View Full Version : List your three favourite aviation books here please

01-20-2004, 03:35 AM
Just looking to expand my book selection and would therefore like some recommendations.

01-20-2004, 03:35 AM
Just looking to expand my book selection and would therefore like some recommendations.

01-20-2004, 03:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by robbiminator:
Just looking to expand my book selection and would therefore like some recommendations.

Don't have all mine with me here at university but I'll give you the names and authors as I remember them.

"Swastika in the Gunsight" - Igor Kaberov (about a fighter pilot fighting on the Northern front near Leningrad)

"First Light" - Geoffry Wellum (Battle of Britain)

"The Most Dangerous Enemy" - Stephen Bungay (Battle of Britain)

"Air War Over Russia" - Andrew Brookes

Added the fourth because it is similar to Alan Clark's "Barbarossa", but covers the air campaign which is not detailed in such books.



01-20-2004, 03:51 AM
In no particular order, all excellent.

"Fighter Pilot" - Paul Richey
(Personal account; Hurricanes; Battle Of France)

"First Light" - Geoffrey Wellum
(Personal account; Spitfires; Battle Of Britain)

"Duel Of Eagles" - Peter Townsend
(Historical account; Battle of Britain with contributions from pilots of both sides)



01-20-2004, 04:27 AM
I just ordered some books, but since i havent read them yet i cant really recommend them either. So im going to list the ones i have already;

1# "Double fighter knight" - Ilmari Juutilainen
2# "I flew for the fĂĽhrer" - Heinz Knoke
3# "I was a Kamikaze: the Knights of the divine wind" - Ryuji Nagatsuk***
Edit: why doesnt UBI like Ryujis surname? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
Its Naga tsu ka.

01-20-2004, 06:57 AM
The Hardest Day - Alfred Price
The Narrow Margin : The Battle of Britain - Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Wings of the Luftwaffe - Capt. Eric Brown



01-20-2004, 10:01 AM
In no particular order here's my 3 favourite aviation books;

Piece of Cake - Derek Robinson, novel about a RAF fighter Squadron during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain.My online nickname (Moggy) is a character from the book.
Samurai! - Saburo Sakai, Japan's leading surviving ace of World War II.If you have any interest in the War over the Pacific this is a must read.His tale of his survival after encountering a flight of Avengers is just breathtaking.
Fighter Boys - Patrick Bishop, excellent book about the RAF during the Battle of Britain with many accounts taken from personnel who served during our darkest hour.A good and informative read.

In memory of 'The Few'
The Tangmere Pilots - http://www.tangmerepilots-raf.co.uk/
Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.

01-20-2004, 10:29 AM
1. "1000 Destroyed: The Life and Times of the Fourth Fighter Group," by Grover C. Hall. A near contemporary account written immediately postwar by the Group's Public Information officer. Gives a very good idea of the times and personalities from the perspective of a guy still in his twenties.

2. "The Last Enemy" by Richard Hillary. Again, a contemporary account of the early air war by someone who was there. Hillary was a BoB ace who had been shot down in flames and horribly burned. This book was written while he was recovering and preparing to return to combat flying. He knew that this course of action would lead to his death, and this short book is very introspective, and revealing of the attiudes and mores that led to the war in Europe. It is very powerful.

3. "The First and the Last" by Adolph Galland. Autobiography of the great ace and Fighter General. 'Nuff said.

My preferences run to the personalities and conditions they lived and fought in. These were real young people doing real important things, and it's important to keep that in mind sometimes.



"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

01-20-2004, 11:02 AM
By Robert S. Johnson and Martin Caidin.

Rich http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

01-20-2004, 04:28 PM
The Mighty Eighth by Roger Freeman (the definitive work on this subject)

Black Cross Red Star Volumes 1&2 by Bergstrom & Mikhailov (the definitive works on the air war over Russia)

The Battle of Britain Then and Now (Mk.V) Edited by Winston G. Ramsey. After the Battle Books. (the definitive book on this subject)


01-20-2004, 04:56 PM
Whooo....just 3??? That's *tough*....nonetheless...

