The Thousand Bomber Raids

1942 was a crucial year for the fortunes of Bomber Command. The newly appointed Commander-in-Chief, Sir Arthur Harris, knew he had to show quickly that his ideas for broader, strategic bombing could make a real difference to the war, so with Churchill’s blessing he set about planning a vast initial air attack using at least one thousand bombers.

It was Cologne which became the target of the colossal raid on the night of 30th May 1942. The success of that first raid was convincing while the two major follow up ‘Thousand’ raids on Essen and Bremen in June were less so, but still emphatically justified Bomber Command’s new expansive and aggressive role.

More importantly, the raids forced an outraged Hitler to divert large and increasingly scarce military resources to the defence of his German cities.

The RAF Pathfinders

Author, and aviation historian, Martyn Chorlton has written a gripping account of the RAF’s Pathfinder Squadrons, recalling the challenges faced in the smoke-filled skies over occupied Europe between 1942-1945.

The role of the Pathfinder force was to locate the target and lay down fire markers for the mass of bombers following behind them. It was a successful technique that had been used against Coventry and other cities by the Germans in 1940.

Now the RAF needed its air force of elite bomber crews, hand picked for their navigation ability, high morale, skills outside the normal range of flying tasks, and in particular for their cold determination when in action to, in RAF parlance, ‘Press on Regardless’.

They were the bravest of the brave. They had to be. To join a Pathfinder Squadron was a rare privilege and all the crews were volunteers. But with it went a huge leap in the likelihood of being shot down as their planes led the way through the dark smoke filled skies above occupied Europe.

The book describes all the major operations in which the Pathfinders were involved. These include the Battle of the Ruhr, the Berlin Offensive of 1943/4, and the celebrated raid on the German V2 rocket works at Peenemunde.

It is a tribute to those who flew with a Pathfinder Squadron. They flew some 50,000 individual sorties against enemy targets. The cost in human lives was very heavy; some 3,700 Pathfinder aircrew were killed in operations.

Paperback 192 pages

ISBN 9781846742019

Dimensions

23cm x 15.5cm x 1.5cm

The RAF 1918-2018

For a hundred years the Royal Air Force has been at the forefront of the UK’s defences. In the 1920s and 1930s, the RAF protected Britain’s empire; during the Second World War it played a key role in defeating the Axis; and through the 1950s and 1960s it was a key part of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Julian Hale examines the history of the RAF through its organisation, personnel, aircraft and campaigns, from the biplanes of the First World War, through its ‘Finest Hour’ in 1940 and the dawn of the jet age to today’s hi-tech aircraft and the emerging role of the unmanned aerial vehicle. Enriched with personal accounts and a wealth of photographs, this book provides a concise introduction to the world’s first air force.

Format: Paperback

The Mosquito Pocket Manual

he de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed “The Wooden Wonder”. The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crews. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber the Mosquito was adapted to a wide range of bombing roles. It was also used by BOAC as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from neutral countries through enemy controlled airspace.

The book collates a variety of pamphlets and manuals on the plane that were produced throughout the war for the benefit of pilots and others associated with the aircraft.

Hardback 160 pages
ISBN 9781472834324

Dimensions 18.5cm x 12.5cm x 1.5cm

The Lancaster Bomber Pocket Manual

The Avro Lancaster was the RAF’s most famous and successful heavy bomber of the Second World War. Used predominantly at night, ‘Lancs’ dropped 608,612 tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties in the period 1942-1945. Some of these missions were incredibly daring – notably the ‘dambusters’ raid of 617 squadron on the Ruhr valley dams in May 1943. The success of such operations was testament both to the rugged, reliable qualities of this amazing aircraft and the bravery and skill of the pilots, navigators, bombardiers, flight engineers and gunners that crewed it. They relied on their training and experience, supplemented by various pamphlets and manuals that were produced throughout the war. Supplemented with illustrative plans and diagrams, this fascinating pocket manual provides a unique insight into the wartime operation of this famous aircraft.

Hardback 127 pages
ISBN 9781472830449

The Kings Thunderbolts

The King’s Thunderbolts: 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron RAF. Operational Record and Roll of Honour. 1917-1982 – Alan White

This book provides a definitive history of one of the RAF’s most famous squadrons; 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, from their formation as a Home Defence Unit in 1917 through to their famous involvement in the Black Buck operations during the Falklands War in 1982, shortly before they were disbanded. 44 Squadron were one of only two squadrons to operate through the whole of WW2 and the book covers this period in detail. One consequence of their continuous involvement in the bombing campaign is that they had the third highest casualty rate of any RAF bomber squadron. Many acts of bravery and moments of tragedy are recounted in this book.

