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D-Day Dakotas (ePub)

6th June 1944

Aviation > WWII WWII > Battles & Campaigns > D-Day & Normandy

By Martin W Bowman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 7.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781526746160
Published: 5th June 2019


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On 18 December 1935 when the first flight of the Douglas DC-3 took place, few could have imagined that it would become one of the world’s most celebrated aircraft of all time, not just as a commercial airliner but also as the C-47 military transport. When production ceased in the summer of 1945, a total of 10,926 had been built.

This wonderfully versatile aircraft played a significant part in airborne operations around the world; but perhaps its most notable employment occurred during the June 1944 Normandy campaign. This important episode within the wider history of ‘D-Day' is enlivened here in classic fashion by Martin Bowman, in a narrative that features both extensive historical notes as well as deeply personal accounts of endurance and individual gallantry.

This amplified account of events as they unfolded in the skies above France on D-Day (5/6 and 6/7 June, 1944) reveals the invaluable contribution these workhorses of World War II made to the overall success in Normandy. It follows the author’s comprehensive five part work published by Pen & Sword (Air War D-Day) that included a multitude of personal military accounts from both Allied and German personnel who took part in Operation ‘Overlord’ and the Normandy campaign.

The Dakota, or C-47 as it was known to the Americans, was one of the most successful but understated aircraft of World War 2, with more than 10,000 being produced for the unglamorous but essential work of ferrying passengers and freight to and from the front line all over the world. But it was also ideally suited to the airborne role and played an absolutely central, sometimes exclusive part in supporting every major operation of the war; towing gliders, dropping parachutists, and supplies. This book examines the Dakota's role in the Normandy landings, chiefly focusing on the actions of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions; the British operation is understandably dealt with more concisely as two-thirds of their aircraft were of other models. The story is largely told through the medium of first hand accounts of those directly involved, and these vividly convey the chaos and confusion which unfolded as the aircrews struggled to identify their drop zones in the face of heavy flak and poor visibility, resulting in a badly scattered drop.

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Pegasus Archive

This book contains unbelievably many stories about this and explains even extra the role of these hero’s, who, despite enormous losses still have had a big role in this invasion, which in later publications isn’t properly mentioned. The book is a great tribute to the heroes of that day and of course the Dakota!

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Aviation Book Reviews

The Airfix Dakota kits, in its various incarnations, has always been a favourite. This beautiful aircraft has been a workhorse for many years and there are still some in civil service now and there’is always a Dakota at most air shows.

In WWII it really came into its own and Martin Bowman has superbly documented it’s role, in fantastic detail.

This book is highly recommended, and I would suggest getting this book and an Airfix kit together. Reading this book will bring a new dimension to your creativity and appreciation of one of the best aircrafts to ever be built.

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Vintage Airfix

The text is written in English but the readers of Shakespeare’s language should enjoy this piece of History from the Dak’s point of view.

Cocardes International

Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019

From a leading aviation author, an excellent account of the contribution made by the iconic DC-3/Dakota/C-47 to the success of D-Day. This versatile transport aircraft was one of a handful of truly iconic aircraft to serve in WWII – Most Highly Recommended

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The book goes into the most amazing details of both the pilots lives and work, and the bases that sprang up to house this vast fleet. Also losses during training are recounted, and then losses during the final run ins, many, sadly, due to lack of self sealing fuel tanks.

This large book of over 300 pages, and with lots of original pictures is a must read to any one interested in both the Dakota and the airborne troops that served with them, a real tribute to that workhorse of the sky and the brave men that flew in them, the book is just as much about the Airborne troops as it is about the good old Gooney Bird and her crews.

So many personal stories are contained her that to relate any one would spoil the book for you.

Buy it! you will not be disappointed.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

An impressive and detailed study of one of the most iconic of all aircraft, the Douglas Dakota. I had an Airfix model of the Dakota in the 1950s, and it was one of my favourites. Martin Bowman traces the history of this remarkable aircraft as it became one of the first commercial airliners following its extensive use in WW2. Brilliant.

Books Monthly

This book is an informative piece, with many personal accounts of events as they happened before and during the D-Day operation. There is a section in the book that covers events at Greenham Common, I was fascinated because to me Greenham Common was where many women later camped and protested because of the nuclear missiles that were stationed there. If you like the other books written by Martin Bowman then this is definitely a book for your collection.

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This volume is both well-researched and written.

Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines

Instagram review via @Chiznoids


D-Day Dakotas’ is a highly detailed account of the use of Dakotas in the US Airborne drops on 6th June. Some superb accounts adding a new level to our understanding of the Night Drop. Highly recommended.

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Paul Reed via Twitter

Hugely recommended!

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Scale Modelling Now

About Martin W Bowman

With well over 100 published books, MARTIN W. BOWMAN is one of Britain’s best-known aviation historians and authors. Specialising in Second World War history and post-war aviation, Martin’s interest in these subjects was driven by the prolific number of RAF and USAAF air bases that were established in his native East Anglia. His previous books have included works such as Legend of the LancasterConfounding the ReichDuxford and the Big Wings, as well as numerous titles in the exhaustive Air War series, which, between them, provide extensive coverage of operations carried out on D-Day and during the Market Garden offensive at Arnhem.

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