how the USAAF slowly but surely became the masters of the North African conflict thanks to their B-17 Flying Fortress and the P-38 Lightning and the B-24 Liberator.

Books Monthly

"This is a valuable addition to the ‘Images of War’ series. The photographs are of good quality and the overwhelming majority are new to me."

Review by

Ulster Aviation Society

This is a very impressive title and a very welcome addition to the Images of War series
Highly Recommended (and excellent value-for-money)

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Scale Modelling Now

If you are interested in the USAAF in North Africa I feel this book will make you very happy with its purchase. There are a great number of period photographs that provide the content in a great number of setting and surprisingly good quality. The captions provided by the author are the unsung heroes of this title as some of these are longer than the chapter starting text and this results in the viewer being able to obtain far more information than the photographs alone provide.

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Each chapter has a section of text on the different aircraft types, while the photos mostly have extensive and informative captions that are more extensive than we usually find in this series. The archive images are very well chosen, showing the aircraft of course, as well as so many of the pilots and aircrew, but also the maintenance work needed to keep them flying, and the extreme conditions in which they were all operating. Aviation historians will like this one, as well as re-enactors searching for uniform detail. It is the aviation modeller who will enjoy this most of all, as there is so much detail to be seen, a variety of colour schemes and some great ideas for dioramas.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

About David Mitchelhill-Green

Over the past thirty years David Mitchelhill-Green has travelled the globe in search of lost stories from the Second World War. His photographic investigations have featured in the magazine After the Battle and national newspapers. David is the author of Rommel in North AfricaWith Rommel in the DesertAir WAR over North AfricaFighting in the Ukraine and Tobruk 1942. Several years in Japan led to an interest in Japanese history and the co-authoring of Castles of the Samurai and Samurai Castles. David lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Jennifer and two children.

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