The Only War We've Got


Amazing what we can find on the internet. I've been researching the lives of the Flying Tiger pilots, 100 men recruited to fly for the 1st American Volunteer Group plus 10 army flight instructors hired to assess the readiness of Chinese cadets for advanced training in the United States. Not much is known about some of these men, but oddments turn up here and there when I search by name. (Often, sadly, in the former of an obituary for a Flying Tiger who died in the past ten years.) This project began as an update of my Roster of the Flying Tigers, but it soon got out of hand. So I decided to make an e-book out of it instead. That should be ready next month. Meanwhile I'll keep posting the thumbnail biographies. Here is the second installment, from Bert Christman to Duke Hedman. (At left is Duke Hedman, who famously became an ace in one day's combat.)

When I wrote Poland's Daughter, I had to study the Russo-Polish War of 1919-1920, because the girl's father had fought in it. Reading about Poland's war of maneuver against the Red Army, I was struck by how closely it resembled the German blitzkrieg of the Second World War, and I remarked on the irony that the Poles in September 1939 were blind-sided by the very tactics they had perfected! Well, it seems this wasn't just speculation. In Enemy in the East, by the German historian Rolf-Dieter Mueller, I see that that Marshal Pilsudski's memoirs were translated into German in 1935, with high praise from the German chief of staff. Read more here. An excellent book, making the case that Hitler's target all along was Moscow, not London.

And two more books that I borrowed from the state e-library, both of which delighted me to begin with but finally left me growling. First, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot tells the story of how North Korea came to exist, to our cost and that of millions of Koreans, much enlivened by pairing that story with the young pilot who defected with his MiG-15 jet fighter to the United States. And second, Uncle Poxl's Last Flight, a novel about a Czech Jew who made his way to England in 1940 and became a Lancaster pilot in the Royal Air Force. (Or, more accurately, a novel about Uncle Poxl's supposed memoir, as experienced by his American nephew.) Go here for more about these books. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Poland's Daughter

Welcome to the Warbird's Forum!

Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and military history, grouped under these headings:

Annals of the Flying Tigers
Annals of the Brewster Buffalo
Annals of Poland: war and exile, 1939-1948
Japan at War, 1931-1945
Annals of the Chinese Air Force
Glen Edwards and the Flying Wing
Remembering Bluie West One
The Spadguys Speak (carrying a nuke to Sevastopol)
Annals of Vietnam
War in the Modern World

Plus these excellent places to look for more:

Book(s) of the month
Reviews of worthwhile military+aviation titles
The Piper Cub Forum

Dan Ford's books
For print editions of Dan's books, go here      For the e-books, go here

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Posted July 2015. Websites ©1997-2015 Daniel Ford. All rights reserved.