Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Hell's Angels: The True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War II

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Hell's Angels: The True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War II

Article excerpt

Hell's Angels: The True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group in World War II by Jay A. Stout. Berkley Publishing, Penguin Group (http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers /berkley/), 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, 2015, 464 pages, $27.95 (hardcover), ISBN 9780425274095; January 2016, 464 pages, $17.00 (softcover), ISBN 9780425274101.

In Hell's Angels, author Jay A. Stout challenges himself to write the definitive reference book about the Eighth Air Force and the critical operations that occurred in the skies over Europe during World War II. Many authors set similar goals for themselves, and most of them fail. Instead, Stout succeeds by incorporating accurate facts and figures from narratives of the men of the 303rd Bomb Group who were there. By doing so, he holds the interest of his readers, immersing them in the desperate struggle.

Crucially, Stout utilizes an inclusive approach to his study. Although the aircrews manned the planes and flew them into combat, they were but one part of a team that included ground crews and support staff. Additionally, the author weaves in the perspectives of the enemy's military personnel and civilians. This holistic method places readers directly in the flow of information and allows them to determine how all elements influence each other. Stout proceeds chronologically, reviewing the 303rd from its inception through combat operations, thus presenting a unique view of the unit's evolution and utilizing it as a case study representative of European air operations as a whole. …

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