...from Fonthill Media
Title: Vickers Wellington
Author: Philip Birtles
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Another excellent new book from author Philip Birtles and publishers Fonthill Media. This is a 235-page hard-cover book, which is packed with some fine archive photos of the Wellington in service, presented throughout the text.
It starts with the design & development story, a design team led by Rex Pierson using the geodetic airframe construction technique created by Barnes Wallis. A lightweight structure that was capable of absorbing damage and making repairs easier to carry out. Early and Late versions were powered by radial engines, Pegasus and Hercules respectively, while in between these, some were also fitted with Merlins. A twin engined medium bomber, it was what Bomber Command had available in the early part of the war. They were one of the original elements of the Main Force operations against Germany. They were replaced by 1943 by the new heavy bombers, such as the Lancaster, but the Wellington still went on to carry out plenty of important tasks, which are detailed in the book, along with supporting photos. Other chapters take the story further, with Aircrew Training, Wellington Maritime operations as well as their use in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. They were used in the desert, and also in the Mediterranean, from the besieged island of Malta, where they also carried torpedoes. They were used for multiple roles and continued in service after the war, often as test-beds, as well as service with Foreign Air Forces. The final chapter details the remaining preserved Wellingtons, including the famous R for Robert salvaged from Loch Ness and restored at Brooklands. More fantastic detail in the appendices, with tables of specifications for the various marks, a detailed list of production numbers and factories that made them, and finally, a list of service units. Among the many photos are interesting examples, such as those with pressurised cabins, with bristling radar aerials or a mine hunting de-gauzing ring.
One of the facts pointed out in the book is that the Wellington served throughout the war, and equipped as many as 60 squadrons in the RAF. Lots of interesting stories of the Wellington in service as well as detailed records of its' service career. I have read other books on the Wellington over the years, but I have no hesitation in saying this is the best one I have read on the subject, with the most detail and the finest collection of archive images I can remember seeing all in one book. Easily recommended.
Thanks to Fonthill Media for the review copy.