on spartan wings the royal hellenic air force in world war two

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On Spartan Wings

Author : John Carr
ISBN : 184884798X
Genre : History
File Size : 74. 99 MB
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Rarely has an air force gone into combat as poorly prepared and outgunned as the Royal Hellenic Air Force had to when Mussolini's Italy dragged Greece into war on 28 October 1940. Without warning, as Italian forces poured over the frontier from Albania, the RHAF's paltry effective lineup of 128 battle worthy aircraft, most of them obsolete, were pitted against the 463 fielded by the Regia Aeronautica, whose pilots had honed their skills in the Spanish Civil War. On the Greek side, though, aces such as Marinos Mitralexis, with his audacious ramming of an Italian bomber on the fifth day of the war ensured that morale in the RHAF remained high. Though the RAF pitched in with whatever help it could provide in machines and manpower, the aerial war was unequal from the beginning. By the end of 1940 the RHAF was seriously depleted, though individual pilots and crews continued to fight valiantly. The end came in April 1941 when Hitler sped to the rescue of the Duce. The Luftwaffe blasted out of the sky what remained of the RHAF and whatever RAF units remained to help out its last stand. A single mira (squadron), with just 5 Avro Ansons escaped intact to Egypt, where British forces were bracing for Rommel's onslaught. Out of this small squadron grew three full mirai, whose pilots, now equipped with modern aircraft, played a decisive part in the Allied victory at El Alamein. Until Greece was liberated in October 1944 the RHAF units in the Allied air forces ranged over targets in the Aegean Sea, Italy and Yugoslavia. The RHAF was little affected by a communist-inspired mutiny in the Greek forces in Egypt that briefly threatened to neutralize the Greek contribution. After the end of World War II the RHAF was called upon to confront the threat of an attempted communist takeover of Greece and played a major part in overcoming the rebellion and saving the country for the West. Meticulous research interwoven with firsthand accounts makes this a fitting tribute to the skill and heroism of the Greek airmen and a valuable account of a neglected aspect of WWII air warfare.

The Defence And Fall Of Greece 1940 1941

Author : John Carr
ISBN : 9781781591819
Genre : History
File Size : 87. 19 MB
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On 28th October 1940, the Greek premier, Ioannis Metaxis, refused to accept a deliberately provocative ultimatum from Mussolini and Italian forces began the invasion of Greece via Albania. This aggression was prompted by Mussolini's desire for a quick victory to rival Hitler's rapid conquest of France and the Low Countries. On paper, Greek forces were poorly equipped and ill-prepared for the conflict but Mussolini had underestimated the skill and determination of the defenders. Within weeks the Italian invasion force was driven back over the border and Greek forces actually advanced deep into Albania.??A renewed Italian offensive in March 1941 was also given short shrift, prompting Hitler to intervene to save his ally. German forces invaded Greece via Bulgaria on 6 April. The Greeks, now assisted by British forces, resisted by land, sea and air but were overwhelmed by the superior German forces and their blitzkrieg tactics. Despite a dogged rearguard action by Anzac forces at the famous pass of Thermopyale, Athens fell on the 27th April and the British evacuated 50,000 troops to Crete. This island, whose airfields and naval bases Churchill considered vital to the defence of Egypt and the Suez Canal, was invaded by German airborne troops the following month and eventually captured after a bitter thirteen-day battle. The remaining British troops were evacuated and the fall of Greece completed. ??John Carr's masterful account of these desperate campaigns, while not disparaging the British and Commonwealth assistance, draws heavily on Greek sources to emphasize the oft-neglected experience of the Greeks themselves and their contribution to the fight against fascism.

