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This month the book vote looks at the Duel series, with five books focussed on aerial combat battling for your vote. Find out more about them in the descriptions below, and then let us know which one you'd be most interested in!

 

DUE: Ju 87 Stuka vs T-34 (Eastern Front 1941-45

DUE: Sunderland vs U-boat (Battle of the Atlantic 1940-44) 

DUE: Mi-24 ‘Hind’ vs FIM-92 Stinger (Afghanistan 1980-89)
 
DUE: Royal Navy Torpedo Bombers vs Axis Warships (1939-42)  

DUE: PB4Y Liberator vs H6K Mavis/H8K ‘Emily’ (Pacific 1944-45)


Ju 87 Stuka vs T-34 (Eastern Front 1941-45)

The Ju 87 was one of the Luftwaffe’s most iconic weapons of war, while the Soviet T-34 tank was the mainstay of the Red Army on the Eastern Front. These types first fought each other during the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, in June 1941, with Stukageschwader 1 and 77 being called on to target T-34s that the Wehrmacht could not knock out with its inferior Panzers. The ultimate tank-destroying Stuka variant was the Ju 87G, which was fitted with a single 30mm cannon under each wing expressly for anti-T-34 operations. Being heavily armoured, quick and relatively agile, the T-34 was no easy target for the Ju 87. The tanks also boasted two 7.62 mm machine guns that were routinely used to engage aerial opposition.

 

Sunderland vs U-boat (Battle of the Atlantic 1940-44)

The Sunderland was RAF Coastal Command’s most effective flying-boat at the start of World War 2, and therefore a key weapon in the Battle of the Atlantic in the fight against the U-boat menace. At least 26 U-boats fell victim to Sunderland crews between January 1940 and November 1944. Despite such losses, the U-boat crews were routinely prepared to stand their ground, with the types, I, VII, IX and X being fitted with a single 88 mm deck gun forward and increasingly powerful anti-aircraft weaponry (usually rapid-firing MG 151 20 mm cannon) aft of the ship’s tower. U-boat crews claimed to have shot down as many as 120 Allied aircraft during the war, and at least 11 of these were Sunderlands.

 

Mi-24 ‘Hind’ vs FIM-92 Stinger (Afghanistan 1980-89)

The conflict in Afghanistan during the 1980s saw the first widespread use of Man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) against both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The principal MANPAD fielded by the Mujahideen in-theatre from 1980 was the US-built FIM-92 Stinger, which proved deadly against both Soviet and Afghan government helicopters and aircraft. The Stinger was supplied to the Mujahideen to counter the deadly Mi-24 ‘Hind’ battlefield helicopter, used predominantly as a gunship in Afghanistan. Initially untouchable in-theatre, the Mi-24 suffered increasing losses to Stinger missiles, forcing a change in tactics and an improvement in the helicopter’s anti-MANPADS equipment.

 

Royal Navy Torpedo Bombers vs Axis Warships (1939-42)

Despite having to rely on the Swordfish biplane as its principal torpedo-bomber for the first years of the war, the Fleet Air Arm nevertheless struck a series of telling blows against Axis warships in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The achievement of the ‘Stringbag’ against Italian vessels in Taranto harbour in 1940 and the Bismarck in 1941 proved that despite its antiquated appearance, the Fairey torpedo-bomber could be a deadly foe in the right circumstances. Equally, Swordfish and Albacore crews suffered high losses to defensive fire from capital ships in particular during failed attacks, when the biplanes’ slow speed made them east targets.

 

PB4Y Liberator vs H6K Mavis/H8K ‘Emily’ (Pacific 1944-45)

The clashes between the long-ranging US Navy PB4Ys and Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force (IJNAF) H6K ‘Mavis’ and H8K ‘Emily’ flying boats in the central and western Pacific saw leviathans of the skies fighting it out over the open ocean, hundreds of miles from land. All three aircraft types were heavily armed, and the Liberators were operating from atoll-sized islands on reconnaissance missions in search of Japanese warships and merchantmen. Similarly, the IJNAF flying boats – arguably the best of their type operated by any fighting force in World War 2 – were tasked with scouting out the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet as it progressed ever closer to the Japanese Home Islands.


 

Make your vote by clicking here!

Last month we asked you what would you like to see published in our Weapon series. Thank you to everyone who voted and provided feedback, the full results are listed below!

 

WPN: The Dreyse Rifle  18%
WPN: Naval Boarding Weapons  17%
WPN: Weapons of the US Navy SEALs     15%
WPN: Sniping Rifles in the Asia–Pacific War 1937–45  13%
WPN: Weapons of the Trench Raider 1914–18  36%

 

Did your favourite win? Which Duel title did you vote for? Let us know in the comments!

Post Comments

PAUL W posted on 6 Mar 2020 19:01:10
My first inclination was could there not be a 6th option of all of the above! Was very difficult to pick one, especially with the ww2 titles. Went eastern front in the end but happy for all 5 to be published. I'd buy them all. Glad the first world war title won hands down last month, proving there is still a interest in this conflict.
Minal @ Osprey posted on 4 Mar 2020 15:22:59
Hi all,

Thank you for your comments. We have never done a helicopter vs ground weapon title before in the Duel series, hence our caution to date in commissioning Mi-24 vs FIM-92 Stinger. However, clearly there is ongoing interest in this so we will see what can be done.

Best,
Minal @ Osprey
AdamC posted on 3 Mar 2020 12:50:35
Hi guys,

Great selection this month but please can you stop asking our opinion on Hind Vs Stinger? This is now the third time you've asked us if we like the title; April 2015 (21%), March 2018 (33.83%) and now March 2020 (currently 31.22%). It's scored very well on every occasion so there is clearly lots of interest. I think it's time you sourced an author to write it and get the ball rolling.
Sagacious Salazar posted on 3 Mar 2020 03:15:38
I'm really happy to see the winner of the last poll, it's a rather niche topic and I'd love to get my hands on a book dedicated to covering it. As for the current poll, I didn't hesitate to cast my vote for Hind vs Stinger; although personally I'm rarely interested in books that cover modern conflicts, the evolution of MANPADS and the development of countermeasures against them is still a topic that I'd be very interested in learning more about.
David Hale posted on 2 Mar 2020 17:54:44
Hopefully you’ll publish all of them because there isn’t a duffer in there.
GI Gene posted on 2 Mar 2020 17:00:18
All of these selections are good, but my vote is for Mi-24 ‘Hind’ vs FIM-92 Stinger. It actually came in third in the April 2015 Book Vote, so here's hoping the second time is the charm!

PB4Y Liberator vs H6K Mavis/H8K ‘Emily’ would also make a fascinating book, so I recommend that Alan C. Carey be recruited to write it. He has written extensively about the PB4Y-1 Liberator and the PB4Y-2 Privateer and could also write an excellent Combat Aircraft title about those planes as well.

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