The High Battleground: Air to Air with World War II's Greatest Combat Aircraft

Overview

Breathtaking images from the popular Flying Legends calendars.

John Dibbs is the world's leading air-to-air photographer. No one gets closer. This oversized full-color pictorial showcases breathtaking airborne shots of 56 of the most perfectly restored World War II aircraft from the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan and Sweden.

Each spread features a ...

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Overview

Breathtaking images from the popular Flying Legends calendars.

John Dibbs is the world's leading air-to-air photographer. No one gets closer. This oversized full-color pictorial showcases breathtaking airborne shots of 56 of the most perfectly restored World War II aircraft from the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan and Sweden.

Each spread features a historic black-and-white photograph and an exciting profile of a combat veteran who experienced the "high battleground" first-hand.

Some of the featured aircraft:

  • Supermarine Spitfire LF IXe
  • Yak 3
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Joltin' Jose
  • Mitsubishi A6M5 Type 0 Zero
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 Black Six
  • Bell P39-Q6 Airacobra
  • Hawker Sea
    Hurricane lB
  • Grumman TBM-3 Avenger
  • Polikarpov I-16
  • Curtiss Hawk 75
  • Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
  • Saab B17

A group of hand-picked specialist formation pilots worked with the photographer to produce "perfect shots." There are no more perfect photographs of warplanes in flight than the images that appear in this thrilling collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Combat Aircraft - Allan Burney
[5/5 stars] Simply breathtaking.... Page after page, your senses are assaulted by dramatically composed and beautifully lit portraits of some of the world's most charismatic aircraft.... The photographs are faultless and have been reproduced in mind-blowing clarity.... One of the most impressive aviation photographic books that we have ever witnessed.
Associated Press - Ron Berthel
Among its 180 illustrations are full-page colour photos of 56 restored Second World War aircraft in flight, along with historic black-and-white images.
Each double-page spread shows restored planes... [plus] a veteran pilot's account of what the plane was like to fly.
CanWest News Service - Mike Gillespie
Stunning, oversized book offers a pilot's eye view... the greatest combat aircraft... in all their lethal splendor.
Associated Press Staff
Each double-page spread shows restored planes... [plus] a veteran pilot's account of what the plane was like to fly.
— Ron Berthel
Aircraft Illustrated
Simply breathtaking.... The photographs are faultless and have been reproduced in mind-blowing clarity.
— Allan Burney
CanWest News Service
Stunning, oversized book offers a pilot's eye view... the greatest combat aircraft... in all their lethal splendor.
— Mike Gillespie
Combat Aircraft
Simply breathtaking.... One of the most impressive aviation photographic books we have ever seen.
— Allan Burney
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550464924
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2006
  • Series: Flying Legends Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 18.25 (w) x 12.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

John Dibbs' air-to-air photographs have been cover shots on every major aviation magazine in the past decade, and his previous 10 books include dramatic pictorials on the Hurricane, Harrier, Spitfire and Mustang, and two books on the Royal Air Force. In addition, his photographs are the basis for the widely acclaimed Flying Legends calendar, now in its 11th year. He lives in Seattle, Washington, where he and his wife operate the Plane Picture Company.

Jim Busha is a contributing editor for Flight Journal and EAA Sport Aviation, and a feature writer for Flypast, Aircraft Illustrated, Combat Aircraft and EAA Sport Aviation magazines. His interviews with veterans have complemented John Dibbs' images in aviation journals for many years. This is their first book-length collaboration. He lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Colonel Donald J. Blakeslee
Introduction: John M. Dibbs

AIRCRAFT TYPES

  • Republic P-47D Thunderbolt No Guts, No Glory
  • North American P-51D Mustang Hell-er Bust and Big Beautiful Doll
  • Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V
  • North American P-51D Mustang Worrybird
  • Avro Lancaster B.I
  • Polikarpov I-16 Rata
  • Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat
  • Martin B-26 Marauder
  • Grumman F3F-2
  • Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
  • Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero and Curtiss P-40N Warhawk
  • Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk. IB
  • North American P-51D Mustang
    Upupa Epops
  • Grumman TBM-3 Avenger
  • De Havilland Mosquito T.III
  • Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Hairless Joe
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 White 14
  • Supermarine Spitfire PR. XIX
  • Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV
  • North American P-51D Mustang Cripes A' Mighty
  • Curtiss Hawk 75
  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Memphis Bell and North American P-51D Mustang Moose
  • Hawker Hind
  • North American P-51D Mustang Old Crow
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX and PR. XI
  • Curtiss C-46F-1 Commando China Doll
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Lockheed P-38J Lightning Happy Jack's Go Buggy and Joltin' Jose
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 Black 6
  • Polikarpov I-15 Super Chato
  • Goodyear FG-1D Corsair Marine's Dream
  • Bell P39-Q6 Airacobra Brooklyn Bum II
  • Gloster Gladiator Mk. I
  • Republic P-47G Thunderbolt
  • Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Ia
  • Yakovlev Yak 3UA
  • North American P-51D Mustang Cripes A' Mighty
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VIII
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Black 2
  • Fairey Swordfish Mk. II
  • Lockheed P-38J Lightning Porky II
  • Westland
    Lysander Mk. IIIA
  • Yakovlev Yak 3UA
  • Supermarine Spitfire LF. IX
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk. IV
  • Douglas A-26B Invader Sugarland Express and North American P-51D Mustang Detroit Miss
  • Grumman TBM-3 Avenger and Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair
  • Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk
  • Lockheed P-38F Lightning Glacier Girl and P-38J Lightning Porky II
  • Mitsubishi A6M3-22 Zero
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVI Fargo Express
  • Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat No. 19
  • North American B-25H Mitchell Barbie
  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Yankee Lady
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V
  • Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat Minsi III and Mitsubishi A6M3-22 Zero

