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Lancasters at War (Hardback)

Bomber Command Operations from RAF Grimsby

Aviation > Lancaster Bombers Aviation > WWII > Bomber Command Colour Books Photographic Books WWII

By Ian David Reid
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 472
Illustrations: 56 colour profiles, 185 black and white photographs and 25 black and white illustrations and cartoon
ISBN: 9781526792617
Published: 30th June 2024

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By the last year of the Second World War, the RAF’s Bomber Command had become a devastating military force. The peak of its operations came in March 1945 when the squadrons that fell under its command dropped the greatest weight of bombs for any month in the war. In the total of 364,514 operational sorties flown since September 1939, the men and machines of Bomber Command dropped a staggering 1,030,500 tons of bombs on targets in Germany and Occupied Europe. However, the success achieved by Bomber Command came a cost, with 8,325 aircraft lost in action and 55,573 airmen were killed.

So vast was Bomber Command, that to tell its full story in any detail would be a huge task. In Lancasters at War, Ian Reid has set out to explore its successes and failures through the men and machines that operated from one airfield, namely RAF Grimsby, and one unit, 100 Squadron.

Located in what is today referred to as ‘Bomber Country’, RAF Grimsby was developed from the site of a pre-war civilian flying club just outside the village of Waltham in North-East Lincolnshire. It entered service in 1941. As for 100 Squadron, its lineage stretches back to the 1917 and the days of the Royal Flying Corps.

The wartime history of both RAF Grimsby and 100 Squadron provide a fascinating insight into the actions of the wider Bomber Command. From attacks on the Ruhr to the Battle of Berlin, and from supporting the D-Day landings to the campaign against Hitler’s V-weapons, all are explored by the author in this book. A series of aircraft profiles, each of which is supported by a mini-history of the Lancaster depicted, also helps focus the story on individual crews and their aircraft – a valuable resource to historians, enthusiasts and modellers alike.

Forty years of research has resulted in Ian Reid drawing together a remarkable record of one part of Bomber Command’s wartime service. Packed full of first-hand accounts from aircrew, groundcrew and WAAFs, all of which are supported by many previously unpublished photographs, Lancaster at War is an important addition to the record of the Allies’ Strategic Bombing Offensive in the Second World War, as well as Bomber Command’s part in the defeat of the Third Reich.

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About Ian David Reid

Born in Salford, IAN REID’s interest in aviation began at an early age, a time when his father had a business among the factories at Trafford Park, Manchester. Ian obtained special permission to join the Air Training Corps at Market Rasen a year before the official entry age. Moving to Grimsby, his interest in the local airfield at Waltham spurred him to form the RAF Waltham Association. When 100 Squadron formed its own association a number of years later, not only did they allow Ian to undertake a flight in a Canberra, but they made him the squadron’ first honorary member. Over forty years of research has led to Ian writing many articles, contributing to several books, and being involved in the 1989 remake of Memphis Belle. This is his third book concerning RAF operations .

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