Category Archives: Aircraft

Secret Allied Aircraft of World War II

WWII – I came across this video of a History Channel program. There was a lot in this video I had never heard of. It is close to 45 minutes in length, but is well worth the invested time.

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Review of “The Rising Sun”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “The Rising Sun” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper version published in 1999) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the South Pacific during early (1941-42) World War II. Japan has attacked the US at Pearl Harbor and is rapidly growing its control over East Asia. The primary character is RAF Wing Commander Ken Armstrong.

Armstrong has led his flight of 20 Hurricane fighters from Cairo to near Rangoon, Burma (now known at Yangon, Myanmar) as reinforcements. He, and his command, struggle against overwhelming odds to slow the Japanese advance. As hard as they fight, the Japanese forces continue to spread. As usual in Jackson novels, there is plenty of daring flying and dramatic situations.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this World War II novel. For some reason, most of the novels of this era I have read lately are set in Europe. Reading something about the Pacific Theatre was a welcome change. I do like the way that Jackson mixes history into his novels. I have read, and enjoyed, several other books by Jackson and two others with Armstrong as the main character. The cover art is OK, showing battle at sea. I think it should have been a Hurricane and Zero in a dog fight. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Malta Victory”

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Book Reviews – “Malta Victory” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1980) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books. This is the fourth in his “Yeoman” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set on the island of Malta in the Eastern Mediterranean during 1942, The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is assigned to an RAF Spitfire squadron on the island of Malta. The British are resisting heavy bombardment and attack by both German and Italian aircraft. Yeoman and the other RAF pilots struggle to survive as they are severely out numbered by enemy aircraft. He adds to his count of aircraft shot down, but suffers from the loss of friends and poor living conditions.

The only thing holding off a German invasion is the lack of total air superiority over the island. The question is will the British be able to hold on long enough to keep the Axis powers from invading.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 160 page World War II novel. I have read several Jackson novels now and this is much like the others – a little history mixed with fictional tales of his characters. The cover art is reasonable, showing Spitfires ready for takeoff. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Target Tobruk”

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Book reviewsWWII – “Target Tobruk” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper version was first published in 1979) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the third novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in North Africa and on Crete during 1941. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

The British are desperately fighting the German and Italian forces in North Africa. Yeoman gets assigned to Tobruk, which is essentially under siege by the Germans. He witnesses a lot of combat, though not all in the skies. He is also sent to Crete to help defend against invading Germans. The British are forced out of Crete and hundreds flee on a variety of Royal Navy vessels. Not all of which make it to the relatively safety of Egypt.Yeoman does his extraordinary flying, but finds himself having to bail out of his faltering aircraft yet again.

I enjoyed the not quite 4 hours I spent reading this 160 page WWII novel. I have read a handful of books by Jackson and found them all to be interesting. In this case you get an image of the war as seen by those fighting in North Africa. The cover art is OK, but since this is a book about Hurricanes, I think a combat photo of a fighter would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hurricane Squadron”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Hurricane Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the first novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in France during 1940 as the German Army invades the country at the outbreak of World War II. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is sent to France as a replacement to a Hurricane fighter unit stationed in norther France. The story tells of his exploits on air missions against the Germans. It also tells of his adventures after being shot down twice. The novel gives a historical view of this tumultuous and dangerous time in our history.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 144 page WWII Fiction novel. I already have read a few of the later novels in the series and enjoyed them as well. I liked the character of Yeoman as well as the look into the history of the period that the novel provides. The cover art is a reasonable choice for this novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Venom Squadron”

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“Venom Squadron” eBook was publlished in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published over 50 books.This is the 10th of his “Sergeant Yeoman” series novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Middle East and Cypress. It is 1956 and the British and French are in deep conflict with Egypt over the Suez Canal.

A tiny oil rich Arab state, Muramshir, asks for help from the British. Wing Commander George Yeoman is sent with Venom fighter bombers as well as some British SAS soldiers to support Muramshir.

Things do not go as planned. A neighboring country’s threats become hostilities when they invade Muramshir’s oil field. Yeoman must lead his men in defending against the invaders, while trying not to let events spiral out of control. Russian ‘advisors’ are at hand ready to step in and establish a presence in the middle east.

This was a pretty good 5.5 hour Military Thriller of 176 pages. This story pits the West against the scourge of Communism. There is plenty of action with Yeoman finding himself in one fix after another. The cover is a little plain but it is consistent with all the books of this series. I have read several of the “Sergeant Yeoman” series books and they are all pretty good, though dated. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hunter Squadron”

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“Hunter Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published over 50 books.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Congolese Republic in 1960. The primary character is RAF Group Captain George Yeoman. Yeoman is now in command of a squadron of Hawker Hunter jet fighters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hunter) and he is sent to Africa.

The small state of Warambe is the home to uranium mines that supply the British. A local politician in an adjoining country, Nkrombe, is stirring up trouble and has assembled a small mercenary army including F-86 Sabre jet fighters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_F-86_Sabre). Yeoman’s mission is to prevent disruption of Warambe mining.

This is not a long read at less than 6 hours for this 160 page novel. It was an interesting read, I have read several of Jackson’s “Yeoman” books now. This was a pretty good Thriller, though it is certainly dated. It was not filled with action, but the pace was good and kept my interest. I think that part of the reason I liked it was that it continues the story of a character I have come to know. The book cover is ‘OK’, though not very exciting. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).