Second World War Articles from 2011

Updates from: 20142013201220112010200920082007

Articles from 2011

21 November 2011

No.335 Squadron was a Greek manned fighter squadron that served in the Mediterranean, the Balkans and over the Aegean from 1941 until the end of the Second World War.

No.336 Squadron was a Greek manned fighter squadron that provided shopping protection from 1943 until 1944, before moving to Italy and later Greece to operate over the Balkans and the Aegean.

No.340 'Ile-de-France' Squadron was a Free French fighter squadron that spent most of its existence on offensive duties, ending the war as part of Second Tactical Air Force.

17 November 2011

No.329 (GC I/2 'Cigognes') was a Free French squadron that served with the 2nd Tactical Air Force during the invasion of Normandy and the campaign in northern Europe.

No.333 (Norwegian) Squadron was a maritime patrol and special duties squadron that ended the war operating with the Banff strike wing.

No.334 Squadron was a short-lived unit, formed from the Mosquito wing of No.333 Squadron after the end of the war in Europe.

16 November 2011

No.330 (Norwegian) Squadron was an anti-submarine warfare squadron manned by Norwegian personnel.

No.331 (Norwegian) Squadron was a fighter squadron that fought with Fighter Command from 1941, before joining 2nd Tactical Air Force to support the invasion of Europe.

No.332 (Norwegian) Squadron was a fighter squadron that served with Fighter Command until 1943 and then with 2nd Tactical Air Force.

15 November 2011

No.326 Squadron was the RAF designation given to G.C. II/7 'Nice', a French fighter squadron that had served with the Vichy forces in North Africa before joining the Allies in 1943.

No.327 Squadron was the RAF designation given to G.C. I/3 'Corse', a French fighter squadron that had served with the Vichy forces in North Africa before joining the Allies in 1943.

No.328 Squadron was the RAF designation given to G.C. I/7 'Provence', a French fighter squadron that had served with the Vichy forces in North Africa before joining the Allies in 1943.

14 November 2011

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (1899-1972) was an SS General who took part in the anti-partisan campaign on the Eastern Front and who was responsible for crushing the Warsaw uprising in 1944.

Wilhelm Bittrich (1894-1979) was a SS General who played a major part in the defeat of the Allied attack on Arnhem in 1944, and became one of the last recipients of the Swords to the Knights Cross.

11 November 2011

No.321 Squadron was a Dutch manned squadron that went through two incarnations during the Second World War, the first as an anti-submarine squadron, the second as a maritime patrol squadron, and in both cases built around aircraft that escaped from Axis attacks.

No.322 'Dutch' Squadron was a fighter squadron manned by Dutch personnel. It formed part of 2nd Tactical Air Force, took part in the anti V-1 campaign, and ended the war operating from the Netherlands.

10 November 2011

No.318 'Gdanskski' Squadron was a Polish ground attack and tactical reconnaissance squadron that fought in Italy from 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

No.320 (Netherlands) Squadron was formed around a number of Fokker T-VIIIW seaplanes that escaped from the Netherlands. It spent the next three years serving as a maritime patrol and anti-shipping squadron, before becoming a daylight bomber squadron in 1943, a role it performed until the end of the war.

4 November 2011

No.315 'Deblinski' Squadron was a fighter squadron that performed a mix of offensive and defensive duties, serving with Second Tactical Air Force, the anti V-1 campaign and briefly provided long range bomber escorts.

No.316 'Warszawski' Squadron was a Polish fighter squadron that spent most of the war flying offensive sweeps, before moving to escort duties in 1944. The squadron was formed on 15 February 1941 as a Hurricane-equipped fighter squadron, and was used to provide defensive cover for the south-west.

No.317 'Wilenski' Squadron was a Polish fighter squadron that spent most of the war flying offensive sweeps over German occupied territory.

3 November 2011

No.311 Squadron was a Czechoslovakian squadron that served with Bomber Command from 1940-1942 and from Coastal Command from 1942 until the end of the war, sinking two U-boats during that period.

No.312 Squadron was a Czechoslovak manned fighter squadron that was formed during the Battle of Britain, and that flew a mix of fighter-bomber and bomber escort for the rest of the war.

No.313 Squadron was the third Czechoslovakian fighter squadron to be formed within the RAF. It took part on the offensive sweeps over France, formed part of Second Tactical Air Force and ended the war flying a mix of bomber escort and ground attack missions.

2 November 2011

General Hermann Bernhard Ramcke (1889-1968) was a German parachute general who fought on Crete and at El Alamein, but who is best known for the defence of Brest in 1944.

General Theodor Tolsdorf (1909-1978) was the youngest German Generalleutnant of the Second World War, and after taking part in the Ardennes offensive in 1944 ended the war commanding a corps on the Eastern Front.

1 November 2011

General Hermann Balck (1893-1982) was one of the best German field commanders of the Second World War, serving with Guderian in France in 1940, on the Eastern Front, and briefly in Alsace in 1944.

Hasso Eccard von Manteuffel (1897-1978) was a German general who fought on the Eastern Front, in Tunisia and in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was the most successful German commander.

28 September 2011

Felix Steiner (1896-1966) was an SS General best known for his role in the battle for Berlin in 1945, when he commanded a army that Hitler hoped would be able to lift the Russian siege of the city.

Walther K. Nehring (1892-1983) was a German general who served in Poland, France and North Africa, but who spent the most time serving on the Eastern Front.

27 October 2011

Smilo Freiherr von Luettwitz (1895-1975) was a German general who served in Poland, France, Italy and on the Eastern Front, before being sacked and threatened with a court martial for defeatism early in 1945. He also served in the post-war Bundeswehr, retiring as a Generalleutnant in 1960.

