Book Review
The Normandy Air War 1944
The Normandy Air War 1944
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering The Normandy Air War 1944 is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subjects’ mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.

The following portion of the review is as provided by Pen and Sword:
The support provided by the Allied air armies to the preparations for the invasion of France and the Normandy campaign is overshadowed by the dramatic and protracted fighting on the ground. Yet the air campaign played a key role in blinding and isolating German forces in northern France in the months preceding the D-Day landings. These Allied air forces then supported the Allied armies as they pushed inland, most notably by hampering the march of Hitler’s panzer divisions and controversially bombing the ancient Norman cities of Caen and Rouen.

Anthony Tucker-Jones’s photographic history is a vivid introduction to this enormous Allied air offensive and illustrates the many famous types of aircraft employed by the RAF, USAAF and Luftwaffe. Shots of the Allied bombers – Halifax, Lancaster, Fortress, Liberator, Havoc and Marauder – and the fighters and fighter-bombers – Lightning, Thunderbolt, Mustang, Spitfire and Typhoon – dominate the selection. Shots of the German warplanes are rarer because the Luftwaffe was overwhelmed by Allied air superiority.

These images of the air war over northern France bring home in a graphic way the nature and conditions of combat flying over seventy years ago, and they emphasize the contribution of air power to the campaign.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book titled ‘The Normandy Air War 1944' has been authored by Anthony Tucker-Jones; Anthony Tucker-Jones has authored a huge number of titles in this series , but he does not restrict his work to this series and is worth looking up. The contents of this title are provided over 132 pages of good quality semi gloss paper. There are a few blank pages at the end of this title which are great for the reader to make notes in on the title for speed of navigation over time.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Photographic Sources
Chapter 1 – Getting the Barons in Line
Chapter 2 – 2nd Tactical
Chapter 3 – American Bomber Boys
Chapter 4 – Where the Luftwaffe?
Chapter 5 – Bridges Down and RADAR Blinded
Chapter 6 – D-Day Deluge
Chapter 7 – Bombing Caen and Rouen
Chapter 8 – Achtung Jabos
Chapter 9 – Death at Falaise

The purpose of these books is to cover the subject in a photographic manner rather than a written book, but I have noted that the written aspect of these books varies greatly and this title is no exception. The author has presented the reader with a very brief introduction that serves its purpose, but has provided some very well written information on the machines and the men in charge during this period of the war. The information is presented in a very concise way due to the purpose of these books and that is fine with me.

The photographs in this offering cannot really be said to be great reference offerings for the most part; this is due to the period photographs in the air offer little in the way of clear shots, but I did none the less enjoy looking at them and drinking in the atmosphere they impart. There is a particularly appealing photograph of a crashed Typhoon with the grave of the pilot marked by bullets; the pilot had been buried by locals and is a poignant presentation that shows humanity even in times of war.

Each of the photographs has been provided with a very well written caption by the author. The captions of course vary as regards how much information is provided depending on what the author has managed to ascertain about them, but I do feel this author has done a particularly good job of the task. As an armour modeller for the most part I was very impressed by the images at the end of this book showing the effect of Allied aircraft on ground vehicles trapped on mass in the open and these make for photographs that make an impression.


This title as part of the Images at War series offers some great shots of aircraft used during the air war over Normandy in 1944. Reference wise the images are of limited use as regards details, but they do offer a directory of the aircraft suitable for the period. The photographs showing aircraft on the ground are more useful as reference, but the most impressive offerings as regards cause and effect are those of German armour caught on the ground.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘The Normandy Air War 1944'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526730053
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Dec 02, 2019

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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