This magnificent and overdue study shows how the Halifax was one of the four heavy bomber designs that won favour from the British Air Ministry's changing design parameters in the 1930s which came about due to growing international tensions
|Book cover finish
||Hardcover ( square back binding )
||Used very good
|Number of pages
||23.2 x 31 x 2 cm
||K. A. Merrick
As a military aircraft the Handley Page Halifax was unique: it served in every conceivable role with distinction. With RAF Bomber Command, it flew no fewer than 75,532 bombing sorties over Germany. With Coastal Command, it mounted anti-submarine and shipping attacks, and undertook much overlooked but vital meteorological duties, including the historic D-Day weather measurements. The Halifax also undertook covert 'Special Duties', dropping agents and supplies behind enemy lines, including the team that attempted to assassinate the notorious SS commander, Reinhard Heydrich. At the testing and evaluation establishments of Boscombe Down and Farnborough, the Halifax was used on a wide range of armament development tests for all Bomber Command types and after World War 2, it had the distinction of being one of two types to open up the air bridge on the first day of 'Operation Plainfare', better known as the Berlin Air Lift. Post-war it was used by a number of foreign air forces, operating in a wide range of roles and as a civil transport throughout Europe, the Middle East and India before finally leaving RAF service in 1953.
This magnificent and overdue study shows how the Halifax was one of the four heavy bomber designs that won favour from the British Air Ministry's changing design parameters in the 1930s which came about due to growing international tensions. The Halifax first emerged as a twin-engined concept before its designers were requested to enlarge the design to a four-engine layout. Out of this somewhat turbulent beginning, the Halifax was redesigned in a form that would take it through the war to the peacetime skies of the immediate post-war period - with extended wing tips, a more streamlined nose, redesigned fin and rudders, and perhaps the most obvious feature, the move from the Rolls- Royce Merlin in-line engines, to powerful Bristol Hercules radial designs.
And although, as respected aviation historian K.A. Merrick explains, the record of the Halifax was occasionally blighted - usually by secondary problems that arose from Air Staff demands that affected the entire bomber force - few aircraft in history have enjoyed such a successful career in so many roles.
With more than 350 photographs, 15 specially commissioned colour profiles and many first-hand accounts, this comprehensive and definitive work on the Handley Page Halifax will at last cement its place in aviation history as a uniquely successful and versatile aircraft which was also a great favourite with all its crews.
Introduction and AcknowledgementsCHAPTER ONE : From Project to ProductionCHAPTER TWO : Into BattleCHAPTER THREE : Expanding the Halifax ForceCHAPTER FOUR : Finding the TargetCHAPTER FIVE : The Bartle IntensifiesCHAPTER SIX : Operations in the Middle East, North Africa and ItalyCHAPTER SEVEN: Special Duties OperationsCHAPTER EIGHT : Coastal CommandCHAPTER NINE : Airborne Forces OperationsCHAPTER TEN : Enter the B Mk IITCHAPTER ELEVEN : Final Operations in EuropeCHAPTER TWELVE : Operations in the Far EastCHAPTER THIRTEEN : Post-war Military UseCHAPTER FOURTEEN : Swords into Ploughshares 1945-1953Appendix 1 : Training for the HalifaxAppendix 2 : Production and RepairAppendix 3 : Contracts and Serial NumbersAppendix 4 : Design DataAppendix 5 : Halifax SquadronsAppendix 6 : Civil Halifax RegisterChapter NotesIndex
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Merrick has been researching and writing about British and German aviation subjects for the last 40 years, producing around 14 books ranging from the history of individual aircraft types, through to a highly detailed history of Allied clandestine air operations in World War Two. He became particularly interested in the subject of German camouflage systems some 30 years ago and has written a number of highly acclaimed books on the subject in the intervening years.
This work on the Halifax was the first to be written by him, though not the first of his books to be published; the 1960s and 1970s were a period when only Spitfires and Lancasters were deemed of interest to the public in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries. That changed, and in the 1980s the history of the Halifax was finally published, by Ian Allan Publishing, followed in 1990 by a revised edition from Aston Publications. Now, as his final work, the history of the Halifax has again been heavily revised and expanded, published once more by Ian Allan Publishing, Full circle.