This, the third and last volume of the officially commissioned history of the Royal Air Force in the second World War, takes the story from the later part of 1943 to the end of hostilities. Among the well-known episodes which appear in this volume are the devastation of Hamburg and Berlin, the 'Bat
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||Hilary St. George Saunders
||His Majesty’s Stationery Office
This, the third and last volume of the officially commissioned history of the Royal Air Force in the second World War, takes the story from the later part of 1943 to the end of hostilities. It is the work of Hilary Sauders, except that the important last chapter, a summing-up and assessment of the whole British air effort throughout the five years of conflict, was written jointly with Denis Richards. The volume begins with an account of the great air attack against Germany in the year before 'D-Day', and records the highly effective work of Coastal Command during the same period against the U-boat. A study of the 'Overlord' plan then leads to a survey of the intensive air operations which did so much to liberate France and carry the Allies into Holland and Belgium.
Among the well-known episodes which appear in this volume are the devastation of Hamburg and Berlin, the 'Battle of the Bay', the airborne operation at Arnhem, the Luftwaffe's last big raid during the Ardennes counter-offensive, and the supply of Chindit expeditions and later whole armies by air in Burma.
Hilary Aidan Saint George Saunders MC (14 January 1898 – 16 December 1951) was a British author, born in Clifton near Bristol.
First World War
During World War I he commissioned into the Welsh Guards, and served with 1st battalion on the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Cross for an action on 6 November 1918 near Bavay in northern France. His citation read: ’Lt. Hilary Aidan St. George Saunders, W. Gds. (Spec. Res.), attd. 1st Bn.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near Bavay on 6th November, 1918. In the attack, after a long fire fight, he led his platoon in a charge against an enemy post, being the first to reach it, and killing two and capturing the remainder of the garrison. The rest of the day he was always well in advance with his platoon, and finally succeeded in consolidating a position further forward than any other part of the battalion line.’
Saunders went by several noms-de-plume : Francis Beeding (writing in tandem with John Palmer), ’Barum Browne’ (with Geoffrey Dennis), ’Cornelius Cofyn’ (with John deVere Loder), ’David Pilgrim’ (with John Palmer), and ’John Somers’ (with John Palmer).
A chronicler of World War II and biographer of Robert Baden-Powell,Saunders was a recorder on Admiral Mountbatten's staff during World War II. Saunders was Librarian of the House of Commons Library from 1946–1950, when he retired because of ill health.
Saunders became known during World War II for his books and pamphlets, The Battle of Britain, Bomber Command, Coastal Command, etc., which he wrote officially and anonymously for the Government, and subsequently for The Red Beret and The Green Beret. A wartime visit to America for the Ministry of Information was the subject of his Pioneers! O Pioneers! The Sleeping Bacchus is his scarce first and only novel, the story of an art robbery. Saunders was also a postwar commentator on the scouting movements during World War II, chronicled in The Left Handshake, written in 1948.
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