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311 Squadron

311 Squadron Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2014 Title 311 Squadron
Author Pavel Vancata Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 9788361421436
Format 160 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $26.95


Thousands escaped the tyranny of Nazi-occupied Europe to fight for the Allies during World War II.  And among these were expatriate Czechoslovak airmen.

Now some are the subject of a terrific tome from MMP Books.

311 Squadron – part the publisher's Blue Series and available in North America from Casemate – tells the total tale of this proud RAF bomber unit in an abundantly illustrated, absorbing account.

Author Pavel Vancata has mined amazing amounts of archival detail.  Names.  Dates.  Aircraft.  Serials.  Markings.  Movements.  Year-by-year.  All packed into 160 pithy pages.

The RAF's only all-Czechoslovak bomber squadron flew Vickers Wellingtons and Consolidated B-24 Liberators on bombing and maritime missions.  And dozens of photos and color plates illustrate 311 Squadron aircraft – including utility types.  Maps, tables, biographic sidebars and eleven appendices further support this solid study.

Engrossing details also pepper MMP's narrative.  You'll learn, for instance, that, before joining RAF service, F/O Jan Roman Irving flew rare Amiot 351 bombers with the Armée de l'Aire's GB I/21 during the Battle of France.  How many can claim that distinction?  Jumped by seven Ju 88's, P/O/ J. Strach's Liberator destroyed one and damaged two attackers – and completely escaped without damage.  What's the chance of that?

MMP has forged justly radiant repute with gems like this.  And I loved this brilliant little book.

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to Casemate for the review copy.