02/08/2017
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Take to the skies with Fonthill Media

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The first book on offer is Battle for the Channel and tells the story of the first month of the Battle of Britain.

10 July was the official first day of the Battle of Britain and witnessed increased aerial activity over the English Channel. The main assaults by ever-increasing formations of Luftwaffe bombers, escorted by Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters, were initially aimed at British merchant shipping convoys plying their trade of coal and other materials from the north of England to the southern ports. These attacks often met with increasing success although RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes endeavoured to repel the Heinkel He 111s, Dornier Do 17s and Junkers Ju 88s, frequently with ill-afforded loss in pilots and aircraft. Within a month, the English Channel was effectively closed to British shipping. Only a change in the Luftwaffe’s tactics in mid-August, when the main attack changed to the attempted destruction of the RAF’s southern airfields, allowed convoys to resume sneaking through without too greater hindrance. Price is £20 for a 248 page hardback book.

Next up is Into the Swarm: Stories of RAF Fighter Pilots in the Second World War which is a collaborative work by Christopher Yeoman and Tor Idar Larsen that tells the sobering and heroic stories of RAF fighters pilots in the most ferocious air battles of the war. Accompanying gripping and detailed stories of aerial combat are previously unpublished photographs and letter extracts, which adds to the rich content provided by these enthusiastic authors whose passion for the subject matter is evidently apparent within each chapter. A fine tribute to the gallant aviators who took to the air in hostile skies, this book tells of courage and sacrifice in France, to daring and determination, to gain air supremacy over the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and Malta. This work also provides a wider story of RAF pilots of the Second World War, from those early battles in 1940 all the way up to a few days before VE-Day. These stories offer a broad and versatile insight into the life of fighter pilots from many countries, from different cultures but with a common determination of fighting Nazi Germany over Europe’s aerial arenas. It costs £18.99.

Another title is RAF Acklington: Guardian of the Northern Skies. At the beginning of WWII, RAF Acklington was the most important fighter station in north-east England. It initially started life in 1938 as a training base for RAF aircrews but with the outbreak of hostilities against Germany, it was given the role of protecting the skies over Newcastle and its important industrial heartland. Its Spitfires and Hurricanes were soon in action against Luftwaffe bombers and many of the earliest raids of the war took place over this part of Britain. Due to the importance of this region with its major ports and industries, it continued to attract the attention of enemy bombers long after the Battle of Britain had been won.

By late 1940, most attacks took place after dark and RAF Acklington became the host for night fighter squadrons. Unlike many military airfields, it did not close when hostilities ceased. Initially, it reverted to its training role but in 1957, it again became the base for fighter aircraft. The airfield spent its last years as 6 Flying Training School but due to defence cuts, it became surplus to requirements and closed completely by the early 1970s. This 288 page paperback book costs £18.99.

Other new titles from Fonthill include Mikkel Plannthin’s Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom: Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War, David Watkins’ History of the de Havilland Vampire, Mike Osborne’s Defending Leicestershire and Rutland, Mark Simner’s Chitral 1895: An Episode of the Great Game, Eric Wiberg’s U-Boats off Bermuda: Patrol Summaries and Merchant Ship Survivors Landed in Bermuda 1940-1944, John Stokoe’s With Napoleon at St Helena, Joe Owen, Philip McBride and Joe Allport’s Texans at Antietam: A Terrible Clash of Arms, September 16-17, 1862, and Max Williams' SS Elite: The Senior Leaders of Hitler's Praetorian Guard Volume 2.

See all the new titles at www.fonthillmedia.com.

 

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