Clash of Wings: World War II in the Air and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Clash Of Wings: Air Power in World War II Unknown Binding – 1994

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; BCE edition. edition (1994)
  • ASIN: B003L1T614
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Walter J. Boyne was the Director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution from 1983 to 1986, and Acting Director from 1981 to 1983. He retired in August, 1986 to pursue a career as a novelist, nonfiction author and consultant. He is one of the few writers to have both fiction and nonfiction books on the New York Times Best Seller lists. An inventor, he has been awarded a patent on an advanced information retrieval system. He is currently chairman of the board of the National Aeronautics Association, and on July 21, 2007 was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. He has served twice as an expert witness for Lockheed Martin, once in 1999 and once in 2003. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the National Aeronautic Association.
A career Air Force officer, Boyne entered the Aviation Cadet program in 1951, and won his wings and commission in 1952. He has flown over 5,000 hours in a score of different aircraft, from a Piper Cub to a B 1B, and is a Command Pilot. Boyne retired as a Colonel on June 1, 1974 after 23 years of service. In November, 1989, he returned for familiarization flights in the B 1B bomber.
He began writing articles on aviation subjects in 1962, and has since then completed more than 1,000 articles, forty-four non-fiction books and eight novels. His books have been published in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, Japan and China. He is the author of aviation sections in the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as in three other encyclopedias, including Encarta. He is the editor of the (2002) Encyclopedia of Air Warfare, by ABC-Clio.
His latest novel Hypersonic Thunder is the third of a trilogy on the history of jet aviation. In 2007, he published "Soaring to Glory, The Air Force Memorial" and "Beyond the Wild Blue, A History of the United States Air Force, 1947-2007. In 2003, Dawn Over Kitty Hawk was published by Tor/Forge, part of St. Martin's Press, It was followed by The Influence of Air Power on History, published in July, 2003, by Pelican Publishing. His Chronicle of Flight, a 95,000 word, 1,000 photograph history of flight appeared from Publications International in August, 2003. His Operation Iraqi Freedom: What Went Right, What Went Wrong and Why was published by TOR/Forge (St. Martins Press) in that same month. In October, 2003, Rising Tide, the story of the Russian and Soviet submarine force was published, co-authored with Gary Weir. In December, two works were published that Boyne edited, Aviation 100, Volume III, and The Alpha Guide to the Military
His first novel The Wild Blue (co-authored with Steven L. Thompson) was published by Crown Publishers. It was a national best seller on the New York Times list in both hard cover and paperback editions, and won the Aviation/Space Writers Association Award for best Fiction Book of 1986. His second novel, Trophy for Eagles, a solo effort, was published by Crown in May, 1989, and received strong critical acclaim. The second novel in the trilogy, Eagles at War was published in May, 1991, to similar reviews. In January, 1991, he published Weapons of Desert Storm and Gulf War. Weapons of Desert Storm made the New York Time's nonfiction best seller's list. The third novel of his trilogy, Air Force Eagles was published in June, 1992.
A nonfiction book, Classic Aircraft was published in the summer of 1992. Art in Flight , a book on the magnificent work of sculptor John Safer, was published in October of 1992..Silver Wings, a nonfiction history of the Air Force appeared in October, 1993, while Clash of Wings, a nonfiction history of the great air campaigns of World War II, appeared in June, 1994. It was a main selection of the History Book of the Month Club for July, 1994. Both of the latter two books are published by Simon & Schuster, as is Clash of Titans a non-fiction history of the great sea campaigns of World War II, which was published in June, 1995.
Beyond the Wild Blue, A History of the United States Air Force, 1947-1997 was published in 1997 for St. Martin's Press. It is on the USAF's Chief of Staff's required reading list for Air Force personnel. The Air Force Association presented Boyne the Gill Robb Wilson Award in recognition of what has been called the definitive history of the United States Air Force. In 1998, St. Martin's Press published his "Beyond the Horizons" a history of the Lockheed Company from 1913 to 1995. It has received unanimous critical acclaim . His next work was co-editing an anthology with Philip Handleman . It is titled Brassey's Air Combat Reader , and was published by Brassey in 1999.
An earlier nonfiction book, The Smithsonian Book of Flight published in June, 1987, was a Book of the Month Club Premium selection, won the New York Public Library Prize, and sold some 400,000 copies. In 1986, The Leading Edge was also a Book of the Month Club Premium Selection. It won the Best Non Fiction Book of 1986 Award by the Aviation/Space Writers Association. It was also published in England and Germany. In 1987 another nonfiction book, Power Behind the Wheel traced the evolution of the automobile in technical and cultural terms, and was awarded the Thomas McKean Cup by the Antique Automobile Association of America for best book of the year.
Both The Leading Edge and The Power Behind the Wheel were republished in hardcover in the Spring of 1991 by Abbeyville Press, and both have been published in German and English foreign editions. Boeing B-52, Phantom in Combat and Messerschmitt Me 262 were all republished in 1994. Boyne's books have been published in England, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany, Italy and Japan. The novel The Wild BLue was republished in 1998 year by Wind Canyon publishing. Simon & Schuster republished Clash of Titans and Clash of Wings as trade paperbacks in 1997. Both books have been placed on audio and have been published in Poland, Italy and Czechoslovakia.
