This is the first of three entries on the Osprey Combat Aircraft series dedicated to the de Havilland Mosquito, the most versatile British aircraft of the Second World War. This volume looks at those those squadrons that used the Mosquito in the role it was originally designed for, as a high speed (mostly) day bomber.
The text begins with two chapters looking at the career of the Mosquito as a high speed unarmed bomber, operating over Occupied Europe. It was during this period that the aircraft began to gain its reputation for being able to carry out pinpoint raids on important targets.
Chapter three looks at the Mosquito's career with the Pathfinders, where it was used to mark targets for Bomber Command's heavy bombers. Here the speed and manoeuvrability of the Mosquito allowed it to survive over some of the most heavily defended targets in Europe.
In chapter four the cannon-armed fighter bombers make their first appearance, operating with the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Their role was to support the invasion of Europe, and so these squadrons spend much of their time carrying out high speed low level attacks on targets in Occupied Europe, before supporting the Allied armies as they advanced towards Germany.
Bowman next looks at the Mosquito's career as an anti-shipping weapon, beginning with a look at the plans to use a modified "bouncing bomb" against the Tirpitz, and then moving on to look at the activities of the Banff Strike Wing, who operating from Scotland with more conventional weapons against German shipping in Norwegian Waters
Finally Bowman looks at the use of the Mosquito over Burma, where after a slow start it played an important part in the fighting during 1945, acting partly as a ground attack aircraft and partly as a bomber, making as the chapter title suggests something of a specialty of attacking bridges.
This is a well written, interesting book. Bowman's text is well supported by quotes from the pilots themselves and by well chosen illustrations. For the modeller there are ten pages of colour plates, eight showing the Mosquitoes themselves and two illustrating the uniforms of their crews. The Appendices provide a list of the bomber and fighter-bomber squadrons that operated the Mosquito and seven plans showing the main variants of the aircraft involved.
The "Shallow Divers"
Above the Waves
The Burma "Bridge Busters"
Author: Martin Bowman
Year: Martin Bowman