Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945 (Kindle)
Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945 tells the inspiring story of Allied and German fighter pilots in Europe, over the Mediterranean and in North Africa during the Second World War. The book starts with the early skirmishes as each side tested the other's defences, moves through the Battle of Britain and onto the Blitz, when the emphasis switched from single-engined day fighters to twin-engined night fighters. At this time, fighters were increasingly used to conduct destructive sweeps over occupied France. This overlapped with the need to provide air cover for the strategically vital island fortress of Malta, as well as defensive operations against Axis forces in Crete and North Africa. The contribution of the too often neglected Desert Air Force, formed from elements of many Allied air forces, is well covered as is the shift to offensive operations as the balance of power changed. The invasions of Sicily, mainland Italy and the South of France also relied heavily on fighter cover, initially by carrier-based aircraft.
From June 1944 the lessons learnt in North Africa were put to good use by the 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force, working closely with the advancing Allied armies and achieving overwhelming air supremacy. The book also covers the actions of Luftwaffe fighter pilots as they took on the RAF by night and the USAAF by day.
For a well-informed description of the development of tactics and aircraft types as well as exploits of the combatants, Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945, written by a much published authority, is unlikely to be bettered.