Pile, General Sir Frederick.


1st ed., 1949. 410 pp., frontis., + 27 photo-plates. Green cloth ; 22 x 14cm. Spine faded ; owner's stamp & small label to blank prelims o/w V.G. In this sought-after book the author aims to give a clear, accurate portrayal of Britain's anti-aircraft defences during the Second World War. It is a story of trial and error, of improvisation and ingenuity, of glaring errors and inspired decisions, and of disputes and agreements in high places. Above all, it is the story of the brave citizens who trained in their thousands and served the guns. The author traces the origins and development of Britain's anti-aircraft system prior to the Second World War. From the beginning of enemy operations over Britain, "Ack-Ack" achieved a new importance in the eyes of authority and public. By the middle of 1942 even Air Ministry scientists acknowledged the fact that our anti-aircraft force constituted the only arm of any Service which could justly claim to be ahead of the Germans in both technique and equipment. The author has a peculiarly authoritative account to give of actions that were fought in British skies during the Nazi bid for world hegemony ' one that might severely shake some popular misconceptions of events at the time. Moreover he casts new light on the planning, controversy and liaison which went on in higher circles among the military and political policy-makers. The author includes forthright pictures of famous personalities with whom he came into contact.

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