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Squadrons! No.4 - The Boeing Fortress Mk.I

Squadrons! No.4 - The Boeing Fortress Mk.I Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2015 Title Squadrons! No.4 - The Boeing Fortress Mk.I
Author Phil Listemann Publisher Philedition
Published 2015 ISBN 978-2918590-29-3
Format 30 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $9.95


Phil Listemann has released the latest monograph under the Squadrons! banner. In Volume 4, the author looks at the Boeing B-17C Flying Fortress in RAF operations as the Fortress Mk.I. Given that the USAAC had never operated the early B-17s in combat, you might wonder how Boeing was able to evolve the design from the early designs to the widely produced B-17F/G variants. The answer lies inside this interesting title.

As deperate as the RAF was in the late 1930s for combat aircraft, they only purchased 20 B-17Cs from Boeing (released from USAAC service) for evaluation. Even then, the RAF was skeptical of the aircraft's limited defense armament though they were impressed with its long range. Early operations of the Fortress Mk.I coincided with the early days of RAF Bomber Command operations where daylight bombardment was also under evaluation. The Fortress Mk.I saw operations in Europe as well as North Africa before moving over to Coastal Command. Boeing was able to learn a number of valuable lessons about a variety of engineering and reliability problems in this aircraft which would go on to make later models far more robust.

These titles provide concise information on the operations and highlights of these aircraft in RAF service. Check out this and other titles offered by this author on his RAF-in-Combat website.

My sincere thanks to Phil H. Listemann for the review sample.