Images of War, The Desert Air War 1940-1943, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

This series has become very popular because it combines well-researched concise text with excellent selections of rare images, all at an aggressive price. This new addition covers the very interesting history of the air war in North Africa from 1940 to 1943 as armies chased each other back and forth along the narrow coastal strip. – Highly Recommended

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NAME: Images of War, The Desert Air War 1940-1943, Rare Photographs From 
Wartime Archives
FILE: R2791
AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES: 118
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War 2, Second World War, World War II, RAF, fighter,  fighter 
bomber, bomber, Desert Air Force,  Italian Air Force, German Air Force, anti-tank, 
biplanes, fluid warfare

ISBN: 1-52671-108-7

IMAGE: B2791.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybtam5rp
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:  This series has become very popular because it combines 
well-researched concise text with excellent selections of rare images, all at an 
aggressive price.  This new addition covers the very interesting history of the air 
war in North Africa from 1940 to 1943 as armies chased each other back and 
forth along the narrow coastal strip. - Highly Recommended

The Second World War began as a British defence against German aggression in Europe. Although 
the war at sea was fiercely fought around the world, the land and air battle was initially considered as 
a European affair, following the stance of WWI on the Western Front. The rapid collapse of France 
changed all of that because it brought Italy into the war as Mussolini thought, in Hitler, he was backing 
the winning side and wanted to share the spoils to create a new Roman Empire. Italy was already in 
Libya between the British and French interests and the Fall of France meant he only had to worry 
about a single battle front with the British. He had some 2,000 combat aircraft and a strong fleet of 
modern warships. It must have seemed like the golden opportunity for rapid conquest, but he 
underestimated both the conditions on the ground and the British resilience.

Both the British and the Italians relied, on a proportion of front line aircraft strength on obsolescent 
biplanes, and the British were equipped largely with aircraft considered unfit for first line operations 
against the Germans in the Channel area. However, the aircraft available were flown with 
determination and courage. The initial advantage appeared to be with the Italians, but their attempt to 
strike through to the Suez Canal was rapidly turned into a rout with the British advancing at speed and 
soon stretching their supply lines. The early successes also encouraged Churchill to divert resources to 
other battles and for Mussolini to try his luck in the Balkans. That inevitably forced the Germans to 
intervene to prop up their less capable ally so that the balance changed again. That was to be the mark 
of the North African campaigns as victory soon turned to retreat and retreat led back to counter attack 
and advance.

The desert conditions lent themselves to mobile warfare with the tank as a very important asset. That 
in turn required the air war to include tank killing and general ground attack as a critical role. The 
author has explained the situation and changing fortunes very clearly and the selection of images 
beautifully shows how new aircraft types were introduced and were part of a battle that was as 
changeable as the ground war.

What was to prove critical to Axis hopes was their inability to take the Suez Canal. Without that 
victory, the British were able to bring in men and supplies from the Commonwealth and from Britain 
and North America without having to send everything through the Mediterranean which was a hotly 
contested area. Malta was also vital in providing a base from which to interdict supply convoys from 
Italy to Axis forces in North Africa. That in turn led to the Luftwaffe attempting to supply by air using 
the giant Me 323 which was designed as a heavy assault glider modified by the addition of engines to 
turn it into a transport aircraft. Inevitably, the Allied resources were eventually outstripping Axis 
numbers in the air and on the ground, with the Torch landings creating a second front, squeezing the 
Axis force between two advancing armies and cutting off escape routes.