Hermann Hoth (1885-1971) was a German general who was responsible for a series of impressive successes on the Eastern Front but who was sacked late in 1943 for urging Hitler to allow him to retreat, and wasn't given another command.

26 October 2011

Ludwig Cruewell (1892-1958) was the German general who succeeded Rommel as commander of the Africa Corp, but his military career ended when he was captured by the British in May 1942.

Karl Eibl (1891-1943) was an Austrian who rose to high rank in the German army before being assassinated by an Italian soldier in 1943.

25 October 2011

No.308 'Krakowski' Squadron was a Polish manned fighter squadron that performed a mix of defensive and offensive duties from 1941 to 1943, before becoming a fighter-bomber squadron in Second Tactical Air Force.

No.309 'Ziemia Czerwienska' Squadron was a Polish manned squadron formed as an army co-operation unit, but that became first a tactical reconnaissance unit and then a fighter squadron.

No.310 Squadron was a Czechoslovakian fighter squadron that fought in the Battle of Britain, the offensive sweeps over France and joined Second Tactical Air Force to support the Normandy landings.

24 October 2011

Fritz Bayerlein (1899-1970) was a German general who served in almost every theatre of operations during the Second World War, from the opening invasion of Poland to the last major German offensive in the Ardennes, and including the campaigns in North Africa and Normandy.

Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz (1893-1968) was an aristocratic German general who served in Poland in 1939, France in 1940 and on the Eastern Front, before commanding Panzer Lehr Division from the summer of 1944 until late in the year. He was one of only twenty eight recipients of the Diamonds to the Knight's Cross.

21 October 2011

No.305 'Weilkopolski' Squadron was a Polish manned bomber squadron than originally served as a night bomber squadron, but that converted to daylight operations in 1943 and ended the war as a low-level bomber squadron.

No.306 'Torunski' Squadron was a Polish manned fighter squadron that took part in the offensive sweeps over France, joining Second Tactical Air Force but was diverted to the anti flying bomb campaign and ended the war providing fighter escorts for Bomber Command.

No.307 'Lwowski' Squadron was a Polish manned night fighter squadron that was formed as a defensive unit but that ended the war as a night intruder squadron.

20 October 2011

No.302 'Poznanski' Squadron was a Polish-manned fighter squadron that fought in later stages of the Battle of Britain, before becoming a fighter-bomber squadron and joining 2nd Tactical Air Force during the invasion of Europe in 1944-45.

No.303 'Warsaw-Kosciusco' Squadron was a Polish manned fighter squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain, flew offensive sweeps over France and joined Second Tactical Air Force for the invasion of Europe.

No.304 'Slaski' Squadron was a Polish-manned squadron that served with Bomber Command from 1940-1942 before transferring to Coastal Command for the rest of the war.

7 October 2011

No.294 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that served in the eastern Mediterranean from 1943 until 1945 and then in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

No.299 Squadron was an airborne forces squadron that took part in the D-Day landings Arnhem, the crossing of the Rhine and the liberation of Oslo.

No.300 'Mazowiecki' Squadron was a Polish-manned bomber squadron that served with Bomber Command for most of the Second World War, and survived until 1947.

6 October 2011

No.289 Squadron was formed from No.13 Group Anti Aircraft Cooperation Flight in 1941 and continued to serve in that role for the rest of the Second World War.

No.290 Squadron served as an anti-aircraft cooperation squadron in Northern Ireland and Scotland, before moving to Belgium to support the advancing Allied armies.

No.291 Squadron was an anti-aircraft cooperation squadron formed to provide target towing aircraft along the East Coast of England.

No.292 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that provided cover over the Bay of Bengal and off the coast of Burma.

No.293 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that served in North Africa and around Italy from 1943 until early in 1946.

30 September 2011

No.283 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that served overseas. It was formed in North Africa, and spent the entire war providing cover for different parts of the Mediterranean

No.284 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that was formed in the UK, but operated in the Mediterranean.

No.285 Squadron was an anti-aircraft cooperation squadron that helped Anti-aircraft command practice its aim.

No.286 Squadron was formed from No.10 Group Anti Aircraft Cooperation Flight in 1941 and continued to serve in that role for the rest of the Second World War.

No.287 Squadron was formed from No.11 Group Anti Aircraft Cooperation Flight in 1941 and continued to serve in that role for the rest of the Second World War.

No.288 Squadron was formed from No.12 Group Anti Aircraft Cooperation Flight in 1941 and continued to serve in that role for the rest of the Second World War.

26 September 2011

USS Mississippi (BB 41) was a New Mexico class battleship that was in the Atlantic when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and that took part in most of the major island invasions of the Pacific War, from the Aleutians to Okinawa.

USS Idaho (BB 42) was a New Mexico class battleship that was in the Atlantic when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and that was involved in most of the island invasions in the Pacific from 1943 until the end of the war, although not the invasion of the Philippines.

21 September 2011

The Pennsylvania class battleships were enlarged versions of the previous Nevada class, given two extra 14in guns by making all four turrets into triple turrets.

The USS Pennsylvania was the name ship of the Pennsylvania class of battleships. She was one of the least damaged battleships at Pearl Harbor, and remained in service during 1942 before undergoing a refit late in the year. On her return she took part in a series of island invasions, before being badly damaged by a Japanese torpedo in August 1945.

USS Arizona (BB 39) was a Pennsylvania class battleship that was destroyed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and remains where she sank as a memorial to the people killed during the battle.

