B-24 Liberator in RAF Coastal Command Service with Focus on Aircraft of No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF

Published: September 25th, 2016     
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Author: Pavel Turk & Miloslav Pajer
Reviewed by: 
Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Company: Japo Publishing
Other Publication Information: Hardback with 320 pages and 550 photos and 70 color profiles
Price: $98.00

This book arrived and I must say that I was impressed from the outset. The quality of the book and the material contained inside is typical JaPo. The title sounds like it is just about the Czechoslovak unit, No.311 Squadron, but this book is about a whole lot more than that.

The B-24 was the most produced American airplane in WWII. Its use by Coastal Command is better known in England but not so well known in the US. The use of the Liberator as a precision bomber in the US has overshadowed the vitally important mission of U-Boat patrol. This book fills that void.

JaPo is well known for packing their books with a plethora of information. This one is no different. There are 320 pages of text, photos and color profiles. There are 550 photos with a number of them in color. The 70 color profiles are really impressive and show the differences in turrets, radar, antennas and anti-shipping ordinance.

There is a breakdown by each squadron, with notes and highlights, including hand drawn mission notes from attacks against U-boats. The unique markings and squadron codes are interesting. The quality of the photos is exceptional. I was quite impressed with the rocket attacks by Liberator BZ723 which sunk a U-Boat with rockets and guns. It is a perfect example of the level of detail used throughout the book. It has the profile, the drawings for the attack, description of the attack and photos from the actual attack.

The return to Czechoslovakia is also showed. The B-24 in Czech markings is quite interesting. The aircraft being handed over to the fledgling Czech Air Force.

There are some Appendices in the back that cover the entire list of B-24s in the Czech Squadron. The appendix has an interesting chart that has the armament, radar and codes for every aircraft where known. Quite interesting.

For the modeler there is even a color plate that explains the camouflage schemes.

This book completely covers all the B-24s used by Coastal Command. This clarifies the entire story that is often overlooked. Covering the Atlantic Gap was essential to the success of the war and this book pays homage to those that covered it, especially the Czech crews. The authors are to be commended on gathering this information into one place.

Highly recommended

Thanks to JaPo for the review copy. You can obtain yours by contacting their distributors. In the US that is 4+ N.A at x4plus@verizon.net or Roll Models at www.rollmodels.com.

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