1) "The War Diary of Helmut Lipfert" by Lipfert & Girbig

2) "Samurai!" by Sakai

3) "Kampfflieger Zwischen Eismeer und Sahara" by Peter Stahl (German language, but the only book I've ever seen on flying the JU88! An excellent read!)

Dangit, couldn't stay with the rules...

4) "The Big Show" by Pierre Clostermann. Just couldn't leave that out of the "5-star" list.

01-20-2004, 05:32 PM
Little Friends- the American Fighter Pilot experience in WWII England

An Ace of the Eighth


This is a public service announcement~Clash

01-20-2004, 06:11 PM
1.Reach for the sky by paul Brickhill
Douglas Bader was a legend in his lifetime. After losing both legs in an air crash in 1931 and being dismissed as a cripple by the Royal Air Force, he fought his way back into the cockpit of a Spitfire to become one of the great heroes of the Battle of Britain. This inspiring biography of the famous World War II fighter pilot, first published in 1954, has a following of faithful readers who come back to the book time and again to re-read, share with their children and pass along to friends. Not many books have made such an impact on people's lives. Bader's story is so extraordinary that no one would dare invent it, and Brickhill succeeds in matching the excitement of Bader's war deeds with the triumph of his greater battle over a severe handicap. Told he would never walk without a cane, Bader learned to dance, swim, golf, and play tennis. Told he would never fly again, he became not only one of the RAF's top combat pilots but a squadron leader and innovator of fighter tactics that helped win the Battle of Britain. Among the thrilling incidents chronicled in the book are Bader's first successful encounter with an enemy plane, his own shoot down, and his succession of escapes from German prisons.

2.Baa Baa blacksheep By Gregory Pappy boyington.CO of VMF-214 squadron Major boyington used to fly over enemy airbases and taunt them to come up and fight. Excellent read ,Totally amazing charactor.

3.The Mighty Eighth by Gerald astor: The Air War in Europe as Told by the Men Who Fought It.
Until World War II aircraft had played only a minor role in combat, but with the RAF and Luftwaffe fiercely dueling in the Battle of Britain it was apparent that air superiority would be the deciding factor in the war. The Eighth Air Force quickly grew from its first modest effort into the mightiest aerial armada in history, eventually launching thousand-plane raids. While Fortresses and Liberators attacked factories, fuel supplies, and transportation networks, Lightnings, Thunderbolts, and Mustangs shot enemy fighters from the skies.
But the road to victory was paved with sacrifice. From its inaugural mission on July 4, 1942, until V-E Day, the Eighth Air Force lost more men than did the entire United States Marine Corps in all its campaigns in the Pacific. The Mighty Eighth chronicles the testimony of the pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners who daily put their lives on the line. Their harrowing accounts recall the excitement and terror of dogfights against Nazi aces, maneuvering explosive-laden aircraft through deadly flak barrages, and fending off waves of enemy fighters while coping with subzero temperatures.

Horseback sorry I misunderstood your post on BoB topic.I would have replied but it was locked for some reason.

*S* Clover4

01-20-2004, 06:32 PM
Warplanes of the Third Reich - by Williams Green

THE most scholarly and definitive book about German military aviation 1933-1945. Wonderfully illustrated. Covers all prototypes and operational planes of the Luftwaffe. All of Green's books are excellent - as far as I'm concerned he is the best aviation historian ever!

01-20-2004, 07:45 PM
Fighter Combat
Tactics and Maneuvering
by Robert Shaw
ISBN 0-87021-059-9

Fighter Aces
of the
by Toliver and Contable
ISBN 0-88740-909-1

The fighter pilot who changed the art of war
by Robert Coram
ISBN 0-316-88146-5

01-21-2004, 06:46 AM
I would encourage you to look into:

"Typhoon Attack" - Norman Franks

"First Light" - Geoffry Wellum

"Black Cross Red Star vol 1 & 2" - Bergstrom & Mikhailov

01-21-2004, 09:54 AM
All the Osprey books...