The Home Front

39 Page booklet on the Home Front by Guy De La Bédoyère.

Publisher Shire Library

The Greatest Escape

This is the story of a wartime bomber, its crew and of a tantalising detective story unfolding over nearly a quarter of a century of intensive research. It is also a story of courage, fortitude and endurance and of one man’s will to survive against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Bomber Command’s horrific loss rate during the Second World War cannot be underestimated. Of the 120,000 young aircrew who served, 55,373 were to perish, most of them losing their lives over the night skies of Europe.

The Battle of the Ruhr, the campaign to destroy the industrial heartland of Germany which raged between March and July 1943, was both savage in intensity and costly in terms of aircrew. Prospects for survival for anyone involved in operational flying with Bomber Command at that time were particularly bleak. Young aircrew could expect a lifespan measured in terms of weeks where seemingly only a fiery death in an exploding aircraft or captivity as a Prisoner of War awaited. It is with this period that the book is primarily concerned and, more specifically, with the crew of Halifax JB869 of 102 Squadron, of which the author’s father was the navigator, and its loss on the night of 4 May 1943.

He survived baling out and, later, an attempted lynching on the ground to become a Prisoner of War. But his escape from his shattered aircraft was only the first of many episodes in his two years of captivity that would see him pushed to the limits of endurance and face death more than once.

Like so many veterans the author’s father chose not to speak about his wartime experiences until quite late in his life and it was only after his death and the chance discovery of an archive of letters, logbooks, accounts and other material that the full story of his incredible series of escapes came to light.

Through extensive research, including face-to-face interviews and correspondence with a significant number of ex-aircrew, the author has painstakingly pieced together the complete story of the crew of this aircraft, identifying and contacting relatives of each crew member and, for some, bringing closure after decades of not knowing how (or in some cases where) their loved one had met their deaths.

Hardback 268 pages

ISBN: 9781399075275

The Female Few

Through the darkest days of the Second World War, an elite group of courageous civilian women risked their lives as aerial courier pilots, flying Lancaster bombers, Spitfires and many other powerful war machines in thousands of perilous missions.

The dangers these women faced were many: they flew unarmed, without radio and in some cases without instruments, in conditions where even unexpected cloud could mean disaster.

In The Female Few, five of these astonishingly brave women tell their awe-inspiring tales of incredible risk, tenacity and sacrifice. Their spirit and fearlessness in the face of death still resonates down the years, and their accounts reveal a forgotten chapter in the history of the Second World War.

IBCC HOODIE

This warm winter hoodie comes in black and navy, with large IBCC logo and a kangaroo pocket to the front and a plain back.

Available in sizes Small – XXXLarge

The Complete Dambusters

On 16 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster aircraft from the RAF’s 617 Squadron set off to attack the great dams in the industrial heart of Germany. Flying at a height of 60ft, they dropped a series of bombs which bounced across the water and destroyed two of their targets, thereby creating a legend. The one-off operation combined an audacious method of attack, technically brilliant flying and visually spectacular results. But while the story of Operation Chastise is well known, most of the 133 ‘Dambusters’ who took part in the Dams Raid have until now been just names on a list. They came from all parts of the UK and the Commonwealth and beyond, and each of them was someone’s son or brother, someone’s husband or father. This is the first book to present their individual stories and celebrate their skill, heroism and, for many, sacrifice

Paperback 320 pages

ISBN: 9780750988087

The British Airman of the Second World War

British airmen experienced a wide range of conditions and challenges during the Second World War. They served in every corner of the globe, operating over oceans and deserts, jungles and cities. In this fully illustrated introduction to the subject, Stuart Hadaway examines the experiences of the young men who, as well as carrying out air offensives, had to fly, navigate and defend their aircraft.

The expertise of each crew member could be very specific and even within the same aircraft his skills might be incomprehensible to his companions. The work of the Fleet Air Arm and Army air units are also covered, as are the roles of the ground-based staff who offered the support necessary for a successful mission.

