2nd Tactical Air Force, Vol. 1: Spartan to Normandy, June by Christopher Shores, Chris Thomas

By Christopher Shores, Chris Thomas

The 2d TAF, outfitted with rocket- and bomb-carrying Typhoons, Tempests, Spitfires, Mosquitos, Mustangs and medium bombers, flew flooring assault and tank-busting missions in help of Montgomery's twenty first military team because it complicated via Normandy and north-west Europe in 1944-45. The medium bomber devices struck at enemy delivery, ammunition dumps and communique ambitions. The 2d TAF comprised British, Canadian, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, French, South African, Australian and New Zealand crews. the 1st quantity during this three-book set bargains with the formation and enlargement of 2d TAF from its inception in June 1943 for the following year, and with the preliminary serious month of the invasion. This quantity, as with the 2 next volumes, is not just profusely illustrated with many little recognized images, and with Chris Thomas's masterly art, but additionally includes day-by-day listings of all claims made opposed to enemy airplane, and all losses, harm and casualties suffered via second Tactical plane and aircrews in conducting their hard duties.

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At the end of the operation little success had been gained against the Luftwaffe, despite the huge effort - 11 Group squadrons flew more than 2,000 sorties on 9 September alone. Only a dozen German aircraft were claimed destroyed. II _. n units involved claimed two probables and a damaged for the loss of one Spitfire and its pilot, and one Typhoon was damaged. So where was the Luftwaffe? During all the air activity it had remained virtually dormant, the only raids which it intercepted being Eighth Air Force attacks in the Beauvais and Paris areas.

The Typhoons departed from their home airfields between 1220 and 1240 on 25 October, and headed across the Channel. Visibility was poor however, and 174 Squadron's pilots were unable to identify the marshalling yards through cloud, forcing I them to bomb alternative targets on the coast, while the other units carried out their diversionary roles. The 181 Squadron Typhoons, 'right on the deck' in two 'vics' of three, thundered down the railway line towards the power station. Jensen later recalled: "Just before the target was a line of poplars which marked the point where it was necessary to pull up into the rocket-launching position.

2nd Tactical Air Force was to be commanded by Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham, who had commanded the Western Desert Air Force during 1942. O. Brown, and 2 Group by AVM Basil Embry, who had by now been awarded no fewer than four DSOs, and who was to complete a total of 19 operational sorties as an AVM. The other two Group commanders had served in North Africa and the Middle East, where Broadhurst had commanded WDAF, having taken over from Coningham at the end of 1942 following the latter's promotion.

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