World War II Fighter Planes Spotter's Guide

Author: Tony Holmes

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781472848529

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 497

World War II saw pilots from around the world battling in the skies over Europe, Asia and Africa, with victory resting upon their nerve, skill and the capabilities of some of history's most iconic aircraft. In the chaos of battle, it was vital that they could quickly identify friend from foe. But do you know your Hurricane from your Bf 109, or what the legendary P-51 Mustang looks like? Do you know the wingspan of the A6M Zero-sen, or how fast it could fly? THE WORLD WAR II FIGHTER PLANES SPOTTER'S GUIDE answers all of these questions and more, providing essential information on over 90 legendary aircraft, from the celebrated Spitfire to the jet-powered Me 262. Featuring full-colour artwork to aid recognition, as well as all the details you need to assess their performance, this is the perfect pocket guide to the Allied and Axis fighters of World War II.
P-39/P-400 Airacobra vs A6M2/3 Zero-sen

Author: Michael John Claringbould

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781472823670

Category: History

Page: 80

View: 148

After the huge advances made in the early months of the Pacific war, it was in remote New Guinea where the advance of Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force (IJNAF) A6M Zero-sen fighters was first halted due to a series of offensive and defensive aerial battles ranging from treetop height up to 30,000 ft. Initially, the IJNAF fought Australian Kittyhawks, but by May 1942 they had fought themselves into oblivion, and were relieved by USAAF P-39 and P-400 Airacobras. The battles unfolded over mountainous terrain with treacherous tropical weather. Neither IJNAF or USAAF pilots had been trained for such extreme conditions, incurring many additional losses aside from those that fell in combat. Using specially commissioned artwork and contemporary photographs and testimony, this fascinating study explains how, despite their initial deficit in experience and equipment, the Airacobras managed to square the ledger and defend New Guinea.
P-39 Airacobra Aces of World War 2

Author: John Stanaway

Publisher: Osprey Publishing

ISBN: 1841762040

Category: History

Page: 96

View: 172

The first American fighter fitted with a tricyle undercarriage and mid-mounted engine, the P-39 proved less than successful in the hands of its launch customer, the US Army Air Force (AAF). Hampered by unreliabilty and poor engine performance at high altitude, the P-39 nevertheless served alongside the P-40 and P-38 in the bitter struggle to capture Guadalcanal in 1942/43, as well as seeing much action over the jungles of New Guinea. Around a dozen AAF aces scored five kills with the P-39, although this total was far outstripped by the Soviet Red Air Force, whose pilots rated the Airacobra as one of the best lend-lease fighters of the war.
Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2

Author: Yuriy Rybin

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781849087421

Category: History

Page: 96

View: 569

Following the destruction wrought on the Red Army Air Forces during the first days of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the Soviet Union found itself desperately short of fighter aircraft. Premier Josef Stalin duly appealed directly to Prime Minister Winston Churchill for replacement aircraft, and in late 1941 the British delivered the first of 3360 Hurricanes that would be supplied to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease agreement. Specifically requested by the USSR, the Hurricanes were quickly thrown into action in early 1942 – the Soviet Air Forces' most difficult year in their opposition to the Luftwaffe. Virtually all the Hurricanes were issued to Soviet fighter regiments in the northern sector of the front, where pilots were initially trained to fly the aircraft by RAF personnel that had accompanied the early Hawker fighters to the USSR. The Hurricane proved to be an easy aircraft to master, even for the poorly trained young Soviet pilots, allowing the Red Army to form a large number of new fighter regiments quickly in the polar area. In spite of a relatively poor top speed, and only a modest rate-of-climb, the Hurricane was the mount of at least 17 Soviet aces.
The Bell P39 Airacobra and P63 Kingcobra Fighters

Author: Yefim Gordon

Publisher: Schiffer Military History

ISBN: 0764356801

Category:

Page: 240

View: 654

Under the Lend-Lease agreement with the US during WWII, the Soviet Union received large quantities of war materiel, including many aircraft; the Bell P-39 Airacobra takes a special place among them. The P-39 was dismissed as hardly suitable for combat both by the US and England, who turned it over in large numbers to the USSR. Soviet pilots had different views, though, and achieved excellent results while flying the type; more than twenty Soviet aces flew the P-39. As air combat over the Russian front was conducted mostly at low altitudes, the P-39 came into its own. Innovative tactics and motivation, coupled with the P-39's sturdy construction and adequate firepower, proved successful for the Soviets. The P-39 was in Soviet service since 1942; nearly 5,000 were supplied and used on the Soviet-German front, along with 2,400 P-63 Kingcobras, which saw only limited action against Japan at the close of the war. This detailed, illustrated history features many color side views and previously unpublished photographs.
Mitsubishi Type 1 Rikko ‘Betty’ Units of World War 2

