The very popular Images of War series has provided great experience for this new series, Image of Aviation. The authors have provided supportive text, captions and extended captions to complement the excellent selection of images. The main coverage is of the raid itself, including taking the bombers into range of their targets, but also provides a very good introduction and description of Doolittle’s experiences as an aviation pioneer before the war – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of Aviation, The First Air Attack Against Japan April 1942 FILE: R3226 AUTHOR: John Grehan, Alexander Nicoll PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, Pacific War, US Navy, USAAF, Japan, bombing raid, medium bombers, aircraft carrier, USS Wasp, B-25 Mitchell, China, Soviet Union, James H Doolittle, carrier take-off, stripped aircraft, unescorted bombers, surprise raid ISBN: 1-52675-822-9 PAGES: 176 IMAGE: B3226.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5sfhk3o LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The very popular Images of War series has provided great experience for this new series, Image of Aviation. The authors have provided supportive text, captions and extended captions to complement the excellent selection of images. The main coverage is of the raid itself, including taking the bombers into range of their targets, but also provides a very good introduction and description of Doolittle's experiences as an aviation pioneer before the war – Very Highly Recommended
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was a considerable shock to the US with little prospect of an immediate response because of the distances involved and the range of bombers then in service. The Doolittle Raid was a courageous attempt to take the war to the enemy’s home land and, in spite of all the obstacles, was a great success. James H Doolittle was an aviation pioneer, winning the Schneider Trophy float plane race in 1925 and undertaking pioneering flights across America. He proved an ideal choice to lead the raid that was to be named for him.
The B-25 Mitchell was a medium bomber that was the largest modern US bomber available that might be flown off the deck of a carrier. Only sixteen aircraft could be carried on deck and the take off run was very marginal. Just to make life even harder, the crews were not able to make training launches ahead of the raid. Even stripped of all possible weight and filled to the maximum with fuel, the aircraft were going to be operating beyond designed parameters for take-off. Even so, the only friendly landing grounds were in China and the aircraft had marginal capacity to get there, or to make the alternative of Soviet held territory.
In the event, most of the aircraft did make it to China, although some crews had to bail out, not having the fuel to reach safe landing grounds. One aircraft had to make Soviet territory, but the losses were remarkably light, the Japanese having been taken by surprise.
The raid was more than a gesture for propaganda. The number of aircraft and the total bomb tonnage may have been tiny, but the impact was huge. The Japanese were deeply shocked, having believed that the home islands were well beyond the range of Allied bombers.
The excellent photographic selection and concise text makes this an impressive volume in what will become a very popular series.