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Allied Air Operations 1939–1940 (Hardback)

The War Over France and the Low Countries

Aviation > Royal Air Force Aviation > WWII > Luftwaffe WWII

By Jerry Murland
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 100 b&w photos
ISBN: 9781399087711
Published: 8th June 2022

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While much has been written about the Battle of Britain, the air war over France and the Low Countries from September 1939 to June 1940 has been largely neglected – until now. As expert aviation author Jerry Murland reveals in this fascinating book, there may have been little ground action until May 1940 but the war in the air was far from ‘phoney’.

In contrast to their adversaries, the Allied air forces on the mainland of Europe were poorly equipped, regardless of increased development from 1934 onwards. But in spite of this, when the German invasion began, the Low Countries of Holland and Belgium fought back tenaciously. While development of the Spitfire, Blenheim and Wellington was continuing at a pace, the RAF with only four squadrons of Hurricanes among a force of outdated bi-planes, was a little more prepared than the French, but still woefully outgunned by the Luftwaffe.

While the Allied air forces of Britain, France and the Low Countries may have been inferior, the gallantry and tenacity of their pilots makes for inspiring reading.

This is a work that will enthral and inform all those interested in the history of the Second World War, particularly aviation enthusiasts.

“Enjoyed it.”

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, November 2023

Anyone with an interest in the history of the R.A.F, and in particular its role during World War Two, should get a copy of this book.

Jon Sandison

In this book Jerry Murland helps to bring this period alive by piecing together information in chronological order in a readable and informative style, embellished with quotes and observations from those who were there. In addition the book also contains a selection of black and white period photographs as well as a listing of aircraft utilised during this period to help those considering a collection of types. Whilst not intended as a book for modellers it does explain the reasoning behind events prior to the Battle of Britain and as such forms a sound starting point for a modelling project based around the aerial battle for France and the lowlands.

Scale Aircraft Modelling

A useful and comprehensive reference for those interested in the war in the air in the early months of World War II in Europe.

The NYMAS Review

Murland gets into detail seldom found in other accounts.

Journal of Military History

This book is best suited for those curious about the Battle of France.

Air & Space Power History

I really enjoyed this book and would happily recommend this book to others.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

This book is clearly a labour of love for the Author, and an indirect tribute to his father. As such the focus of the book is firmly on the pilots and ground crew that fought in the campaign. The narrative takes us through the operations in France and the Low Countries by means of a series of aerial encounters in a series of eight chronological chapters covering phases of the operations. Most of the major events in the campaign receive some coverage and a large part of the book is taken up with the vexing subject of kill tallies and operational numbers of aircraft available, This appears throughout the text, so needs to be hunted for by anyone who might want to investigate further.

Chris Kemp

Murland has added some excellent photos of the aircraft he talks about as well as a decent bibliography to dig into the story more.
This is a story that few people know about (except those involved) but should.
It is an integral part of the Battle of France.

John Burt

As Featured In.

WWII History Feb 2023 Issue

Jerry Murland describes the air war over France which took place shortly before the Battle of Britain in exquisite detail.

Books Monthly

Featured in

Scramble 1940 - Official Newsletter of the Battle of Britain Historical Society, Autumn/Winter 2022, Issue 166

About Jerry Murland

Jerry Murland is a retired headteacher who has written over twenty books and guidebooks coverering the events of the First and Second World Wars. His first book, Aristocrats Go To War, was published by Pen and Sword in 2010 and since then he has gone on the write a number of others, including the Battlelines Guidebooks to the Western Front, co-written with Jon Cooksey. He is currently writing an account of the Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal 1940, part of eight Battleground Europe books which cover the France and Flanders campaign of 1940.

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