David Knights' Weblog

April 3, 2017

Book review: First of the Few, 5 June- 9 July 1940

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:30 am
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Book review: First of the Few, 5 June- 9 July 1940
Author: Brian Cull
ISBN 978-1-78155-116-5
256 pgs
Review by D.M. Knights, IPMS/USA 17656, IPMS/Canada C6091

Brian Cull is one of my favorite aviation authors.  I believe I’ve read nearly everything he’s written, so I was looking forward to his new book, First of the Few.  This book covers the RAF operations (including FAA) from June 5th, the end of the Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) to July 9th, the beginning of the war over the Channel.  This is the time period where the RAF is fighting a retreat, covering the British troops as they evacuate from France.

While covering a time period of a little over a month, it was a hectic month with air operations continuing against the Germans while moving from base to base never knowing exactly when the French were going to capitulate.  The main focus is on the Hurricane squadrons which were part of the BEF and the AASF.  These squadrons had been fighting hard for over a month while constantly moving from base to base as the Germans advanced.  They had been badly decimated but still constituted the only air units which could protect the retreating British troops as they headed for the ports in Normandy and southern France to get out of France before the collapse that was inevitable after Dunkirk.

The stories of individual air combats are compelling and the author has done a good job of reconciling the records of the combatants, so that in many cases we know which pilot shot down another pilot in particular combats.  However, some of the most amazing stories are the pilots who had been wounded in combat and were recovering in France as they desperately made their way seeking any way to get out of the country.  Some pilots made their way, just like ground troops to the ports, while others stole planes from French air bases or civil airports and flew to either the Channel Islands, Britain or Africa.

Also covered in the book are the beginning of the Bomber Command’s strategic operations against both Germany and Italy.  It is amazing to read how small these initial operations were considering how big they became by the end of the war.

In addition to the 256 pages of text, the book has 10 pages of black and white photographs.  In one of the appendixes, the book lists all the Luftwaffe pilots who were released by the French after the armistice.  It includes a number of pilots who went on to become aces, in some cases many times over.

Mr. Cull has a follow-on book scheduled for release later this year.  Titled The Thin Blue Line, it covers the month of the air war over the channel in July and August.  It is unclear if he will continue on and cover the Battle of Britain proper.  I certainly hope he does. List price is $29.95 on Amazon, but shop around and you may find a better deal.

February 19, 2017

AIMS Ju-88P

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:30 pm
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I love AIMS stuff.  Even though the Luftwaffe isn’t my main area of modeling, the AIMS stuff is great.  Now they are doing a Ju-88P conversion.

February 15, 2017

Do-17

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:11 am
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For years, those of us in 72nd scale had only the old Monogram Do-17.  Now we have the Airfix kit, the ICM kit and now Revell re-boxing the ICM kit.

February 11, 2017

The hits just keep on coming

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:36 am
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More and more new kit announcements.  More and more companies I’ve never heard of before.

January 24, 2017

Luftwaffe blog

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:45 am
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Thanks to friend of the blog, Jeff Groves, I found this website.  I’d never seen it before, but if you are a Luftwaffe modeler, this site is a must visit.

December 16, 2016

Early 109s

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:02 pm
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Finally new 72nd scale kits of the early 109s.

October 10, 2016

Modeling news

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:09 am
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I’ve always wanted to do a Do-23.  Now there will be a chance.

Also, cool decals.

January 28, 2016

WW I U-boat found

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 1:05 am
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Story here.

January 5, 2016

Germany’s problem

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 5:07 pm
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“Refugees” from far different cultures with vastly different values regarding women.

March 31, 2015

1:1 Scale modeling

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:44 pm
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Wicked cool.

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