A Detailed History of RAF Manston 1931-40 Arise to Protect

Published: August 2nd, 2019     
Product Image
Book Cover
Author: Joe Bamford and John Williams
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell - IPMS# 49715
Company: Fonthill Media
ISBN #: 978178155953
Other Publication Information: 9x6 inches, 176 pages, 50 black and white illustrations
Price: $32.95
Product provided by: Casemate Publishing

The book is part two of a two book history of RAF Manston, which became one of the busiest Airfields in the UK during WWII. The airbase was built-up during the pre-war days to be one, if not the most important airbases to the RAF.

The airbase was a very successful technical training center for the RAF during the years leading up to WWII and the details of this are covered extremely well in this book. The book goes into great detail about many of the officers and commanders stationed throughout the station during this period. There was even Air Races held here in the early 1930's. Even the famous Sir Alan Cobham exhibited his flying skills here.

The book covers many of the aircraft that were operated from here, some I was not even aware of and had to look up. The aces that served here are also detailed through the chapters.

There were lots of air exercises held here in prewar 1930's which helped the RAF prepare for war, making this such an important airbase in regard to helping the RAF face the Luftwaffe.

The book even covers the "Manston spy" a Doctor Hermann Gortz, who was caught and served three years in prison and the sent back to Hamburg Germany for spying on Manston during the 1930's. Approx. a third of the book covers the early years of WWII in great detail and shows how Manston had involvement during this time, including covering the retreat at Dunkirk, etc.

The fact that the book goes into such day-to-day type stories really makes this book fascinating and hard to put down once started. The pages have many fantastic photos from the period and they complement the book. I found this book fascinating and made me aware of a lot history and information I have never read before about this important airbase.

I recommend this book to everyone with an interest the RAF and UK airbases. It was so good I have already ordered the other book covering the base during the rest of the war years.

Thanks go to Casemate Publishing for providing this book to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.

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