20 September 2011

The Nevada class battleships were the second class of 14in battleships built for the US Navy, and adopted a new 'all or nothing armour' scheme, designed to make better use of a similar weight of armour to earlier ships.

The USS Nevada (BB 36) was the name ship of the Nevada class of battleships, and served in both World Wars. She was the only American battleship to get underway during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, but was forced to beach after being hit by Japanese bombs.

USS Oklahoma (BB 37) was a Nevada class battleship that helping protect American convoys crossing the Atlantic late in the First World War, but was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and never returned to service.

19 September 2011

The New York class battleships were the first American dreadnoughts to move away from 12in guns, and were armed with ten 14in guns in five twin turrets.

The USS New York (BB 34) was the name ship of the New York class of battleships, and saw service in both world wars, operating with the British Grand Fleet in 1917-18 and taking part in Operation Torch and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Second World War.

The USS Texas (BB 35) was a New York class battleship that served with the British Grand Fleet during the First World War, and took part in the D-Day landings, and the invasions of the South of France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the Second World War.

14 September 2011

The two Wyoming class battleships were the last US battleships to be armed with 12in guns and were seen as an interim design before the appearance of the 14in armed New York class ships.

The USS Wyoming (BB 32) was the name ship of the Wyoming class of battleships, and saw active service with the British Grand Fleet during the First World War and as a gunnery training ship during the Second World War.

The USS Arkansas (BB 33) was a Wyoming class battleship that served with the British Grand Fleet in the last few months of the First World War, and saw active service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific during the Second World War. 

12 September 2011

No.280 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that provided cover off the south-east of England, East Anglia and into the North Sea.

No.281 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that served all around the British coast in a large number of detachments.

No.282 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that had two incarnations during the Second World War, the first serving from Scotland and the second from the south-west of England.

7 September 2011

Many thanks to Michael Goold for providing us with accounts of the delivery of a Spitfire from the UK to Egypt and of a Beaufighter from Egypt to Rome. Michael served with 216 group No 4 ADU (part of Transport Command) and flew eighteen types of aircraft during his service.

No.276 Squadron was an air-sea rescue unit that covered the western end of the English Channel and the Bristol Channel

No.277 Squadron was an air-sea rescue unit that covered the area between the south-east of England and the French coast, one of the busiest areas around the British coast during the Second World War.

No.278 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron formed to cover the coast off East Anglia, but that ended the war with responsibility for the English Channel.

No.279 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that provided cover over the Bay of Biscay and Western Approaches, before moving to the north of Scotland, while also providing a detachment for service in Burma.

5 September 2011

The Kyushu J7W Shinden (Magnificent Lighting) was the only canard configuration aircraft (with the main wings at the rear) to be ordered into production by any nation during the Second World War, but the aircraft never proceeded beyond the prototype stage.

The Kyushu Q1W Tokai (Eastern Sea) 'Lorna' was the first dedicated anti-submarine warfare aircraft to be produced for the Japanese navy, but wasn't a great success and was only produced in small numbers.

2 September 2011

No.273 Squadron was reformed on Ceylon in 1939, and had a quiet war until the Japanese raid on the island in April 1942. Two more quiet years followed, before the squadron moved to the Burma front in 1944 to carry out ground attack and fighter escort missions.

No.274 Squadron spent most of the Second World War serving as a fighter squadron in North Africa. It then returned to Britain in 1944 where it took part in the campaign against the V-1 flying bomb, before moving to the continent to join 2nd Tactical Air Force.

No.275 Squadron was an air-sea rescue squadron that provided cover over the Irish Sea, then between England and the Normandy invasion beaches and finally over the western part of the English Channel.

1 September 2011

The Kyushu K10W 'Oak' was an intermediate trainer based on the North American NA-16 and that replaced the Yokosuka K5Y1 in Japanese naval service.

The Kyushu K11W Shiragiku was a single-engined crew training aircraft that was also used as an anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

The Kyushu Q3W1 Nankai was a dedicated anti-submarine warfare aircraft based on the K11W trainer.

30 August 2011

The Kyushu K9W Momiji was a licence-built version of the Bücker Bü 131B Jungman basic trainer produced in Japan for use by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Kokusai Ki-86 was a version of the Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann produced under licence for the Japanese Army.

25 August 2011

The Bücker Bü 180 Student was a commercially unsuccessful two-seat touring aircraft that was more significant as the direct precursor to the Bü 181 Bestmann, one of the most important training aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War

The Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann was a two-man basic trainer produced in vast numbers for the Luftwaffe, as well as in Sweden, Holland, Czechoslovakia and Egypt.

The Bücker Bü 182 Kornett was a single-seat training aircraft that like the Bü 181 Bestmann developed from the earlier Bü 180, but that didn't enter mass production.

22 August 2011

The Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann was a biplane primary trainer that played an important role in the growth of the Luftwaffe, before seeing limited active service as a night harassment aircraft late in the Second World War

The Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister was a very successful single seat aerobatic trainer used as an advanced trainer by the Luftwaffe and as an aerobatic display aircraft after the war.

The Bücker Bü 134 was the Bücker Company's first monoplane, and was a rare failure for the company.

16 August 2011

No.270 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that provided anti-submarine cover off the coast of West Africa.

No.271 Squadron was formed in 1940 as a transport squadron, and served in that role until 1944, when it became an airborne forces squadron, taking part in the D-Day landings, the battle of Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine.

No.272 Squadron was formed as a home-based shipping escort squadron during 1940, but spent most of the war serving as a long range fighter squadron in the Mediterranean theatre.

