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Mosquito Men

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2954901337708334

The story of one of the most remarkable – and feared – British aircraft of the Second World War: the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito fighter-bomber. Nicknamed the ‘wooden wonder’ for its balsawood frame, the two-man Mosquito excelled in several different roles, from reconnaissance to the bombing of sensitive priority targets. Following a Mosquito raid on the main Berlin broadcasting station on 30 January 1943, which succeeded in removing Hermann Goering from the airwaves, the Luftwaffe chief observed ruefully: ‘It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy.’ From the summer of that year, as RAF Bomber Command intensified its saturation-bombing campaign against German cities and industrial centres, Mosquitos were used by the RAF Pathfinder Force, which marked targets for night-time bombing, to potent and devastating effect.David Price’s involving and fast-paced narrative traces the contrasting wartime fortunes of a number of Mosquito crews, alongside which the development and operational history of the aeroplane (especially with the Pathfinder Force) forms a descant to the principal human narrative. Like the author’s earlier book The Crew, Mosquito Men is rich in evocative and technically authoritative accounts of individual missions flown by an aircraft that ranks alongside the Spitfire, the Hurricane and the Avro Lancaster as one of the RAF’s greatest ever.