Published on
May 24, 2017
Review Author(s)
Other Publication Information
144 pages, 36 B&W photos, 12 color and 4 color profiles
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Book cover

This book is a condensed history of the Avro Lancaster. What would come to be the mainstay of Bomber Command has its lineage traced from the beginnings of the failed Manchester design into the most famous of Britain’s WWII bombers.

The book is broken down into five chapters plus an introduction. The chronology section lasts three pages and lists all important dates from the Air Ministry specification of July 1936 that lead to the Lancaster’s development through to the 1956 retirement of the Lanc and the 1963 retirement of its follow-on the Lincoln.

The design and development chapter begins not just with the Manchester but also discusses how the development of long range bombers had been held back since the Handley Page Heyford in favor of medium ranged twins. This section takes you through how its life started slowly and disappointingly with the Manchester to being a legend for the RAF.

The technical specifications section gives all the details. The Lancaster was designed for a crew of seven with a second pilot but a shortage of pilots meant this was stopped quickly with another crewman being train to be the pilot’s assistant. All of the specs of each mark of Lancaster is given in this section, concluding with the Mark B.IV & V which were renamed “Lincoln”.

The largest section of the book comprises 72 pages is the one on the combat history of the type. Here are detailed the many missions the Lancaster flew; Hamburg, Peenemunde, Dambuster raids and those against the German Battleship Tirpitz. The section concludes with a brief discussion of foreign operators and a couple of those still extant.

This is an interesting history of the RAF’s most famous WWII bomber! I found it to be well written and informative. The aviation and WWII historian will love this little book and the modeler can draw inspiration from the color photos and profiles.

Our thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity


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