His later books include Aces in Command, Classic Aircraft, and Best of Wings, all three published in 2001, along with ABC-Clio's Encyclopedia of Air Warfare, and The Two O'Clock War: the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the American Airlift that Saved Israel, published in September, 2002, by St. Martin's Press.
He published five books in 2003, including the novel "Dawn Over Kitty Hawk" the story of the Wright brothers; "Rising Tide" with Gary Weir, covering the Soviet Union's submarine experience;.
Boyne is the editor of the Walter J. Boyne Military Aircraft Series for McGraw Hill. Boyne serves as Associate Editor on two national aviation magazines and contributes a articles to several national newspapers. He is a consultant to four publishers, several museums and several aerospace firms. His aviation interests are wide ranging, and he serves as an advisor to a number of national and international organizations.
Boyne became involved in television in 1991, writing scripts and directing production of the highly successful series of Wings television program that appeared on the Discovery Channel. This led to his co-founding of the cable television channel Wingspan the Air and Space Channel, went on the air in April 1998 and was bought out by the Discovery Channel a year later. Boyne consults for the Discovery Military Channel, and has been designated "Aerospace Expert in Residence" by Discovery.
Boyne is a familiar figure on television, appearing as a commentator on aviation and military events on all the major networks, including PBS, CNN and C-Span, as well as the History, A&E, Discovery and Speedvision cable channels. He has hosted and narrated three television programs. The first of these is a five-part series made from his book Beyond the Wild Blue, A History of the Air Force, 1947-1997. It appears on the History Channel. The second is the thirteen part series made from his book Clash of Wings, and appears on Speedvision and PBS. The third is a program on John Safer's sculpture, entitled Flight in Art.
When Boyne left the Air Force, he joined the Air and Space Museum as an assistant curator on June 10th, 1974, and gained wide experience in every aspect of museum operations. He was successively Curator of Aeronautics, Chief of Preservation and Restoration, Chief of Exhibits and Production, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Acting Director and Director. Boyne's career at the Museum was highlighted by a number of extraordinary achievements. One of the first of these was to transform the totally inadequate facility then existing at Silver Hill into the world's premier restoration facility. When the facility was up and running, and a new museum open to the public there, Boyne led the initiative to re-name the facility in honor of his good friend and mentor, Paul Garber.
While this was going on, Boyne was responsible for the movement, assembly, and installation of all of the precious artifacts in the new Museum, coordinating this with the rapid-paced exhibit installation. So effective was his work that the Museum was ready to open four days before its scheduled July 4th 1976 official opening.
Boyne founded the magazine Air & Space, and established the editorial policies which made it the best selling aviation magazine in the United States. He negotiated an agreement with NASA to fly an IMAX camera on the Space Shuttle, and directly supervised the production of two of the most successful IMAX films, "The Dream is Alive" and "On the Wing". The latter film included a close cooperative effort with Dr. Paul MacCready to create "QN" a radio-controlled flying pterodactyl. He spearheaded the planning of the huge new restaurant which rectified two of NASMs shortcomings, an inadequate restaurant and inadequate restrooms.
In one of the most far-seeing moves, he negotiated directly with Donald Engen, then the Adminstrator of the FAA, and created the agreements that provided the land upon which the new extension of the Museum at Dulles. To insure that the Smithsonian would act upon this concept, he arranged for the Space Shuttle Enterprise to be flown and stored there in 1985.
Boyne had a profound effect upon Museum operations, insisting that the staff realize that the public was their boss, and that they had to work hard to satisfy that responsibility. He also pioneered the Museum's well received video disc program, and patented the "Digitizer" automated storage and retrieval system.
Boyne infused the Museum's research and publication program with a new vigor, and personally supervised the upgrading of the Museum's exhibit program. He is generally recognized to have made the Museum the most popular in the world while at the same time providing a very high level of education content. In addition, his entrepreneurial success resulted in the Museum's shop operating at record profits, and the IMAX films paying for themselves and generating additional income.
In his capacity as Director, he served as pro bono consultant to dozens of museums in many different countries, a task he continued in a professional role after his retirement. He has acted as consultant for the Museum of Flying, in Santa Monica, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, writing the complete exhibit scripts for both organizations. He also consulted for the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock, and for many others. He often does pro bono work for governmental museums such as the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon.
He is a member of almost all of the major aeronautical associations, and is a fellow of the French National Academie de l'Air et l'Espace. He has a BSBA with honors from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA, with honors, from the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Aerospace Sciences from Salem College, West Virginia in 1984.
He was awarded the Cliff Henderson Trophy for lifetime achievement in aviation by the National Aviation Club, which recently also named him an "Elder Statesman of Aviation". Previous winners include famous test pilots Scott Crossfield and Tony Levier. In 1997 he received the Gil Robb Wilson Award from the Air Force Association, and in 1998 was given the Paul Tissandier Diploma by the F.A.I. In 2006 he won the Lyman Award for lifetime contributions to Aviation. In 2007 he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. His biography appears in both Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in America. He lives in Ashburn, Virginia, with his wife, Terri. .

