Handley Page Halifax: From Hell to Victory and Beyond

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9781906537067: Handley Page Halifax: From Hell to Victory and Beyond
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The name Handley-Page had been associated with the building of bomber aircraft since World War 1, thus it was no surprise that in 1936 the British Air Staff awarded the company with a development contract for another new aircraft. Four out of every ten heavy bombers built in Great Britain were Halifaxes, and together with the Avro Lancaster they shared the RAF's strategic night bombing offensive from 1941 through to the ultimate crescendo in 1944. Though perhaps not as shapely as the Lancaster, its deeper and more spacious slab-sided fuselage made it more suitable for a much wider variety of roles. The type served with RAF Bomber Command on high and low level attacks over occupied Europe and Germany, as well as undertaking radar counter-measures. It was used for Coastal Command on anti-submarine and shipping attacks, and also on the much overlooked but critical meteorological duties, such as making the historic D-Day weather analysis. During the war years the Halifax flew 75,532 bombing sorties over Germany dropping over 227,610 tons of bombs. In total 6,176 Halifax machines were built, undergoing continuous development and improvement through the years. Post war, it operated on Transport and Coastal Command duties, and served in Europe, the Middle East and India before finally leaving RAF service in 1953. The Halifax was a much-loved aircraft by the crews who flew in it, as it was able to absorb considerable battle damage and still manage to bring airmen safely back home; it had the highest survival rate for aircrew. Within these pages Ken Merrick has written an immense study of the impressive Handley-Page Halifax, setting out to prove that the type, for its time, was a bomber 'second to none'. This detailed work is the fruit of many years of research, including much new information about the development, design and service of the aircraft, and will be essential reading for aviation modellers and historians worldwide.

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About the Author:

Ken Merrick has been researching and writing about British and German aviation subjects for the last 40 years, producing books ranging from the history of individual aircraft types, to a highly detailed history of Allied clandestine air operations in World War II. He became particularly interested in the subject of German camouflage systems 30 years ago and has since written a number of highly acclaimed books on the subject in the intervening years.

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