15 August 2011

The Kawanishi N1K Kyofu (Mighty Wind) was a floatplane fighter designed to support amphibious assaults in areas out of the range of land-based or carrier aircraft.

The Kawanishi N1K-J Shiden (Violet Lightning) was one of the best fighters to see service with the Imperial Japanese Navy, and in skilled hands was more than capable of holding its own against the American fighters that were increasingly dominating the Pacific skies.

12 August 2011

No.267 Squadron was a transport squadron that served in the Mediterranean from its formation in 1940 until early 1945, and then moved to Burma to help support the final Allied offensive in that country.

No.268 Squadron was formed as an army co-operation squadron in 1940, but spent most of the war serving as a tactical reconnaissance unit, ending the war with 2nd Tactical Air Force.

No.269 Squadron began the war as a home based coastal reconnaissance squadron, but spent the second half of the war serving overseas, first as a anti-submarine warfare squadron based on Iceland and then as an air-sea rescue and meteorological squadron operating from the Azores.

11 August 2011

The Kawanishi E15K Shiun (Violet Cloud) was a reconnaissance float-plane designed to be able to operate in areas dominated by enemy fighters, and that would thus be too dangerous for more conventional float-planes.

The Kawanishi H8K 'Emily' was the fastest and most heavily armed flying boat to enter service in significant numbers during the Second World War, and was considered by Allied pilots to be the hardest Japanese aircraft to shoot down.

9 August 2011

The Kawanishi J3K1 was a land based interceptor designed for the Japanese navy, but that was abandoned early in the design stage.

The Kawanishi J6K1 Jinpu was a purpose-built land based interceptor designed for the Japanese navy, but that didn't enter production because of the success of the same company's N1K2-J.

4 August 2011

No.263 Squadron began the Second World War as a fighter squadron equipped with the Gloster Gladiator biplane which it used in Norway, and ended it as a Typhoon squadron in the Second Tactical Air Force.

No.265 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that was formed in 1943 to provide patrols over the India Ocean and that continued in that role until it was disbanded in April 1945.

No.266 'Rhodesia' Squadron was a fighter squadron that operated the Spitfire during 1940 and 1941 before converting to the Hawker Typhoon at the start of 1942, using that aircraft with Second Tactical Air Force during the liberation of Western Europe.

3 August 2011

The Kawanishi E5K was a reconnaissance float plane that was produced in small numbers before being replaced in service by the Kawanishi E7K.

The Kawanishi E7K 'Alf' was a long range reconnaissance floatplane that was obsolescent by the start of the Pacific War, but that remained in front line service until 1943.

2 August 2011

The Kawanishi H6K 'Mavis' was a long range flying boat that demonstrated that Kawanishi could complete with the best in the world, and that despite its lack of protection remained in front line service throughout the Second World War.

1 August 2011

The Mitsubishi A5M 'Claude' was the first monoplane fighter to enter service with the Imperial Japanese Navy, and helped Japan to win air superiority over China in 1937-39, but had largely been replaced in front line units by the start of the Pacific War.

The Nakajima G8N Renzan (Mountain Range) was a four engined long range bomber designed from 1943 and that only reached the prototype stage before the end of the Second World War.

29 July 2011

No.260 Squadron was a fighter squadron that briefly served in Scotland, before moving to the Mediterranean, where it remained for the rest of the war, acting as a fighter-bomber squadron.

No.261 Squadron was the fighter squadron responsible for the defence of Malta in 1940-41. It was later reformed in Iraq, and served in Palestine, Cyprus and Burma, ending the war as a fighter-bomber squadron.

No.262 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that was based in South Africa from 1942 until it was transferred to the S.A.A.F. in 1945. The squadron was formed on 29 September 1942 at Liverpool, and its personnel immediately set sail for South Africa.

28 July 2011

No.257 Squadron was a Typhoon squadron that took part in the campaign against German fighter-bomber raids on the south coast before joining Second Tactical Air Force to serve as a fighter-bomber squadron during the invasion of Western Europe.

No.258 Squadron was a fighter squadron that served in Britain until 1941, when it was moved to the Far East. After taking part in the disastrous defence of Singapore, Sumatra and Java the squadron was reformed in India, and spent the rest of the war fighting on the Burma front.

No.259 Squadron served as an anti-submarine warfare squadron over the Indian Ocean, from its formation in 1943 until the end of the Second World War.

27 July 2011

No.254 Squadron was formed as a shipping protection squadron, and spent the first half of the war on largely defensive duties, before becoming a torpedo bomber squadron with the North Coates strike wing from 1942 until the end of the war.

No.255 Squadron served as a night fighter squadron through the Second World War, first in a home based defensive role, then in North Africa and Sicily and finally as a night intruder squadron operating over the Balkans.

No.256 Squadron was a home based defensive night fighter squadron from 1940 until 1943, when it moved to the Mediterranean, ending the war flying intruder missions over the Balkans.

25 July 2011

The Mitsubishi K3M 'Pine' was a single-engined crew trainer that also saw service as a light liaison aircraft during the Pacific War.

The Mitsubishi Ki-7 was the designation given to two K3M training aircraft produced for the Japanese Army.

22 July 2011

No.251 Squadron was reformed on 1 August 1944 by the renumbering of No.1407 Flight at Reykjavik, and served as an air-sea rescue and meteorological squadron for the rest of the war.

No.252 Squadron was reformed on 21 November 1940, and was the first squadron in Coastal Command to be equipped with the Bristol Beaufighter.

No.253 Squadron was a fighter squadron that fought in the Battle of Britain, before moving to the Mediterranean, ending the war operating from a base in Yugoslavia.