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rob Morris on March 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Walter Boyne knows his aviation. He may be rightly called the Dean of aviation writers. A former military pilot and former Director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, he is an author that I would recommend anyone who has an interest in aviation should read. Not only has he produced historical books about aviation, he's also written some very fine novels about the early days and progress of commercial and military aviation called Trophy for Eagles,Air Force Eagles and Eagles at War. He has also written a great book on the Air Force called 'Wild Blue'. These I also highly recommend. In this book, Boyne gives a good overview of the air war in WWII. He covers all theaters, recounts the classic air battles in the Pacific and in Europe, describes the planes that were used and tells of the men who flew them. In fact, the book is so spare that it almost feels like there needs to be more. For someone who wants a well-written, well-researched overview, this is the book to read about the air war in WWII and I recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ong Tso Sheng on December 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many books on this topic tend to get too detailed and readers tend to lose sight of the larger context of the war. I found this book to be good in that area- giving the reader a better overall view of the situtaion and circumstances that led to particular stratergies or equipment being developed in the course of the war. Its meant more for those interested in military avaition during WWII but do not want to get bogged down in the technical details.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
Col. Boyne's book is certainly written in a readable style, but it is yet another strategic history of air warfare, a genre overpopulated with the strategic and tactical at the expense of the operational. Thankfully, Col. Boyne takes more of a look at the operational level of war than most air authors, but it's still a glimpse limited mostly to correlation of forces tables. However, some of Boyne's strategic insights are refreshing, particularly his revelations about how the cycle of aircraft and technology development impacted the different air forces, and the size and strategic mobility of the Luftwaffe and the Japanese Naval Air Force. Unfortunately, in the end, Col. Boyne is lead astray by his own background, wandering off course in the Pacific due to a poor understanding of naval air power. Naval Aviation's pioneers and their struggle to establish the arm that won the great battles of the Pacific war receive short shrift, as does the whole campaign. Boyne focusses excessively on the role of land based aviation, particularly the 5th Air Force and the B-29 bomber campaign. The former's Bismarck Sea massacre of a Japanese convoy is a highly overrated event, and the later was largely a matter of beating a dead horse. The Japanese recognized their military defeat at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in June 1944 before a single B-29 launched from the Marianas. The only reason the war continued past that point was cultural pride and stubbornness. Clash of Wings is a good starting point, but I recommend the following books to people who really want to understand the Pacific war: Miller's "The Naval Air War," Hezlet's "Aircraft and Sea Power," Reynold's "The Fast Carriers," and Allen and Polmar's "Code-name Downfall.Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on July 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
In "Clash Of Wings", the renowned air power expert, Col. Walter Boyne, brings World War II air power to life. Covering all theatres and major combatants, the reader is treated to a thorough introduction to the strategy, personalities and equipment involved.

Col. Boyne has again written in a very engaging and easily understood manner. Much of this writing consists of description of aircraft, including their strengths and weaknesses. My knowledge of aircraft has generally been limited to the models I had assembled in my youth, several of which I enjoyed reading about. I have never studied aircraft in sufficient depth to really follow their ins and outs, but Col. Boyne writes in such a way that I never became bored. I appreciate the way he weaves the story of the air war into the bigger story of the overall war. I finished this book with a feeling that I had a better understanding, not only of the air war, but of the ground and naval wars also. I was pleased to find some of my lingering questions about World War II, such as why Japan attacked the U. S. and European colonies to the south rather than trying to finish off the Soviet Union first, and what would have happened if they had attacked the U.S.S.R., addressed in this narrative.

This book is great! I really cannot say much more. Read it and understand what I mean.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
Col. Boyne has produced a very readable history of the air war in WW2, but his USAF roots betray him in the end. Chief among Boyne's strong points is his recognition of the impact of the aircraft technological development cycle on the combatants. It goes a long way toward illuminating why the Luftwaffe and Japanese Naval Air Force peaked early, only to stagnate later. Boyne also delves into certain strategic and operational level facts not often addressed. His revelations about the small size, but significant strategic mobility of the Luftwaffe and JNAF are quite interesting, as well as his correlation of forces tables. But alas, Boyne is of USAF origin and wanders into questionable assetions about the largely naval Pacific campaign. He trots out the tired, tragic and questionable feat of Colin Kelly (saying the target was really the cruiser Ashigara, not a battleship), glosses over the abject failure of land-based air at Midway, and positively glories in the small, and largely over-rated massacre in the Bismarck Sea. The role of the pioneers of Naval Aviation (such as John Towers) is largely ignored. Boyne is also a little light on his criticism of a number of USAF and RAF figures involved with the strategic bombing campaigns. Overall, Col. Boyne has written a readable, concise and insightful history of the air war, but it is decidedly skewed and anyone truly interested in the air campaigns of WW2 must read beyond him.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?