Of the RAF's trio of four-engined heavy bombers in World War 2, the mighty Short Stirling was the first to enter service in August 1940. From its first raid in February 1941, the Stirling was at the forefront of the British night bombing offensive against Germany before unacceptably high losses forced its relegation to second-line duties later in the war.
In its modified form as the Mark IV, the Stirling fulfilled vital roles with the RAF as a paratroop transport and glider tug on D-Day, at Arnhem and on the Rhine crossing as well as flying countless Special Duties operations over Occupied Europe and Norway. Its last gasp was in 1948-49 when a handful of Mk Vs were acquired by the Royal Egyptian Air Force to bomb Israel in the First Arab–Israeli War.
Containing numerous first-hand combat accounts from the crews that flew the bomber and detailed profile artwork, Short Stirling Units of World War 2 uncovers the history of one of the RAF's greatest World War 2 bombers.
About the Author
Jonathan Falconer is the author of more than 30 books on aspects of aviation and military history, including the Haynes D-Day Operations Manual, de Havilland Mosquito Manual (with Brian Rivas), Short Stirling Manual and theHandley Page Halifax Manual. He is an authority on the Short Stirling bomber and wrote Stirling at War, Stirling Wings and Stirling in Combat. Jonathan lives in Wiltshire.
Chris Davey has illustrated more than 25 titles for Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces, Combat Aircraft and Elite Units series since 1994. Based in the UK, and one of the last traditional airbrush artists in the business, he has become the artist of choice for both USAAF fighters and RAF subject matter, proving his undoubted skill when dealing with large aircraft subjects such as the Halifax and Sunderland.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 In the Beginning 9
Chapter 2 Growing Strength 19
Chapter 3 Confound and Destroy 45
Chapter 4 Cloak and Dagger 51
Chapter 5 Aid from the Skies 70
Colour Plate Commentary 92
Bibliography and Sources 95