Hells Angels The True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War II

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Shattered Sword makes extensive use of Japanese primary sources. It also corrects the many errors of Mitsuo Fuchida's Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan It thus forces a major, potentially controversial reevaluation of the great battle. During the third week of February , the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later.

Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. Few perspectives epitomize the sheer drama and sacrifice of combat more perfectly than those of the fighter pilots of World War II.

As romanticized as any soldier in history, the World War II fighter pilot was viewed as larger than life: a dashing soul waging war amongst the clouds. In the plus years since the Allied victory, stories of these pilots' heroics have never been in short supply. But what about their adversaries - the highly skilled German aviators who pushed the Allies to the very brink of defeat? Four days before Christmas in , a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a year-old pilot.

Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

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‎Hell's Angels: The True Story of the rd Bomb Group in World War II on Apple Books

The very young men who flew the B24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exemplary band of brothers. In The Wild Blue , Stephen Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship. Stephen Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and chose those few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. On his 19th birthday, James E.

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Brown tries to fake to his flight instructor that he has flown before. On his 21st birthday, Brown is on his way home after logging 85 missions in a P fighter over Italy, France, and Germany. Brown's stories surrounding his training and combat experiences in World War II reveal brushes with death, continuous peril and, ultimately, a coming of age for a young man whose freshman year in college becomes instead a heroic engagement with one of the fiercest enemies his country has ever encountered.

Fast, rugged, and demanding to fly, it was an intimidating machine. But in the hands of its young Fleet Air Arm pilots, it also proved to be a lethal weapon. Facing a desperate and determined enemy, Kamikaze attacks, and the ever-present dangers of flying off a pitching carrier deck, death was never far away. It was mostly a collection of aging boats. Fortunately, with the war in Europe was already two years old and friction with Japan ever increasing, help from what would become known as the Silent Service in the Pacific was on the way: there were 73 of the new fleet submarines under construction.

During the air battles that destroyed Nazi Germany's ability to wage war, one bomb group was especially distinguished. Although the US declared war against Germany in December , the country lacked the manpower, the equipment, and the experience it needed to fight. Even had an invasion force been ready, a successful assault on Nazi-occupied Europe could not happen until Germany's industrial and military might were crippled.

Hell’s Angels: the True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War Two

Because no invasion could happen without air superiority, the first target was the Luftwaffe - the most powerful and battle-hardened airforce in the world. One of the standout units of this campaign was the legendary rd Bomb Group - a.


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Hell's Angels. This is the rd's story, as told by the men who made it what it was. Taking their name from their B of the same name, they became one of the most distinguished and important air combat units in history. The dramatic and terrible air battles they fought against Germany changed the course of the war. Would you consider the audio edition of Hell's Angels to be better than the print version? It's difficult to say--I sure didn't like to stop listening.

What did you like best about this story? Although the stories of air combat are told in a way that's both exciting and personal, it's not just about air combat, which, when overdone, can get numbing or overwhelming. The fighting is woven into a total story of strategy, tactics, equipment and people. And it tells the story of the support personnel as well--these are the folks who made sure the aircraft and men were ready for each mission.

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And it includes lots of personal stories and vignettes that make the men and what they did that much more real. Altogether it makes a very engaging story. Robertson Dean performs this amazing story with the gravitas it warrants while simultaneously drawing the reader into the gut-wrenching action that typified the air war over Europe.


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His timing and tempo, together with his ability to apply nuance and heart, move the book along perfectly. It's difficult to imagine this book read by anyone else. If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be? Terror, heart and sacrifice at five miles high. Any additional comments?

Awesome just awesome. Greatest book ever. Really enjoyed the story. I would highly recommend it. Thank you very much.

Very well-narrated. The actual "story" of the rd and it's men is only about half the book. The other half is about the B bombers, emerging technologies, and mission experiences. While I enjoyed this level of detail and background, it may appear more like a text book to many readers. The most important part of this book is that it does not shy away from the personal and physical impacts of combat. Well written and read.

Highly recommend, it gives you a view into the air war over Europe and the men that were lost. Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why? As a former combat fighter pilot, the author has an in-depth knowledge of the subject, and he is a master storyteller. What other book might you compare Hell's Angels to and why? Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer.

They complement one another and Hell's Angels is largely about the personal reflections of flight crews and Half a Wing goes into technical aspects and covers the aftermath of the war on former combatants who meet one another. Which character — as performed by Robertson Dean — was your favorite?

Hells Angels B17 303 Bomber squad

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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Saddened by all the carnage. They volunteered as pilots and crew members in many of the most important and dangerous aerial missions in WWII. Jay Stout, the author, is a former combat fighter pilot who has "been there, and done that," and now plies his skills as a master story teller. Bruce Frazer. A true account of what it was really like to be in a B crew in the dangerous sky's of Europe.

They fought as a team and died as a team while slowly eroding the Nazi industrial complex. A great historical account of the Army Air Force. What was one of the most memorable moments of Hell's Angels? Strategic bombing was a dream of the crop of airmen born in World War I who continued to develop better aircraft and doctrine during the interwar years. Yet, even with these visionaries touting the potential of huge bomber fleets pounding an enemy into submission, the United States was woefully unprepared for both the scale and intensity of the air combat that would eventually occur in the skies above Germany and occupied Europe.

Nonetheless, the U. The rd Bomb Group's trials and tribulations of forming a true strategic air arm are told with honesty and detail. The armada of Bs were manned by crew members who learned their craft in combat, sometimes with tragic or comical results. Many of the first raids bombed the wrong target or were forced to return due to bad weather. The odds of an aviator completing the required 25 missions to end their combat tour seemed to grow as the aerial duels became more intense. Through it all, Stout tells the story of how the aircrews continued to carry out their duty and how they tried to cope with knowing that each mission flown could be their last as the unforgiving environment of aerial combat offered many unique and horrible ways to die, from a sudden explosion of their aircraft, to a mishap trying to bail out of a stricken B, to the potential that German civilians or soldiers would angrily murder them on the ground even if they survived bailing out.

They were ordinary Americans who learned their craft on the job while suffering horrific casualties.