Fighters Over The Aegean

Author : Brian Cull
ISBN : 1781550441
Genre : History
File Size : 61. 15 MB
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Following the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, at which the Americans refused to back Britain's plan to invade the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean, to be followed by an invasion of the Greek mainland, a weakened British attempt was made with disastrous results. The Americans wished to concentrate all their forces in capturing Sicily and then invading southern Italy. In this first comprehensive account of aerial operations over the Eastern Mediterranean/Aegean, the first chapter covers the disastrous Hurricane attack on Crete (Operation Thesis), an attempt to divert Axis attention from Sicily; subsequent chapters deal with British landings on the islands of Kos and Leros when Spitfires vainly attempted to hold the Luftwaffe at bay. Meanwhile, Beaufighters flying from North Africa and Cyprus roamed over the Aegean attacking shipping and aerial transports with success but at a heavy cost, until the Germans withdrew from the Aegean and the Greek mainland. In addition, specially modified Spitfires are detailed to combat pressurized high-altitude Ju 87 spy planes used by the Luftwaffe based on Crete, and the Fleet Air Arm with its Seafires, Wildcats and Hellcats over the Aegean. Also, the book includes many firsthand accounts from both British and German aircrew extracted from official reports and memoirs.

Renegade Hero

Author : Michael Hingston
ISBN : 1848845308
Genre : History
File Size : 60. 58 MB
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Cold war helicopter ace Terry Peet lived for flying. He was a 'go anywhere, do anything,' Royal Air Force pilot with a reputation for 'sheer guts'. Whether ferrying troops to remote jungle landing zones or snatching casualties from makeshift clearings surrounded by two-hundred-feet high trees, he willingly pushed himself and his primitive Sycamore helicopter to the limit. During two years in the hot spots of Malaya and Borneo with the RAF, he repeatedly cheated death and earned a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. Then suddenly he disappeared without trace, apparently drowned tragically while on a recreational scuba dive off the North Wales coast. Six years later he dramatically reappeared in a back-from-the-dead drama worthy of fiction. The media hailed him enthusiastically as a renegade hero and 'Flying Pimpernel' when the story of his mysterious disappearance and subsequent extraordinary double life unfolded. In fact he had been recruited by the CIA for a clandestine air force involved in paramilitary operations in the former Belgian Congo. He was told that his departure from the RAF had to be 'covert'. The summary presented in his eventual court martial crucially omitted this. It also failed to disclose that his employment as a mercenary, or 'contract pilot' to use the CIA's more inoffensive terminology, received the tacit approval of British intelligence. Moreover, a claim that the RAF had not seen or heard anything of him following his disappearance in Anglesey was completely untrue. This book is the true revelation of an entirely mysterious affair as told to the author by Terry Peet.

The Soul Of Battle

Author : Victor Davis Hanson
ISBN : 9780684845029
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 27 MB
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Arguing that American Generals Sherman and Patton, as well as ancient Athenian General Epaminondas, were the three greatest military leaders in history, the author makes his case by demonstrating the qualities, on and off the battlefield, that made them great.

The Praetorian Starship

Author : Jerry L. Thigpen
ISBN : 1780391978
Genre : History
File Size : 56. 40 MB
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Through the eyes and ears of Jerry L. Thigpen, the story of the Combat Talon sees the light of day. Based on thorough research, with a mind to details, Thigpen tells the story of how the Combat Talon became the weapon of choice in long-range, clandestine operations. Combining the chronological and thematic approaches, this book begins with a historical background that opens with the World War II period and concludes in 2000 after having received many accolades and recording many successful exploits. This is a reprint of this extensive 2001 study.

Carnage And Culture

Author : Victor Hanson
ISBN : 9780307425188
Genre : History
File Size : 71. 40 MB
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Examining nine landmark battles from ancient to modern times--from Salamis, where outnumbered Greeks devastated the slave army of Xerxes, to Cortes’s conquest of Mexico to the Tet offensive--Victor Davis Hanson explains why the armies of the West have been the most lethal and effective of any fighting forces in the world. Looking beyond popular explanations such as geography or superior technology, Hanson argues that it is in fact Western culture and values–the tradition of dissent, the value placed on inventiveness and adaptation, the concept of citizenship–which have consistently produced superior arms and soldiers. Offering riveting battle narratives and a balanced perspective that avoids simple triumphalism, Carnage and Culture demonstrates how armies cannot be separated from the cultures that produce them and explains why an army produced by a free culture will always have the advantage. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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