2nd Tactical Air Force, vol. 4 – review

Christopher Shores and Chris Thomas, are experienced and knowledgeable authors, who wrote several books about 2nd Tactical Air Force before, completed their brilliant 2nd TAF`s monograph with fourth volume entitled 2nd Tactical Air Force, Squadrons, Camouflage and Markings, Weapons and Tactics 1943-1945. It was published – as three previous volumes – by Classic Publications (imprint of Ian Allan Publishing), in good quality paper with hardcover and hundreds of marvelous pictures inside.

            Fruits of long-lasting researches done by authors are easily visible when reading the book. Whole record of the amazing photographs, veterans` memoirs and RAF archives completed the book. Moreover, interesting drawings and plates have been added. They shows aircrafts paintings and markings, tactical formations or even operational day of Advanced Landing Ground during the climax of battle in Normandy.

            2nd TAF Volume Four, in 179 pages and ten chapters focus on the threads that were mentioned in previous volumes, but now authors gave us very detailed look on such important factors like tactics, weapons, training, camouflage and markings, squadrons` OOB (and comparison with the Luftwaffe units) or sad disbandment of the 2nd TAF. There are also two stories told by eye-witnesses of the 2nd TAF operational history. One comes from a RAF Regiment 309th Mobile Signals Servicing Unit and gives more light on such unknown matter as service of maintaining signals & proper functions of the airfield on the frontline. Second is a diary of the ground crew member and remembers sorties flown during the great operation Plunder.

            2nd Tactical Air Force is not so well known and popular within writes and historians as other big Allied air forces, for example The Mighty Eight. However, it had a extraordinary influence on the events that took place in North West Europe from 1943 onwards. Thanks to Christopher Shores and Chris Thomas, history of the 2nd TAF will not stay undiscovered. Theirs book covers all the aspects of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, making the whole monograph successful and must-read for every history & military aviation enthusiast!

The book was made available for review thanks to Ian Allan Publishing.