To Fly and Fight

An Ace With the 8th

Attack of the Aircobras

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>http://www.jodavidsmeyer.com/combat/bookstore/tuskegeebondposter.jpg (http://tuskegeeairmen.org/airmen/who.html)[/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>vflyer@comcast.net [/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>99thPursuit Squadron IL2 Forgotten Battles (http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat)[/list]
UDQMG (http://www.uberdemon.com/index2.html) | HYPERLOBBY (http://hyperfighter.jinak.cz/) | IL2 Manager (http://www.checksix-fr.com/bibliotheque/detail_fichier.php?ID=1353) | MUDMOVERS (http://www.mudmovers.com/)

01-21-2004, 10:04 AM
Fighter Combat --Shaw
First and the Last --Galland
Stuka Pilot ---Rudell

To name a few, 3 is a hard list to say the least.

Black 6
TX-Squadron CO
clyndes@hotmail.com (IM Only)
TX-OC3 Server
http://www.txsquadron.com/library/20031218144359_Zensig2.jpg (http://www.txsquadron.com)

01-21-2004, 10:12 AM
Samurai- Saburo Sakai and Martin Caiden
Thunderbolt!- Robert Johnson and Martin Caiden
Mighty Eigth- Gerald Astor

I am currently reading Flyboys by James Bradley which so far is very good as well. So I will have to go with 4. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Commanding Officer 361st vFG
www.361stvfg.com (http://www.361stvfg.com)

01-21-2004, 03:03 PM
Overlord - Thomas Alexander Hughes
A lot of books about USAAF WWII aviation concentrate on the strategic bombing campaign, which always leads to good debate out its effectiveness and contribution. But Hughes' book takes a different look at the war through the USAAF's ground support role in Western Europe. (pretty funny there's an RAF Typhoon on the dustjacket)

Wing Leader: Top-Scoring Allied Fighter Pilot of World War Two - Johnny Johnson
Great fighter pilot memoir. Humble guy, for a fighter jock.

Allied/Luftwaffe Fighter Aces(pick 'em) - Mike Spick
Straightforward read of WWII tactics, pilots and aircraft.

Lots of other good ones out there though...

01-21-2004, 03:17 PM
Too much European stuff. Here is some Pacific.

Fire in the Sky: Eric Bergerude. All you wanted to know about the air war in the South Pacific.

God is my Co Pilot: Scott, I read it almost 40 years ago as a kid. Got me interested in all this flying stuff

Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, Lawson, Meyer, Lawson. Great first hand account of the famous raid.

09-24-2006, 11:19 PM
I'd apriciate some info from guys that have Samurai from Sakai and purhaps Clostermanns's The Great Circus.

About the content of theese books. I read theese book in my native language but those can not be purchased no more (last reprint was in 1975). Anyways, theese books have many many photos and great appendixes (clostermanns about most common allied and german planes during WW2 and sakais most common planes over Pacific). Do theese english edition that i can buy at amazon have theese appendixes and photos. I'll check for appendixes myself (if they'll show up in the index) but for the pictures i'd appriciate any info. Thanks.

09-25-2006, 01:55 AM
First and the Last - Galland
Fighter Combat - Robert Shaw
Smoke Trails in the Sky - Tony Bartley (a bit "tally-ho chaps", but a fascinating story of an RAF fighter pilot's war. He ended up marrying Deborah Kerr)

09-25-2006, 02:02 AM
"The Big Show" : Pierre Closterman
"The War Diary of Helmut Lipfert" : by Lipfert & Girbig
"First Light" : Geoffrey Wellum

09-25-2006, 02:14 AM
1. Tail End Charlies,
John Nicoll & Tony Rennel
ISBN 0-670-91456-8

2. First Light
Geoffrey Wellum
ISBN 0-141-00814-8

3. Fighter Boys
Patrick Bishop
ISBN 0-00-653204-7

And one for luck :

4. Spitfire On My Tail
Ulrich Steinhilper & Peter Osbourne
ISBN 1-872836-00-3

09-25-2006, 03:19 AM

09-25-2006, 04:07 AM
I see two of these have been mentioned already, I'll let you take that as a recommendation...