20 July 2011

No.248 Squadron was formed as a night fighter unit, but spend most of the war serving with Coastal Command, ending the war with the Banff Strike Wing.

No.249 Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain, where one of its pilots won Fighter Command's first Victoria Cross, before moving to Malta and the Mediterranean.

No.250 Squadron spent the entire Second World War operating in or around the Mediterranean, taking part in the battles in the Western Desert and the invasions of Sicily and Italy.

18 July 2011

The Mitsubishi A7M Reppu (Hurricane) 'Sam' was designed to be the replacement for the A6M Zero, but despite a great deal of effort over several years only one production aircraft was completed before the end of the Second World War.

The Mitsubishi J8M/ Ki-200 was a rocket plane based on the German Me 163B but that was developed in Japan in less than a year despite the lack of any detailed plans of the German original.

15 July 2011

No.244 Squadron served in the Middle East for the entire Second World War, first as a patrol and army co-operation squadron and later as an anti-submarine squadron.

No.245 Squadron served with Fighter Command from 1939 until 1943, before joining 2nd Tactical Air Force to take part in the D-Day invasion.

No.247 Squadron was a fighter squadron that alternated between defensive duties and offensive sweeps over France, ending the war with 2nd Tactical Air Force.

14 July 2011

The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Thunderbolt) 'Jack' was a land-based interceptor that emphasised performance and pilot protection rather than manoeuvrability, and that would have been of great value to the Japanese Navy if its combat debut hadn’t been delayed until 1944.

The Mitsubishi J4M1 was an advanced interceptor produced for the Japanese Navy but that never progressed beyond the design stage.

13 July 2011

The Mitsubishi B1M was a Japanese Navy torpedo bomber that was designed by Herbert Smith, formerly of Sopwith, and that served well into the 1930s.

The Mitsubishi F1M 'Pete' was designed as an observation float plane, but saw service as an impromptu fighter, diver bomber and patrol aircraft.

12 July 2011

No.241 Squadron was reformed in 1940 as an army co-operation squadron, but saw most of its active service as a ground attack and reconnaissance squadron in North Africa and Italy.

No.242 Squadron went through three incarnations during the Second First World War, the first as Douglas Bader's fighter squadron during the Battle of Britain, the second as a fighter squadron in North Africa and Italy and the third as a transport squadron.

No.243 Squadron had three incarnations during the Second World War, first as a fighter squadron at Singapore, second as a fighter squadron in the Mediterranean and finally as a transport squadron in the Pacific.

11 July 2011

No.238 Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain before moving to the Mediterranean, where it took part in the fighting in North Africa, the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of Italy. It was then reformed as a transport squadron, and took part in the invasion of Burma.

No.239 Squadron served as an army co-operation squadron and a tactical reconnaissance and ground attack squadron, before ending the war as a night intruder squadron supporting Bomber Command.

No.240 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that spend the first half of the war serving in Home Waters and the second half operating from India.

8 July 2011

The Mitsubishi B5M 'Kate' was a torpedo bomber developed alongside the more successful Nakajima B5N, but that also entered production and saw some limited front line service.

7 July 2011

The Nakajima B5N 'Kate' was the most successful Japanese torpedo bomber of the Second World War, playing a major part in every victory in the year after Pearl Harbor.

6 July 2011

The invasion of Poland on the 1 September 1939 by Nazi Germany heralded the start of another general European war, which quickly became a global conflict with the declaration of war by Britain and France as well as their respective empires, two days later.

5 July 2011

The Nakajima B6N Tenzan (Heavenly Mountain) 'Jill' was designed to replace the Nakajima B5N 'Kate', but delays meant that it didn't enter service until 1943, two years after originally planned, and too late for it to have any real impact on the fighting in the Pacific.

23 June 2011

The Nakajima Ki-62 was a design for a fighter to be powered by the Japanese version of the Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine, produced in case the Kawasaki Ki-61 design failed.

The Nakajima Ki-63 was the designation given to a version of the Nakajima Ki-62 that would have been powered by the 1,050hp Mitsubishi Ha-102 radial engine.

The Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Gale) was the best Japanese fighter aircraft to see front line service in significant during the Second World War, and the last in a series of radial engine powered fighters produced by the Nakajima company.

13 June 2011

The Mansyu Ki-79 was an advanced trainer based on the Nakajima Ki-27 fighter.

The Mansyu Ki-98 was a ground-attack aircraft that was designed by the Mansyu company in Manchuria.

8 June 2011

The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) was the most numerous Japanese Army Air Force fighter aircraft of the Second World War.

The Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Demon) was an unusual fighter by Japanese standards, with high speed and a good rate of climb emphasised at the expense of manoeuvrability.

7 June 2011

The Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate' was the first monoplane fighter to enter service with the Japanese Army Air Force, and was still numerically the most important fighter in Army service in December 1941.

2 June 2011

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Swallow) was the only inline-engined fighter aircraft to see service in Japan during the Second World War, and was designed around a licence-built version of the German Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine.

The Kawasaki Ki-100 was a successful fighter aircraft produced by fitting a radial engine into the airframe of the Ki-61 Hien, after American bombing destroyed the factory producing the inline engine used in the older fighter.

1 June 2011

The Potez 63.11 was a three-seat army co-operation aircraft based on the general Potez 63 design, but with a completely crew compartment and nose.

The Potez 63.12 was the designation given to a single Potez 631 that was re-engined to use Pratt & Whitney radial engines.

The Potez 63.16 was a version of the Potez 63.11 that was given a larger wing.

31 May 2011

The Potez 637 A3 was a three-seat reconnaissance aircraft that served in small numbers with the Armée de l'Air during the Battle of France, but that was already being phased out in favour of the Potez 63.11.

