By Christopher Shores, Clive Williams
A revised choice of the biographies of the top scoring Allied fighter pilots of worldwide struggle II. All information in their strive against are prepared in tabular shape. incorporated are a range of pictures from hitherto deepest collections.
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Extra info for Aces High, Volume 1. A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the British and Commonwealth...
This success coincided with a decision by the government to reinforce Greece, which was now considered to be under threat of German invasion. Many units were withdrawn from the Western Desert for service in this country, including 33 and 112 Squadrons. Egypt meanwhile was reinforced by 73 Squadron from England, the first of many units to be sent out over the next 18 months. In April 1941, in order to secure the southern flanks prior to the planned invasion of the Soviet Union, and following a show of defiance by the Yugoslavs, German forces invaded Yugoslavia and Greece, whilst a force was sent to Libya to bolster the Italians there, preceded by the arrival of Luftwaffe units in Sicily to neutralise Malta and the British fleets in the Mediterranean.
The story of all these early operations, from September 1940 to the fall of Norway, is told in detail in Fledgling Eagles, another title in the Grub Street series). In France the start of the major German spring offensive which began by invading Holland and Belgium, and driving armoured units through the Ardennes forests to outflank the French frontier defences, became known as the ‘Blitzkrieg’. From 10 May 1940 all units were involved in constant heavy action, suffering attacks on their airfields, and frequent moves during an increasingly chaotic retreat.
The average pilot of those days could usually hit an enemy aeroplane when he overhauled it from dead astern and sprayed his opponent with eight machine guns, but give him a testing deflection shot and he usually missed. Because the average fighter pilot was a poor shot our machine guns were harmonised to give a fairly large ‘shotgun’ bullet pattern at the best firing range, and this ‘area of lethal density’, as it was called, gave the poor marksman the best chance of destroying his opponent. But good shots – Sailor Malan, Harry Broadhurst, Teddy Donaldson, Denys Gillam, ‘Screwball’ Beurling, ‘Hawkeye’ Wells and Wally McLeod – found that the shotgun grouping did not give them a good concentration of fire and harmonised their guns to give a ‘spot’ pattern which when used with the improved 20mm cannon tore enemy aeroplanes asunder.