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On today's Big Reveal post, we're unveiling next year's General Aviation titles. Read on to find out more.
GNA: Flying Tiger Ace
Bill Reed had it all – brains, looks, athleticism, courage and a talent for leadership. After a challenging childhood in Depression-era Iowa, Reed joined the US Army Air Corps, but the outbreak of World War II saw him give up his commission. Instead, he travelled to China to fly for the American Volunteer Group – the legendary Flying Tigers. After a brief return to America, he resumed the fight as a senior pilot and later squadron commander in the Chinese-American Composite Wing. Soon afterwards, Reed tragically lost his life in a desperate parachute jump late in the war, by which point he was a fighter ace with nine confirmed aerial victories. His obituary was front-page news throughout the state of Iowa.
This book is a biography of his extraordinary life, focusing on his time spent flying with some of the famous aerial groups of World War II. It draws heavily on Reed’s own words, along with the author’s deep knowledge of the China air war and years of research into Reed’s life, to tell his compelling story.
GNA: In Cold War Skies
In Cold War Skies examines the air power of the major powers both at a strategic and at a tactical level throughout the 40 years of the Cold War. In this fascinating book, acclaimed historian Michael Napier looks at each decade of the war in turn, examining the deployment of strategic offensive and defensive forces in North America and Northern Russia as well as the situation in Europe. He details the strategic forces and land-based tactical aircraft used by the air forces of the USA, USSR, NATO, Warsaw Pact countries and the European non-aligned nations. He also describes the aircraft types in the context of the units that operated them and the roles in which they were used. The text is supported by a wide range of first-hand accounts of operational flying during the Cold War, as well as numerous high-quality images.
GNA: MacArthur's Air Force (Paperback)
After being humbled by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942, General Douglas MacArthur and his air chief General George Kenney rebuilt the US aerial presence in the Pacific, helping Allied naval and ground forces to push back the Japanese Air Force, re-take the Philippines, and carry the war north towards the Home Islands. Following the end of World War II MacArthur was the highest military and political authority in Japan, and at the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 he was named as Commander in Chief, United Nations Command. In the ten months of his command his Far East Air Forces increased dramatically and saw the first aerial combat between jet fighters.
Written by award-winning aviation historian Bill Yenne, this engrossing book traces the journey of American air forces in the Pacific under General MacArthur’s command, from their lowly beginnings to their eventual triumph over Imperial Japan, followed by their entry into the jet age in the skies over Korea.
GNA: MiG Man
Get inside the head of one of America's most experienced MiG pilots, Lt Col Zettel, as he tells the thrilling tale of Constant Peg, a top secret US operation that wouldn't feel out of place in the plot of 'Top Gun'. At the height of the Cold War America illicitly obtained Russian Fighters, transported them to the Tonopah Test Range and pitted them against star US fighter pilots in simulated combat exercises. With controls labelled in Russian and the only spare parts being the ones they could salvage, the pilots who climbed into the MiGs accepted all of the risks associated with operating these aircraft.
Vivid accounts of training engagements put the reader right there in the cockpit, flying alongside the 'Red Eagles' as they trained the best pilots America had to offer. Historical photographs help paint the picture of an operation that took the US Air Force from its dismal performance in the Vietnam War to an unprecedented air-to-air kill ratio in Operation Desert Storm.
GNA: P-51B Mustang
During World War II, the United States Army Air Corps was led by a cadre of officers who believed implicitly that military aviation, particularly fast heavy bombers at high altitude, would be able to destroy strategic enemy targets during daylight with minimal losses. However, by 1942 the Flying Fortress was proving vulnerable to Luftwaffe fighters.
The deployment of the P-51B Mustang solved the problem of Germany’s layered defence strategy, as Luftwaffe fighters had been avoiding the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightening escort fighters by concentrating their attacks beyond the range of the Thunderbolt and Lightning. The P-51B duly emerged as the ‘The Bastard Stepchild’ that the USAAF Material Division did not want, becoming the key Long-Range Escort fighter, alongside the P-38 and P-47, that defeated the Luftwaffe prior to D-Day. As well as the P-51B's history, this title explores the technical improvements made to each of these fighters, as well as the operational leadership and technical development of the Luftwaffe they fought against.
GNA: To Defeat the Few
Over the past 77 years, histories of the Battle of Britain have consistently portrayed the feats of ‘The Few’ as being responsible for the RAF’s victory in the epic battle. However, this is only part of the story. Successful air campaigns are those that achieve their intended aims or stated objectives, and victory in the Battle of Britain was determined by whether the Luftwaffe achieved theirs.
The Luftwaffe, of course, did not, and this detailed and rigorous study explains why. Analysing the battle in its entirety in the context of what it was – history’s first independent offensive counter-air campaign against the world’s first integrated air defence system – Douglas C. Dildy and Paul F. Crickmore set out to re-examine this remarkable conflict. Presenting the events of the Battle of Britain in the context of the Luftwaffe’s campaign and RAF Fighter Command’s battles against it, this title is a new and innovative history of the battle that kept alive the Allies’ chances of defeating Nazi Germany.