The Potez 639 AB2 was a two-seat attack bomber ordered as part of an order for ten evaluation aircraft in the Potez 63 family.

30 May 2011

The Potez 633 B2 was a light bomber version of the Potez 63 twin engined design. Although it was initially ordered in large numbers for the Armée de l'Air, these orders were soon cancelled and only these aircraft ordered for export were built.

The Potez 634 was an alternative designation given to ten two-seat training aircraft ordered in the first production contract for the Potez 631 fighter.

The Potez 636 C3 was a three-seat fighter designed to be licence-built in Czechoslovakia.

20 May 2011

The Potez 631 was the main French night fighter during the Battle of France, but a lack of any useable system for intercepting German raiders meant that it saw little combat at night.

The Potez 632 was the designation given to a single Potez 633 light bomber ordered by Switzerland.

19 May 2011

The Potez 63 was the overall designation for a series of aircraft that between them were the most numerous in French service, acting as night fighters, day fighters, light bombers, reconnaissance aircraft and army co-operation aircraft.

The Potez 630 was a twin-engined fighter powered by troublesome Hispano-Suiza engines and that was produced in small numbers to make up for slow production of the more reliable Gnome-Rhone powered Potez 631.

18 May 2011

The Kawasaki Ki-78 was a high-speed research aircraft that failed to live up to expectations, but that did introduce a number of features new to the Japanese aircraft industry.

The Kawasaki Ki-119 was a design for a single-engined light bomber that would have been used in the defence of the Japanese homeland.

17 May 2011

The Kawasaki Ki-56 was a twin-engined transport aircraft developed for the Japanese Army and closely based on the Lockheed 14.

The Kawasaki Ki-66 was a twin-engined dive bomber designed after the German successes in Poland and France in 1939-40, but that never entered production.

12 May 2011

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 456 was a short-lived designation for a special naval version of the LeO 451 medium bomber.

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 457 was to be a high-altitude version of the LeO 451 medium bomber.

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 458 was a version of the LeO 451 that was to be powered by the Wright Twin Cyclone engine.

11 May 2011

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 454 was a version of the LeO 451 medium bomber that was to be powered by two Bristol Hercules II engines.

The Loiré-et-Olivier LeO 455 was a version of the LeO 451 medium bomber that was powered by two supercharged Gnome & Rhone engines.

10 May 2011

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 452 was the designation given to a version of the LeO 45 medium bomber that was to be powered by two Hispano-Suiza 14 AA 12/13 engines

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 453 was the designation given to a number of LeO 451 medium bombers that were given Pratt & Whitney radial engines in the late 1940s.

9 May 2011

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 450 was the designation given to a version of the LeO 45 medium bomber that was to powered by two 1,080hp Hispano-Suiza 14 A 06/07 engines.

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 451 was considered to be the best medium bomber in French service during the Battle of France in 1940, but it wasn't available in large enough numbers to make any real difference to the course of the fighting.

6 May 2011

The Farman F.224 was a passenger aircraft based on the F.222 bomber, originally built for Air France but that served with the Armée de l'Air as a paratrooper transport.

The Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 45 was the overall name given to the series of medium bombers that saw service with the French Armée de l'Air in the form of the LeO 451.

5 May 2011

The Farman F.222 was the only four-engined bomber to be in front line service with any Allied air force at the start of the German invasion of the west in May 1940.

The Farman NC.223 was the most advanced entry in the F.221/F.222 series to see active service during the Second World War, and carried out the first Allied bombing raid on Berlin.

4 May 2011

The Farman F.220 was a prototype four-engined bomber that was the basis for the F.221 and F.222, the only four engined bombers in Allied service at the start of the Second World War.

The Farman F.221 was the first four-engined bomber to enter service with the French Armée de l'Air, and was still in service in small numbers at the start of the Second World War.

18 April 2011

The Polikarpov ITP was a promising design for a cannon-armed fighter that was delayed by problems with the different engines used to power it and that never entered production.

13 April 2011

The Polikarpov I-19 was developed from the I-17, but would have been powered by a radial engine.

12 April 2011

The Polikarpov I-17 was a rare example of a Polikarpov fighter powered by an inline engine, and was developed in an attempt to improve on the speed of radial engined fighters.

8 April 2011

The Polikarpov I-16 was the last of Nikolai Polikarpov's fighter designs to enter production, and was the most important fighter aircraft in the Red Air Force by 1940. It was also the first monoplane fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage to enter front line service anywhere in the world

7 April 2011

The Polikarpov TIS was a long range heavy fighter of which two prototypes were built but that never entered production.

The Polikarpov I-187 was a design for a modified version of the I-185, to be powered by a 2,200hp M-71F engine.

The Polikarpov I-188 was the last design to be based on the I-185, and was intended to use a smaller, lighter but less powerful engine than the original aircraft.

6 April 2011

The Polikarpov VIT-1 was a cannon-armed ground attack aircraft produced in response to a Red Air Force specification for an aircraft capable of attacking tanks or other small but high value battlefield targets.

The Polikarpov SVB-1 was a dive bomber that was one of three different prototypes based on the same TsKB-44 design.

The Polikarpov MPI-1 was a heavy fighter based on the TsKB-44, a design for a multi-purpose ground attack aircraft.

1 April 2011

The Polikarpov I-180 was designed in an attempt to improve on the I-16, but all three prototypes were lost in crashes, and the type was abandoned after ten pre-production aircraft had been built. 

The Polikarpov I-185 was a high performance fighter that almost entered production, before problems with its engine caused the project to be cancelled.

