Warbirds of World War II
It was during World War II that the aircraft truly evolved into a state of the art military weapon¸ far out-shadowing its not inconsiderable achievements of the previous war. The citizens of every nation were already living in dread of the bomber¸ and its promise to rain death down upon the cities in which they lived with impunity - that nightmare was now a reality. From the outset of the war¸ Germany demonstrated just how lethal aircraft could be when used in conjunction with infantry and armour. Indeed¸ this was the very cornerstone of Blitzkrieg. However¸ aircraft evolved into weapon delivery platforms in their own right. For the first time¸ ship-launched attack aircraft could destroy vessels far beyond the visual range of their parent carrier¸ as demonstrated first by the Royal Navy at Taranto¸ then at Pearl Harbour by Japan¸ and finally by US forces as they hopped across the islands of the Pacific. Heavy bombers pounded cities and factories throughout the war¸ but the dreams commanders had of aircraft being able to win wars proved to be mislead. A population bombarded did not automatically result in a breakdown of national morale - quite the opposite. Also¸ technology evolved to counter bomber attacks¸ from the dogged defence of the British Isles during the Battle of Britain¸ to the sophisticated layered defences of Germany against the thousand bomber raids. On the battlefield¸ the importance of air superiority became apparent¸ with the dominant force claiming the skies. Once enemy aircraft had been chased from the battlefield¸ fighter bombers used cannon¸ bomb and rocket to annihilate ground forces. Even mighty tanks were fodder for the Stuka¸ Thunderbolt and Typhoon. Infantry and armour were still needed to wage war and take ground. The addition of aircraft made their task either a great deal easier or far more difficult¸ depending on how their pilots fared in the air. This book contains aircraft from every period of the war¸ for every military force featured in Battlefield Evolution: World at War. Each aircraft has been painstakingly researched¸ and includes upgrades throughout the war¸ and multiple payload options¸ guaranteeing you will find a use for all the weapons included in your average aircraft kit!