Aircraft and Aircrew
Index
Bibliography

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Preface

Foreword

The fury of the air war in World War II was matched only by the pace of development of the combat aircraft that took part in those battles. Each new type of design would drive a new thought process or tactic to best employ that aircraft's advantage while exploiting the enemy's weakness.

As an Eagle Squadron and RCAF member, I had flown in the beautiful British Spitfire, whose handling and maneuverability could not be faulted, but whose range was an Achille's heel. Upon its entry into WWII, the United States Eighth Air Force introduced the P-47 to try to address the Allie's range problem, but with the brute-like proportions of the Republic Thunderbolt, this came at a cost. If we were to change the shape of the European air war and escort the bombers deep into Germany, I knew we needed something else.

The new Merlin-powered P-51B aircraft had been slated for the Ninth Air Force's support of the invasion, but as the CO of the 4th Fighter Group, part of the Eighth Air Force, I orchestrated a test flight in the P-51. Within minutes of flying in the 51, I knew we had a war winner. It was an aircraft that could turn with the best, at high altitude or on the deck. And do that deep into Germany where we could take on and smash the Luftwaffe in the sky and on their airfields. This ability kept our bombers protected, caused the Luftwaffe to lose aircraft with experienced pilots, and disrupted Germany's supply lines. The introduction of this one type of aircraft changed the shape of the war and brought about its end more quickly.

Though we will never see the likes of the great air battles of WWII again, there are several lovingly maintained examples of the thoroughbred aircraft still flying. John Dibbs has photographed many of them for this fine volume. I took a memorable trip back to England where John hosted me at the Flying Legends air show and have since come to know John and his work. I greatly admire his dedication to authenticity and his skill and determination in overcoming the many challenges this work presents. These magnificent pictures speak for themselves. These pages roll back sixty years and make it seem like yesterday. I have had the opportunity and pleasure to have flown and been a part of that time in history when the planes as well as the men were reaching goals never imagined.

John's photographs capture both the beauty and drama of the WWII aircraft in flight. From a sleek fighter seemingly inches from your face to a huger bomber lost in a sweeping landscape, his images offer veterans the chance to admire their trusted mounts now that the combat is history, and gives future generations the opportunity to remember those times and the sacrifice.

Colonel Donald J. Blakeslee
Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, distinguished Flying Cross (RAF),
seven Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Air Medals

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Foreword

The fury of the air war in World War II was matched only by the pace of development of the combat aircraft that took part in those battles. Each new type of design would drive a new thought process or tactic to best employ that aircraft's advantage while exploiting the enemy's weakness.

As an Eagle Squadron and RCAF member, I had flown in the beautiful British Spitfire, whose handling and maneuverability could not be faulted, but whose range was an Achille's heel. Upon its entry into WWII, the United States Eighth Air Force introduced the P-47 to try to address the Allie's range problem, but with the brute-like proportions of the Republic Thunderbolt, this came at a cost. If we were to change the shape of the European air war and escort the bombers deep into Germany, I knew we needed something else.

The new Merlin-powered P-51B aircraft had been slated for the Ninth Air Force's support of the invasion, but as the CO of the 4th Fighter Group, part of the Eighth Air Force, I orchestrated a test flight in the P-51. Within minutes of flying in the 51, I knew we had a war winner. It was an aircraft that could turn with the best, at high altitude or on the deck. And do that deep into Germany where we could take on and smash the Luftwaffe in the sky and on their airfields. This ability kept our bombers protected, caused the Luftwaffe to lose aircraft with experienced pilots, and disrupted Germany's supply lines. The introduction of this one type of aircraft changed the shape of the war and brought about its end more quickly.

Though we will never see the likes of the great air battles of WWII again, there are several lovingly maintained examples of thethoroughbred aircraft still flying. John Dibbs has photographed many of them for this fine volume. I took a memorable trip back to England where John hosted me at the Flying Legends air show and have since come to know John and his work. I greatly admire his dedication to authenticity and his skill and determination in overcoming the many challenges this work presents. These magnificent pictures speak for themselves. These pages roll back sixty years and make it seem like yesterday. I have had the opportunity and pleasure to have flown and been a part of that time in history when the planes as well as the men were reaching goals never imagined.

John's photographs capture both the beauty and drama of the WWII aircraft in flight. From a sleek fighter seemingly inches from your face to a huger bomber lost in a sweeping landscape, his images offer veterans the chance to admire their trusted mounts now that the combat is history, and gives future generations the opportunity to remember those times and the sacrifice.

Colonel Donald J. Blakeslee
Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, distinguished Flying Cross (RAF), seven Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Air Medals

Read More Show Less

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