Belgian Airfields & Allied Tactical Fighter Operations 1944-1945
Size: 21.5 by 28 centimetres or 8.5 by 11 inches
Illustrations: over 400 unique photographs
Pages: 370 pages
"Runways to Victory" describes the way airfields in Belgium were constructed, repaired and used by the 9th U.S. Army Air Force and the British 2nd Tactical Air Force in 1944-'45. The first chapters are a review of the evolution of the air war during World War II. They explain the development of tactical air power and the challenge that the Allies were facing when finally going for the Invasion - having adequate airfields for their thousands of tactical aircraft, whose support was so desperately needed by the ground forces.
A further section gives an in-depth insight of wartime operations at seven Belgian fighter airfields, which were 'typical' fighter bases and all have a significant and characteristic story to tell. They are:
All specific aspects of the Allied tactical fighter war in 1944-'45 at these airfields are explained in words and lavishly illustrated with rare photographs.
A further chapter is an easy-reference guide to all Belgian airfields that were used by the Allied air forces in 1944-45. All the A-, B- and Y-prefixed airfields are concisely discussed, from origins and pre-World War Two history, over wartime occupation (both German and Allied), to post-war destiny. Particular attention has been given to the different Allied flying units that used each individual airfield
Finally, specific interesting images of most of the other Belgian airfields are shown. Abandoned German equipment, Battle of the Bulge operations, and destructions during the Luftwaffe's desperate Operation Bodenplatte are all extensively shown. The majority of the photographs come from personal albums. To end it all, several Appendices to this book provide more in-depth material, such as, statistics, losses and victory lists, for the real enthusiast.
This book is a gripping account of the hazardous, gloomy, but often joyful life of the young Allied fighter pilots, and a documentary on the impact the proximity of an airfield had on several Belgian cities and towns. Told largely through archive records from all over the world and remembrances of the men who were there, this book is more than just a detailed reference text. It is an exciting read.
No review copy was available at the time of writing.
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