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Flying Fortress Hardcover – June, 1968
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Top Customer Reviews
Jablonski takes us through the step-by-step evolution of this airplane, from its earliest wooden strut-and-wire precursors to its ultimate development into the B-29 "atomic" bomber of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The general design of the B-17 proceeded from Boeing's Model 299 to the wartime B-17G, of which almost 9000 were built. Although the "E," "F," and "G" variants were the most common of the more than 12,000 B-17s constructed, the Flying Fortress underwent literally hundreds of modifications and served variously as a heavy bomber, a command plane, a radar platform, an antisubmarine hunter, and even a kind of long-range superfighter during its decade-long career.
The B-17 was as widely distributed as it was modified. Although the Flying Fortress is most commonly associated with the Eighth Air Force based in England, Fortresses served in Italy, Africa and the Pacific theatre as well. The B-17 (along with the B-24) was the backbone of America's Strategic Bombardment program against Germany during World War II. Although the price was steep (about 25% of Fortresses never came home) Strategic Bombardment demonstrably shortened the war by destroying Germany's industrial plant.Read more ›
I could find nothing in this book that mentions the supposed corrections or who made them. There is no intro, no forward, no explanation, just the original preface word for word from the original. To my eye this appears to be just a facsimile of the original done on print on demand. This edition has the exact same number of pages as the original. It says Copyright 2014 Edward Jablonski which I find interesting since Mr Jablonski died in 2004. I've spent several days doing side by side readings of random pages and thus far have not found a single word that was different. Even more disappointing is the number of factual errors in the original text that still appear in this "corrected edition". Numerous copies of the original edition available here on Amazon for as little as $8.
The first time I encountered Flying Fortress was as a child -- it was my Dad's book -- and I was fascinated by the pictures and learned a bit by reading the captions. As an adult, I bought my own copy and started in with the text itself. What I like best about it is that by telling the stories of the pivotal role played by the many men involved with the manufacture and operation of the B-17's, it demonstrates quite clearly how history is made by the actions of individuals. The stories themselves are harrowing, blood-chilling dramas -- none-the-less for the fact that they are true. It helps give an appreciation, like so few World War II history books do, for the excitement and horror of warfare.
Something else I like about Flying Fortress -- still -- are the pictures and supplemental information (including a reduced-size copy of a flight manual). Edward Jablonski collected these photographs and other information from official sources, as well as individuals. I expect you will not see them anywhere else. For years now, most cable channel history programs have recycled the same photographs and videos and simply put them to new music and voice-overs. Very economical for their business model, I expect. Jablonski, on the other hand -- writing back in the early 1960's -- was very particular in his selections. Each photo tells its own story, and most of the photos depict the stories told in the text.
This book, both long ago and now, have kindled in me a love and appreciation for aviation, history, ingenuity, and human daring. And the best part is that it's all true.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am enjoying this book - it's nice to read about the early years of the B-17.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an excellent chronicle of the plane, the pilots and the air war in WWII. Great read. MPublished 6 months ago by Michael R Highsmith
Great Book, I've read many books about W.W.2. This one has a lot of detail, & very interesting to read.Published 13 months ago by Dale Banford