Good Books/Sources on the RAF in the Far East

Discussion in 'WWII Books' started by Negative Creep, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Negative Creep

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    Well it's my final year of university and that means one thing - the dreaded dissertation. For it I will be working on the role of the RAF in the far east, the exact title will be known once I've researched into just what is available. I didn't want to do the European air war, or the Americans in the Pacific because let's face it, everyone does that. Of course this means less is available.

    I'm starting research right away, so first step is to see if anyone can recommend some good books on the subject. Websites are good as well, but I need to provide a list of published books. Anything detailing pilot's experiences, especially in regard to being in 'the forgotten air war' would be doubly helpful. Cheers!
     
  2. magnu

    magnu Member

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    Spitfires over the Arrakan (can't remember author) They gave me a Seafire by commander Mike Crossley (only in pacific for final part of the war, but still an interesting read) Just a couple of titles giving personal accounts. Haven't read any overviews that give the bigger picture
     
  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Read the "Bloody Shambles" series. Got the recommendation on this board and it was worth it. Excellent books (three of them) covering the begining of the war in the East all the way through to the end. Covers some of the USAAC in the begining but tails off fast. Covers the CBI all the way through.

    Good luck. Keep in mind that with a hundred dissertations a year, they can't know the details of everything. In short, embelishing is common.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Not my particular field, the far east, but one 'photo album' type book I have, which has some detailed accounts of the far-east air war, is 'Beaufighter at War', Chaz Bowyer, Ian Allan Ltd., 1976 (and re-prints) ISBN 0 7110 0704 7.
    If you can't get hold of a copy, and you think it might be helpful, you can borrow my copy, on the usual proviso.
    Also, I've noticed over the past year or so, that more books are emerging covering the 'forgotten war', and a quick look at some of the advert pages in 'Flypast' or 'Aeroplane' magazines, might turn up something useful covering SEAC operations. good luck with the research, and let us know how the dissertation goes!
    Terry.
     
  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Mohawks over Burma is a fair book on P36 ops with RAF in Burma what I found interesting was they talked about how much the aircraft lost effectiveness as it aged, an example being how the aircraft was hard pressed to reach 20000ft later in its career
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    That's an interesting point, PB. Don't often hear about performance drop-off with age (in aircraft, that is!). Is that including neccessary engine rebuild or replacement, do you know?
    Terry.
     
  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Some I have dealing with this subject are-
    Buffaloes over Singapore by Brian Cull
    The air battle of Imphal by norman Franks
    Beaufighters over Burma by David Innes
    and like Tim said Bloody shambles, all good reads IMO.
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    It states the oil pressure was consisitently low and above 18000 ft it was required to use the wobble pump for fuel . I believe they were having trouble getting parts for the Wright 1820 Cyclone G 205 possibly because of its French AF origin
     
  9. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    "Bloody Shambles", should be indispensable for this topic. The series has a reference like quality and is very comprehensive but is still quite readable.

    However I would also recommend " Hurricane Over the Jungle" and "Battle for Palembang"[more recently re released as Hurricane vs Zero], both written by Terrence Kelly as essential reading too. Kelly was a Hurricane pilot who fought in Singapore, Sumatra and Java before being captured as a pow by the Japanese. Post war he became a very accomplished writer. I think that Kelly gives a far better picture of why the RAF, and the British Army for that matter, failed in stopping the Japanese onslaught of 1942. Kelly primarily puts the blame on leadership, logistics and a complete lack of allied intelligence on the Japanese forces.

    Slaterat
     
  10. brickhistory

    brickhistory Member

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    Daniel Ford's 'Flying Tigers' has some good info about the RAF in Burma.

    'Silently into the Midst of Things,' A. Southerland Brown, Canadian in the RAF, Beau pilot in India/Burma.



    Not WWII related, but very interesting about the RAF in Malaya is "Operation Firedog," I forget the author.
     
  11. Negative Creep

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    To bump this up as I've now started work on it. Thanks for all the Suggestions, I'm starting to look for the books mentioned (as funds allow of course). Located the Bloody Shambles series, shame it's also Bloody Expensive (3 volumes at £35 each - ouch!) Any more, or ideas where I can get them from?
     
  12. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    The "Bloody Shambles" series are not likely to be found in a public library. They're not exactly main stream reading. I paid $140 Canadian for them but they did not disappoint me at all. They are nice quality books and bindings.

    However you can likely find Terrence Kelly's various books, in paperback , relatively cheap in a good used book store.

    Slaterat
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I found mine at a book store that specialized in military history.
     
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