Paperback: 64 pages

The Berlin Raids: The Bomber Battle

The Battle of Berlin was the longest and most sustained bombing offensive against one target in the Second World War. Bomber Commands Commander-in-Chief, Sir Arthur Harris, hoped to wreak Berlin from end to end and produce a state of devastation in which German surrender is inevitable. He dispatched nineteen major raids between August 1943 and March 1944 more than 10,000 aircraft sorties dropped over 30,000 tons of bombs on Berlin. It was the RAFs supreme effort to end the war by aerial bombing. But Berlin was not destroyed and the RAF lost more than 600 aircraft and their crews. The controversy over whether the Battle of Berlin was a success or failure has continued ever since. Martin Middlebrook brings to this subject considerable experience as a military historian. In preparing his material he collected documents from both sides (many of the German ones never before used); he has also interviewed and corresponded with over 400 of the people involved in the battle and has made trips to Germany to interview the people of Berlin and Luftwaffe aircrews. He has achieved the difficult task of bringing together both sides of the Battle of Berlin the bombing force and the people on the ground to tell a coherent, single story. The author describes the battle, month by month, as the bombers waited for the dark nights, with no moon, to resume their effort to destroy Berlin and end the war. He recounts the ebb and flow of fortunes, identifying the tactical factors that helped first the bombers, then the night fighters, to gain the upper hand. Through the words of the participants, he brings to the reader the hopes, fears and bravery of the young bomber aircrews in the desperate air battles that were waged as the Luftwaffe attempted to protect their capital city.

Format: Paperback

Pages- 407

Spitfire Pencil Sharpener

Add great British military decor to your desk at home or work with this miniature die cast Supermarine Spitfire Royal Air Force airplane model.

This diecast miniature replica features meticulous attention to detail and even has a movable propeller like the Spitfires used by the RAF and the allied forces during WWII.

Miniature metal plane collectible also doubles as a pencil sharpener and is the perfect addition to your home or office collection.

Give one as a gift to a fellow active or veteran military member and get one to add a unique touch to your office desk.

Miniature Spitfire military plane pencil sharpener has a 4 3/4″ wingspan, is 4 1/2″ long, and 1 1/4″ tall. Model die cast Spitfire airplane pencil sharpener ships brand new in manufacturer’s packaging with our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Replica Pack – Children’s War

Children’s War memorabilia pack is a collection of high quality reproduced paper memorabilia from World War 2. The contents are all related to a childrens experience of the War and it makes an excellent educational aid. It’s packaged in a clear bag with header card.

Children’s War Memorabilia Pack Contents

  • Childrens newspaper
  • Boys Own magazine
  • Mother and child booklet
  • Evacuation handbill
  • Information leaflet
  • Variety of paperwork
  • Food recipes
  • Ration Book
  • Poster
  • Miscellaneous images.

Replica Pack – Blitz

Blitz memorabilia pack is a collection of high quality reproduced paper memorabilia from the Blitz of WW2. The contents are all related the experience of the Blitz and it makes an excellent educational aid. It’s packaged in a clear bag with header card.

The Blitz Memorabilia Pack Contents

  • General advice leaflets
  • ARP booklet
  • Body tag
  • Air Raid warden’s letter
  • Cooking advice
  • Fire precaution leaflet
  • Selection of of trade cards and Blitz images

Replica of Make Do and Mend Booklet

Replica of Make Do and Mend booklet originally published in 1943 by the HMSO prepared for the Board of Trade by the Ministry of Information. Hints on making clothes last longer, washing, mending and remaking.

31 pages + index and Make do and Mend Aids.

Replica – Memorabilia Pack Company.

Replica of “Joining Up?” booklet

Replica of “Joining Up?” booklet. A 62 page handy guide for every recruit, Army, Navy and Air Force. First Published April 1940.

Replica – Memorabilia Pack Company.

Replica of How to keep well in Wartime booklet

Replica of How to keep well in Wartime booklet. First published in 1943. Issued for the Ministry of Health by the Ministry of Information. 28 pages plus Index.

Replica – Memorabilia Pack Company.

Replica Newspaper – Dambusters

Daily Telegraph from 18th May 1943. The RAF blew up three key dams in the Ruhr Valley, engulfing bridges and power plants and inflicting industrial disaster on Germany. Adverts of the day and other wartime news.

Replica Newspaper – Britain Declares War

A complete replica of the Daily Express newspaper from Sept. 4th 1939. Britain had declared war on Germany the previous day. Lots of important news such as bank closures and petrol rationing as well as everyday news, adverts and sport.

Replica Newspaper – Blitz

Complete twelve page replica of the Daily Sketch newspaper from August 29th 1940, when London was the target for Nazi bombers.

Excellent double page spread covering the downing of a Heinkel aircraft, as well as lots of local stories, adverts and cartoon strip.

Replica Leaflet – Puddings and Sweets (WW2)

Ministry of Food – Puddings and Sweets – WW2 Replica Leaflet. WW2 replica for wartime cooking for children. Perfect as gifts, teaching aids and resources, props for plays, set building, project research and more.