Pen & Sword's Air War Over North Africa: USAAF

Author/Artists: David Michellhill-Green


Pen & Sword


$24.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 216 pages, softcover, 7.5 x 9.5 inches
ISBN: 978-1-47-388179-2

This edition of Pen & Sword's 'Images of War' series covers the USAAF in North Africa. Due to the subject, this book has nearly 100 more pages than previous editions. In line with previous titles, this one has a lot more photos than it does history, with the majority of information being provided in the fairly large photo captions.

This was the theater of operations where conditions were sparse to say the least. There were few facilities available and the majority of maintenance had to be done out side. In addition to the lack of hangars, crews lived in tents and had to deal with the constant sand. In addition, the desert got hot during the day and very cold at night, making life even more miserable.

However, one thing the USAAF had was a good logistics supply chain so there was always available spares, something the Germans and Italians rarely had. Indeed, the first chapter of the book concentrates on what the Allies found when they finally overtook an air field. These places were generally littered with broken or even bombed out Axis aircraft.

The next four chapters covers the different types of aircraft that were operated. There are sections on fighters, photo recon aircraft, medium bombers and heavy bombers. It is here that you will find photos of the aircraft and those who flew them as well as some images of those who maintained the aircraft. The final section is on the airfields themselves as well as those who worked there. It is the last section that provides some insight into the daily lives of these airmen.

The book cover touts 'rare photographs from wartime archives'. For the most part that is true. There were a lot of images in here that I had not seen before. There were also some that I had so it is a good mix of images. Those chosen are crisp and clear and of a rather good size. In all, it is a very interesting read and a book that I know you will want on your shelves.

January 2020

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Review book courtesy of  Casemate Publishing, where you can order your copy at this link

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