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Defiant, Blenheim and Havoc Aces

Defiant, Blenheim and Havoc Aces Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2012 Title Defiant, Blenheim and Havoc Aces
Author Andrew Thomas Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849086660
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95


This absorbing account begins with a bang.

Mark Postlethwaite’s thrilling cover captures the fantastic 29 May 1940 exploits of Flt Lt Nicholas Cooke and Cpl Albert Lippett.  The No264 Sqn Defiant crew dispatched two Bf 109s, one Bf 110, five Ju 87s – and shared destruction of two Ju 88s – in one day’s combat over Dunkirk.  In all, No264’s Defiants downed an amazing 37 Luftwaffe machines that day.

And it gets better from there.  Author Andrew Thomas charts the meteoric rise and fall of Boulton Paul’s turreted terror, Bristol’s Blenheim IF escort and night fighter, and Douglas’ Havoc fighter conversions in RAF service.

Contents roam from initial daylight actions, through Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, to early night operations with airborne radar and searchlights.  Thomas seasons the saga with alternating historical notes and aircrew anecdotes – before concluding coverage with Blenheim fighters over Greece, Iraq, and Malaysia.

Fascinating photos pepper passages.  Twelve pages of color profiles offer ample modeling inspiration.  And appendices and index supplement text.

Eleven Commonwealth aces claimed five or more kills in the Defiant, Blenheim, or Havoc – and 33 more scored on at least one of the types. This entertaining effort outlines the terrific tale. Just one nitpick: colons – not semicolons – should proceed quotations!


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!