11 March 2011

No.235 Squadron served with Coastal Command for most of the Second World War, serving as an anti-shipping force from 1940-1943 and 1944 to the end of the war, and as a fighter squadron over the Bay of Biscay in 1943-44.

No.236 Squadron spent most of the Second World War serving with Coastal Command, forming part of the North Coates strike wing from its formation in November 1942 until the end of the war.

No.237 (Rhodesian) Squadron began the Second World War as an army co-operation squadron based in Kenya, and took part in the invasion of Italian East Africa, the campaign in the Western Desert and the invasions of Italy and Southern France.

8 March 2011

The Battle of Britain (10 July-31 October 1940) was one of the decisive battles of the Second World War, and saw the RAF defeat a German attempt to gain air superiority over southern England in preparation for Operation Sealion, the planned invasion of Britain. The battle was also the first major defeat to be suffered by the Germans during the Second World War, and by keeping Britain in the war denied Hitler the quick victory that he had expected.

7 March 2011

No.232 Squadron went through three incarnations during the Second World War, first as a fighter squadron that was caught up in the disasters in the Far East early in 1942, then as a fighter squadron in the Mediterranean and finally as a transport squadron in the Far East.

No.233 Squadron performed two very different role during the Second World War, first as a maritime reconnaissance and then anti-submarine warfare squadron in Coastal Command, and second as a transport squadron working with airborne forces.

No.234 Squadron was a fighter squadron that served in the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War, taking part in the Battle of Britain and the offensive sweeps across France.

3 March 2011

No.229 Squadron was formed as a shipping protection squadron, but spent most of the Second World War as a single-engined fighter squadron, taking part in the Battle of Britain, the fighting in the Middle East and the invasion of Europe in 1944-45.

No.230 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that served in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

No.231 Squadron served as an army co-operation and reconnaissance squadron from 1940 until 1943 when it briefly joined Second Tactical Air Force before being disbanded at the start of 1944

2 March 2011

No.225 Squadron was a tactical reconnaissance squadron that was home-based from 1939 until 1942, before moving to the Mediterranean where it took part in the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and the Balkans.

No.227 Squadron went through three active incarnations during the Second World War, the first two as anti-shipping and maritime reconnaissance squadrons in the Mediterranean and the last as a Lancaster squadron in Bomber Command

No.228 Squadron was a flying boat squadron in Coastal Command that served in the Mediterranean from the summer of 1940 until the summer of 1941, but spent most of the rest of the war operating from Britain.

23 February 2011

No.222 Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the Dunkirk evacuations, the Battle of Britain and the invasion of North West Europe, before becoming one of the first jet fighter squadrons in the RAF in the summer of 1945.

No.223 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a medium/ light bomber squadron in the Middle East and second as an electronic counter-measures squadron in Bomber Command.

No.224 Squadron was a Coastal Command squadron that began the Second World War as a maritime reconnaissance squadron, before becoming one of the most successful anti-submarine warfare squadrons from 1942 until the end of the war.

22 February 2011

No.219 Squadron was a night fighter unit that took part in the Battle of Britain then spent two years on defensive duties before moving to North Africa during 1943. It returned to Britain in 1944 to join 2nd Tactical Air Force and operated as an offensive night fighter squadron during the invasion of Europe.

No.220 Squadron was a Coastal Command squadron that concentrated on anti-shipping duties until 1942 before becoming one of the few RAF squadrons to operate the Boeing Fortress.

No.221 Squadron was a Wellington-equipped maritime patrol squadron that operated from Britain until the start of 1942, then moved to the Mediterranean where it spent the rest of the war.

21 February 2011

General Adolf Galland (1911-1994) was the leading German fighter ace of the Battle of Britain, and went on to serve as General of the Fighter Arm from November 1941 until the start of 1945.

Sir Keith Park (1892-1975) is best known as the commander of No.11 Group in the south-east of England during the Battle of Britain, but he also played a major part in the Dunkirk evacuation, the successful defence of Malta and the British and Commonwealth offensive in Burma in 1945.

18 February 2011

No.213 Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the fighting over Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain before moving to the Middle East, where it supported the 8th Army during 1942 and 1943, ending the war operating with the Balkan Air Force over Yugoslavia and Albania.

No.216 Squadron began the Second World War as a bomber-transport squadron located in the Middle East, but soon lost its bombing role and from 1941 until the end of the war served as a transport squadron.

No.217 Squadron began the Second World War as a home-based maritime reconnaissance squadron, spent 1941 and the first part of 1942 serving as an anti-shipping squadron, before moving to the Far East (via Malta) where it remained for the rest of the war.

16 February 2011

Han Jeschonnek (1899-1943) was the Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe from 1939 until his suicide in 1943.

Ernst Udet (1896-1941) was the Director of Air Armament for the Luftwaffe early in the Second World War, despite having little technical knowledge or enthusiasm for the task.

15 February 2011

No.210 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, both as home-based anti-submarine warfare squadrons, achieving most of its successes during its second incarnation.

No.211 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a bomber squadron that served in the Middle East and in the disastrous early campaigns in the Far East, and second as a fighter-bomber squadron operating on the Burma front.

No.212 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, the first a short-lived period as a reconnaissance unit in 1940, the second as a Catalina squadron operating in the seas around India.

11 February 2011

No.193 Squadron was a Typhoon squadron that served as a fighter squadron in 1943 before becoming a fighter-bomber squadron and joining Second Tactical Air Force at the start of 1944.

No.208 Squadron was an army co-operation and reconnaissance squadron that was based in the Middle East for most of the Second World War, before spending the period from March 1944 to the end of the war serving as a fighter-bomber squadron in Italy.