The Mighty Eighth - Roger A. Freeman. MacDonald & Co 1970. SBN 356 02662 0
(It's all in here - Unit histories, characters, hundreds of photographs, colour profiles; a labour of love and a magnificent book)

The Royal Air Force 1939-45 (3 volumes) HMSO 1953.
(not as dry as it sounds - lots of 'forgotten battles' in this one)

Fighter Boys - Patrick Bishop
HarperCollins 2003. ISBN 0 00 653204 7
(A very popular recent work detailing life in Fighter Command leading up to and including BoB)

09-25-2006, 04:25 AM
The Big Show

Under the wire

To Fly and Fight

09-25-2006, 04:56 AM
Voice from the Starts - A Pathfinder's Story by Tom Scotland. A very informative read into all aspects of the war, not just the combat. When reading you are struck by how quickly death can strike. For example, the author was talking to a navigator from another crew, they were going to meet up the next Thursday at a club. Next op, the nav's crew went down and he never found out the venue. Stuff like that.

And an Osprey book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Aircraft of the Aces - 23 - Finnish Aces of World War 2. Very well structured and lots and tons of info. 8 pages of coluur profiles plus pictures throughout. Short but sweet.

09-25-2006, 05:45 AM
Just to mention some others

Combat Aircraft of WW II; Bill Gunston

Fighter Command 1939-45; David Oliver

The Carrier War; Clark G. Reynolds

"These Grummans are beautiful planes, if they could cook, I'd marry one".

Lt Eugene A. Valencia.

09-25-2006, 05:51 AM
A worthy mention should be the JG26 war diary volumes 1 and 2 by Donald Caldwell.

also; the mighty eight war manual by Roger Freeman. It's one of the books that takes a look at what an effort it was to bring a thousand bomber force into the skies of Europe.

09-25-2006, 01:20 PM
Great thread. Bump.

09-25-2006, 01:36 PM
1. The most dangerous enemy. S Bungay.
2. I flew for the Fuhrer. H Knocke
3. The Big Show. P Clostermann.

09-25-2006, 01:44 PM
1) Le grand cirque (the big show) - clostermann (my faaaaaaaaaave especially in original french)

2) Blonde Knight of Germany

3) Samurai - Saburo Sakai

09-25-2006, 04:48 PM
1. The Big Show - Clostermann (#1 on any list)

2. First Light - Wellum (very down to earth account)

3. Flying Through Midnight - Halliday (an incredible landing by a C-123 pilot over Laos - the kind of book you'll read in one sitting)

09-25-2006, 06:28 PM
Wow, nobody's mentioned "Wing Leader" by Johnnie Johnson. Great Book.

09-26-2006, 08:58 AM
Haven't read that many books on the subject yet, but I do have (and read) "Wing Leader" and one about a Tyhphoon pilot, I believe it's called "Day of the Typhoon".
Anyway, here's an interesting read and it's free!

http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0788111140&id=gUl...+wulf&as_brr=1&hl=nl (http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0788111140&id=gUlTH4LsvIsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=focke+wulf&as_brr=1&hl=nl)

09-26-2006, 10:07 AM
Havn't seen these yet,
Fate is the Hunter, by Ernest K Gann
Stranger to the Ground, by Richard Bach
On Extended Wings, by Diane Ackerman
And for a bonus
Wind, Sand and Stars, by Antoine de St.Exupery
And a military treat,
The Wrong Stuff, by Truman Smith

If I could have just one, it would be Fate is the Hunter. A fantastic, true story that captures the essence of a life aloft.

09-26-2006, 11:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RichardI:
By Robert S. Johnson and Martin Caidin.

Rich http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

what this guy says, and also, i just finished a couple books. First of all, Spirit of the blue, then Spitfire Attack, and finally Bah bah black sheep. These three are all amazing!