Author: Osamu Tagaya

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781472800503

Category: History

Page: 112

View: 135

The most produced Japanese bomber of the war the G4M saw action on every front from the first day of the Pacific conflict through to VJ-Day. The 'Betty's' very long range made it a key weapon during the opening year of the war. However, to achieve this, the aircraft was built with very little protective armour for its crew or fuel tanks, and Allied pilots soon exposed its extreme vulnerability. In the first in a series of volumes examining the key Japanese aircraft of WW2, Dr Osamu Tagaya details the G4M's extensive combat history, and lists all the units which operated the bomber.
Soviet Aces of World War 2

Author: Hugh Morgan

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781846037542

Category: History

Page: 100

View: 288

No single volume in English has ever appeared in the West dealing with this intriguing subject area, but now that restrictions have relaxed in the former Soviet Union, records of the deeds of the elite pilots of the various Soviet Air Forces are coming to light. Although initially equipped with very poor aircraft, and robbed of effective leadership thanks as much to Stalin's purges in the late 1930s as to the efforts of the Luftwaffe, Soviet fighter pilots soon turned the tables through the use of both lend-lease aircraft like the Hurricane, Spitfire, P-39 and P-40, and home-grown machines like the MiG-3, LaGG-3/5, Lavochkin La-5/7/9 and the Yak-1/3.
Soviet Lend-Lease Fighter Aces of World War 2

Author: George Mellinger

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781782005865

Category: History

Page: 96

View: 934

By the end of 1941 the Soviet Union was near collapse and its air force almost annihilated, leaving large numbers of surviving pilots with no aircraft to fly. To help prevent this collapse the UK eventually supplied a total of 4300 Hurricanes and Spitfires to the USSR. After the United States entered the war, the Americans extended Lend-lease to include direct supply to the Soviets as well as the British, and among the aircraft sent were almost 10,000 fighters. Although the aircraft were outdated and often unsuitable to Russian conditions, they served when they were needed, and a number of Russian pilots became Heroes of the Soviet Union flying Lend-lease aircraft. The Soviet government tried to conceal or minimize the importance of Lend-lease fighters well into the 1980s, and the pilots who flew them were discriminated against as 'foreigners'. Only in recent years have these pilots felt free to admit what they flew, and now the fascinating story of these men can emerge.
Italian Aces of World War 2

Author: Giorgio Apostolo

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781782008552

Category: History

Page: 96

View: 821

Flying aircraft such as the Macchi 200-202, Fiat G.50 and biplane Fiat CR.42, the Italian fighter pilots were recognised by their Allied counterparts as brave opponents blessed with sound flying abilities, but employing under-gunned and underpowered equipment. Following the Italian surrender in September 1943, a number of aces continued to take the fight to the Allies as part of the Luftwaffe-run ANR, which was equipped with far more potent equipment such as the Bf 109G, Macchi 205V and Fiat G.55. Flying these types, the handful of ANR squadrons continued to oppose Allied bombing raids on northern Italy until VE-Day.
Yakovlev Aces of World War 2

Author: George Mellinger

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781782005537

Category: History

Page: 96

View: 508

The Yak-1 entered Soviet service in 1941, one of three modern types of aircraft accepted for production just prior to the German invasion of the USSR. Despite initial shortcomings, it soon proved to be the thoroughbred of the Soviet Airforce. Indeed, it remained in production until the end of the war, modernized but fundamentally recognizable. By VE-day about 33,100 Yakovlev fighters had been built. Virtually all Soviet fighter regiments flew at least one variety of Yak for a time, including those which gained their fame identified with other aircraft, and consequently many pilots known as Airacobra or Lavochkin aces also scored victories with the Yak. Many other famous aces were exclusively 'Yak patriots', including the French Normandie pilots. This book focuses on the Soviet aces who scored all, or most of their victories in the Yak, drawing informaion from official unit histories and memoirs of the Soviet pilots themselves.