No.209 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that flew maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols from British bases from 1939 until 1942, and then operated over the India Ocean for most of the rest of the war, before taking part in the final stages of the offensive in Burma in 1945.

10 February 2011

General Frederick Pile (1884-1976) served as the head of Antiaircraft Command for the entire duration of the Second World War, and played a major part in the defence against the London Blitz in 1940-41 and the campaign against the V-1 flying bomb in 1944-46.

Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle (1885-1953) was a senior Luftwaffe officer best known as the commander of Luftflotte 3 during the Battle of Britain.

7 February 2011

No.204 Squadron was a Sunderland squadron in Coastal Command that spend most of the Second World War flying anti-submarine patrols off the coast of West Africa.

No.205 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that became the first RAF squadron to be based in the Far East.

No.206 Squadron was a Coastal Command squadron that began and ended the Second World War as an anti-submarine warfare squadron, as well as serving in the anti-shipping role between 1940 and 1941. 

4 February 2011

No.201 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that served with Coastal Command throughout the Second World War, sinking five U-boats, all in the period between March 1943 and August 1944.

No.202 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that served in the Mediterranean from 1929 until September 1944 when it moved to Northern Ireland to fly coastal patrols.

No.203 Squadron began the Second World War as a flying boat squadron, but converted to the Blenheim fighter in 1939, and went on to serve as a reconnaissance, bomber, coastal patrol and anti-submarine warfare squadron at different times during the war.

1 February 2011

No.197 Squadron was a Typhoon-equipped ground attack squadron that fought with 2nd Tactical Air Force during the campaign in north-western Europe.

No.198 Squadron was a Typhoon equipped fighter squadron that began life in Fighter Command operating against German fighter-bombers, before joining 2nd Tactical Air Force and taking part in the liberation of Europe.

No.200 Squadron was a maritime patrol squadron that flew anti-submarine warfare patrols off West Africa from 1942 to 1944 before moving to India to operate over the Indian Ocean.

27 January 2011

No.194 Squadron began life as a transport unit based in India, before becoming an airborne forces unit and helping to keep the army fighting in Burma supplied from the air.

No.195 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a fighter-bomber squadron and then as a Lancaster squadron in Bomber Command

No.196 Squadron served with Bomber Command from November 1942 to November 1943, before becoming an airborne support squadron, taking part in the D-Day invasion, the Arnhem operation and the crossing of the Rhine.

25 January 2011

No.186 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a fighter-bomber squadron, and second as a Lancaster squadron in Bomber Command.

No.189 Squadron was a Lancaster bomber squadron in Bomber Command that formed in the autumn of 1944, and didn't become operational until November.

No.191 Squadron was a maritime reconnaissance squadron that operated from bases in India and modern Pakistan from 1943 until it was disbanded in June 1945.

21 January 2011

No.182 Squadron was a ground attack squadron that helped support the D-Day landings before moving to Europe and following the advancing armies into Germany.

No.183 Squadron was a fighter-bomber squadron that operated with Second Tactical Air Force, taking part in the Battle of Normandy and advance into Germany.

No.184 Squadron was a fighter-bomber squadron that served with Second Tactical Air Force, taking part on the Battle of Normandy and the advance into Germany.

20 January 2011

No.147 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a Liberator bomber squadron that never received any aircraft and second as a home based transport squadron.

No.159 Squadron was a heavy bomber squadron formed for service in the Far East but that was delayed in the Middle East for most of 1942, before spending the rest of the war operating over Burma and more distant areas.

No.181 Squadron was one of the first squadrons to receive the Hawker Typhoon, and flew that aircraft to the end of the Second World War, helping to turn it from a flawed fighter into an excellent fighter-bomber.

17 January 2011

No.176 Squadron was a defensive night fighter squadron that operated from bases in India from 1943 until the end of the Second World War.

No.177 Squadron was a Beaufighter-equipped ground attack squadron that operated over Burma from early in 1943 until the end of the Second World War.

No.179 Squadron was an anti-submarine squadron that served in the Mediterranean before returning to the UK in April 1944.

11 January 2011

No.173 Squadron was a communications squadron that operated in the Middle East from the summer of 1942 until early in 1944.

No.174 Squadron was a ground attack and fighter-bomber squadron that was formed in 1942 and took part in the D-Day landings before moving to Europe to support the advancing armies.

No.175 Squadron was a ground attack squadron that took part in the D-Day landings and the advance across north-western Europe.

7 January 2011

No.168 Squadron served as an army cooperation and ground attack squadron from its formation in 1942 until it was disbanded early in 1945.

No.170 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a tactical reconnaissance squadron and second as a Lancaster bomber squadron.

No.172 Squadron was the first squadron to be equipped with the Leigh Light Wellington, and played a major role in the early development of Coastal Command, having a particularly successful year during 1943.

6 January 2011

No.164 'Argentine-British' Squadron was a fighter-bomber squadron that served from the UK until after the D-Day landings when it moved to Europe to support the advancing armies.

No.165 'Ceylon' Squadron was a home based fighter squadron that was operational from the spring of 1942 until the end of the Second World War.

No.167 'Gold Coast' Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a largely Dutch manned fighter squadron and second as a transport squadron.

5 January 2011

No.160 Squadron was a heavy bomber squadron that was formed for service in the Far East but that was detained in the Middle East during 1942 and only reached India in 1943.

No.162 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a radar calibration squadron in the Middle East and second as a Mosquito squadron in the Light Night Striking Force.

No.163 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a transport squadron in East Africa and second as a Mosquito night bomber squadron.

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