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From yesteryear’s flying aces to today’s top guns, The Mammoth Book of Fighter Pilots presents, in the words of the combat pilots who fought them, fifty incredible air battles that have shaped military history in the twentieth century. Veteran anthologist Jon E. Lewis has assembled firsthand accounts from all the great military campaigns of aerial warfare, including World Wars I and II, the Spanish Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands, the Gulf, and Bosnia. Page after exciting page of this singular collection brings into vivid play the exploits of such legendary pilots as Manfred von Richtofen, Eddie Rickenbacker, Douglas Bader, and Johnnie Johnson; the Luftwaffe World War II aces Heinz Knoke, Gerd Barkhorn, and Johannes Steinhoff; and forty other brave airmen from America, Britain, France, Japan, Russia, and North Korea. Here, too, are the planes in which these pilots flew into modern history—the Spitfire, the Mustang, the Me 109, the Zero, the F-16, the MiG, and the Harrier. Together with the death-defying drama of combat, this volume vividly captures other facets of the fighter pilot’s life, including the perils of bailing out in enemy territory, the daily horrors of internment in a Japanese POW camp, and a harrowing account of being shot down in a blazing Spitfire. The true-life aerial combat adventures in this stirring collection provide a vicarious, adrenaline-fueled expedition into the shell-blasted skies of war in the twentieth century.
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