Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier DSO, DFC and Bar, The Authorised Biography of the Bomber Commander, Air War & SOE Strategist & Dam-buster Planner.

B2204

The subject of this biography had a very active and interesting war. It is surprising that his story has not been told a long time ago. He was there from the first day of WWII and continued in RAF service through the 1950s, including a tour as Assistant Chief of Staff at NATO in Norway. This account provides an absorbing account of some of the key events in the Bomber Command campaign that did so much to shorten the war, if at heavy cost in aircraft and aircrew. This is a book that every bomber enthusiast will wish to read and re-read. It provides a very useful overview for those developing an interest and provides an enthralling personal story.

This is a very interesting person and a very interesting career that provide fresh insights into important aspects of the development of British bombing capabilities. Highly recommended.

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NAME: Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier DSO, DFC and Bar, The Authorised Biography of the Bomber Commander, Air War & SOE Strategist & Dam-buster Planner.
DATE: 040815
FILE: R2204
AUTHOR: Simon Gooch
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 258
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, Second World War, World War Two, Bomber Command, SOE, Dam-busters, bouncing bomb, earthquake bomber, strategic bombing, tactical bombing, blockade
ISBN: 1-47382-751-5
IMAGE: B2204.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/p6nen8e
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The subject of this biography had a very active and interesting war. It is surprising that his story has not been told a long time ago. He was there from the first day of WWII and continued in RAF service through the 1950s, including a tour as Assistant Chief of Staff at NATO in Norway. This account provides an absorbing account of some of the key events in the Bomber Command campaign that did so much to shorten the war, if at heavy cost in aircraft and aircrew. This is a book that every bomber enthusiast will wish to read and re-read. It provides a very useful overview for those developing an interest and provides an enthralling personal story.

As the war opened in September 1939, Britain was still struggling to make up for all the lost opportunities of the between-wars period when politicians wanted to appease Hitler and Mussolini and spend the peace dividend. Most of the aircraft available to Bomber Command were obsolescent, twin engine first generation monoplane bombers.

Joe Collier was flying Hampden bombers which were similar to German medium bombers, depending on two engines, grouping the crew close together and having very weak defensive armament. As they were also being out performed by the new fighters entering service they were unsuitable to provide any form of strategic bombing, but they were the best that the RAF had. The Wellington was starting to come into service with a much more effective defensive armament and a much more useful bomb bay. The Sterling was flying and about to enter service as the first four engine heavy bomber, with advanced technology, but it would suffer reliability problems and be built in relatively small numbers, rapidly being relegated to other duties, including dropping agents and supplies into Occupied Europe to support the early resistance groups.

Joe Collier survived the early period with inadequate equipment and operational indecision, to join a Lancaster Squadron. The Lancaster was an amazing advance in bomber design and its huge bomb bay and the power of four Merlin engines meant it could be used in large scale night bombing raids and also be used to carry and drop new types of bombs. Having led the squadron that took the Lancaster into battle, Collier built a deserved reputation as a bomber commander and Guy Gibson described him and his squadron as the best in Bomber Command. Having completed his tour on Lancasters, Collier was moved to the Directorate of Bombing Operations. In this position, he was closely involved in the planning of the Dam raids, co-ordinated USAAF operations, produced directives for future operations and was closely involved with SOE, new bombs and operations against the German V Weapon program.

This is a very interesting person and a very interesting career that provide fresh insights into important aspects of the development of British bombing capabilities. Highly recommended.

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