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Short Stirling Units of World War 2

Short Stirling Units of World War 2 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2018 Title Short Stirling Units of World War 2
Author Jonathan Falconer Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2018 ISBN 9781472820426
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $23.00


Plagued by mechanical, reliability, and design issues, the Short Stirling – the RAF's first monoplane four-engine heavy bomber – initially spearheaded Britain's strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany.

Rather rapidly replaced by the more capable Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax, Stirling nevertheless soldiered on in radio-countermeasure, troop- & freight-transport, agent-dropping, and glider-tug roles.

Now Jonathan Falconer surveys the warplane's operational career in Short Stirling Units of World War 2 – 124th in Osprey's "Combat Aircraft" series.

Coverage courses chronologically from development and testing through bombing and pathfinder missions to transport duties and final disposition.

Along the way, author Falconer duly notes key personalities in Stirling's saga – in and out of the aircraft. And readers learn Stirling nomenclature – like "circuses" and "gardening", "Mandrel" and "Window", "Joe hole" and "Jedburgh".

Names. Dates. Squadrons. Targets. Mission outcomes. And anecdotes. Participating Stirling serials, too. Osprey's slim study packs plenty into just 96 pithy pages.

That includes dozens of period photos with extended captions – and 24 color profiles and four plan views with accompanying commentary.

Use that camouflage & markings art on Airfix's classic 1:72 kit – or on Italeri's more recent release to the same scale. But what happened to those Stirling V PJ956 dorsal colors on page 42?

Two appendices list Stirling units. And "bibliography and sources" notes and index wrap things up.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!