Novel-wise, i would have to go with Under an English Heaven, and a James Holland book of which the name escapes me...about a man called Joss who flies Spits in the BoB and P40s in the Desert. Anyone remember the name? Anyway that was one of my fave novels. I find that sometimes novels have alot more emotional substance than some of the boring day by day drizzle i've read. But obviously its made up. Oh just to add, Spitfire Attack i mentioned above reads like a novel it is that good! WOTD one of my favourite reads!

There are so many more amazing books that i just cant remember the names of right now.

10-03-2006, 01:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by |ZUTI|:
I'd apriciate some info from guys that have Samurai from Sakai and purhaps Clostermanns's The Great Circus.

About the content of theese books. I read theese book in my native language but those can not be purchased no more (last reprint was in 1975). Anyways, theese books have many many photos and great appendixes (clostermanns about most common allied and german planes during WW2 and sakais most common planes over Pacific). Do theese english edition that i can buy at amazon have theese appendixes and photos. I'll check for appendixes myself (if they'll show up in the index) but for the pictures i'd appriciate any info. Thanks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Come on guys, surely someone of you has theese book in english and can tell me?

10-03-2006, 07:16 AM
"First Light": Great book about how it 'feels' to be a military pilot. As it was in 1940, so it is now. His descriptions of how he felt during his training are exactly what anyone who's been through any military flight training will tell you. Fantastic book.

"Wings of Morning": Very moving tale about the last 8th AF Bomber Crew to be shot down over Germany in WW2 wrtten by a nephew of one of the crew.

"Stuka Pilot" and "Blond Knight of Germany": Just reading about the exploits of Rudel and Hartmann is amazing.

"Flight of the Intruder": no bettter book about Vietnam era US Naval Aviation. The movie is laughable compared to the book.

han freak solo
10-03-2006, 07:50 AM
Flying Tiger's Diary - Charles R. Bond/Terry Anderson

Blond Knight of Germany - Raymond F. Toliver/Trevor J. Constable

The Wild Blue - Stephen Ambrose

10-03-2006, 07:56 AM
To Fly and Fight
The Blond Knight of Germany

All great books.

10-03-2006, 08:08 AM
MiG Pilot: the Final Escape of Lt. Belenko, by John Barron, 1980, ISBN 0-380-53868-7

Belenko was a pilot with the 513th Fighter Regiment of the Soviet Anti-Air Defense based in Chuguyevka, Primorsky Krai. He achieved worldwide fame on September 6th, 1976 when he successfully defected to the west, flying his MiG 25 "Foxbat" to Hakodate, Japan. This was the first time the west was able to get a close look at the aircraft, and it revealed many secrets and surprises.

"In the afternoon of September 6, 1976, with only 30 seconds of fuel remaining, a MiG-25, one of Soviet Russia's most prized and secret weapons, broke through the clouds above Hakodate, Japan, narrowly avoided a departing Japanese airliner, and dove down to the city's commercial airport where, in front of hundreds of amazed Japanese motorists, it landedâ€"ťscreeching, skidding, blowing a tire, plowing 800 feet off the runway, and finally stopping a few feet from a large antenna. Viktor Belenko had arrived in the West."

10-04-2006, 07:28 AM
In no particular order my top three are:-

1) Fly for your life by Larry Forrester.

The biography of Robert Roland Stanford "Bob" Tuck. The style is somewhat "Biggles" but what an amazing man & what astounding co-incidences/luck made up his career!

2)The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay

The best Battle of Britain book written, great analysis of the major players, the machines, the politics & the mood of the times.

3) The Spitfire Story by Alfred Price.

All you need to know about the most beautiful aeroplane ever made.

10-04-2006, 12:59 PM
Wing Leader ~ Johnnie Johnson

Stapme ~ David Ross - SqL BG Stapleton

The Big Show ~ Pierre Clostermann

er or

Air Combat Legends vol1 Spitfire and Biffers

Spitfire the History

joint third
Janes Fighting Aircraft Of WW2
Americas Hundred Thousand

no no no ...er

Hawker Typhoon, Tempest and Sea Fury

Aircraft versus Aircraft

Spitfire A Test Pilots Story ~ Jeffrey Quill

erm http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif...very difficult, no i cant http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif