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Books by Dilip Sarkar

  • Spitfire Manual 1940

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: BWTLF
    Paperback
    How to fly the legendary fighter plane in combat using the manuals and instructions supplied by the RAF during the Second World War. An amazing array of leaflets, books and manuals were issued by the War Office during the Second World War to aid pilots in flying the Supermarine Spitfire, here for the first time and using the original 1940s setting, they are collated into a single book. An introduction is supplied by expert aviation historian Dilip Sarkar. Other sections include aircraft recognition, how to act as an RAF officer, bailing out etc.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • Spitfire!

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: BXXJU
    Hardback
    As a child, Dilip Sarkar was fascinated by the haunting image of an anonymous RAF Spitfire pilot. Taken minutes after landing from a Battle of Britain combat, this was Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC, the commander of 19 Squadron, based at Fowlmere - and author of the stirring first-hand account _Spitfire! The Experiences of a Fighter Pilot_, published under the pseudonym B.J. Ellan. Deeply moving was the discovery that in 1942 Brian was reported missing after a futile nuisance raid over the Dutch coast. During the mid-1980s, Dilip began researching the life and times of both Brian Lane and 19 Squadron, forging close friendships with many of the unit's surviving Battle of Britain pilots and support staff. This enabled identification of the wartime censor's blanks regarding people and places in Brian's book, and the publication in 1990 of Dilip's first ever book, _Spitfire Squadron: 19 Squadron at War 1939-41_. Nearly thirty years later, sadly all of the survivors are now deceased, but Dilip's close relationship has provided a huge archive of correspondence and interviews in addition to a unique photographic collection. Furthermore, the author, a retired police detective, has thoroughly investigated the life - and death - of Squadron Leader Lane. This completely new _Spitfire Squadron_ covers everything we would ever need to know about such a unit during the critical pre and early war period: the social, political, aviation and military history all in one volume - emphasising the human experience involved and the stories of casualties. With an immense photographic collection - many published here for the first time - this book is destined to become a classic. So, strap yourself in, turn gun button to fire', and join 19 Squadron's Spitfire pilots during our Darkest and Finest Hours the ultimate Band of Brothers'?
    • £23.99
    • RRP £30.00
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  • Fighter Ace

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: BVYZC
    Paperback
    THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY TO TRULY SEPARATE FACT FROM MYTH AND LEGEND. The story of Douglas Bader, the RAF fighter pilot who shot down twenty enemy fighters during the Second World War despite having lost both his legs, defies fiction. A fighter ace and highly decorated war hero, he became a household name in the 1950s thanks to the bestselling book and blockbuster film Reach for the Sky which charted his wartime exploits. Indeed, his name remains the one the general public associate most with the Battle of Britain. That he overcame his disability and flew into battle - leading squadrons of Spitfires and Hurricanes in the epic air battle of summer 1940 - is truly remarkable. Bader's first aerial victory - a Messerschmitt 109 - was recorded over Dunkirk on 1 June 1940. During the subsequent Battle of Britain this remarkable airman claimed the destruction of seven more enemy aircraft: Me 110s, Do 17s, Ju 88s and another Me 109 falling to his guns. The legless airman was, of course, rich material for the propagandists, who lost no time in manipulating his exploits to increase Britain's morale. Newspaper reports and radio broadcasts of his aerial victories abounded. Dilip Sarkar has spent over twenty years researching the life and times of Douglas Bader. The result is this book, written in close co-operation with his fellow wartime pilots, which deconstructs the popular myth cemented by wartime propaganda and the 1950s book and film Reach for the Sky.
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  • Arnhem 1944

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: BTACX
    Hardback
    The airborne battle for the bridges across the Rhine at Arnhem ranks amongst the Second World War's most famous actions - inspiring innumerable books and the star-studded 1977 movie. This book, however, is unique: deeply moved, the author provides a fresh narrative and approach - concentrating on the tragic stories of individual casualties. These men were killed at different junctures in the fighting, often requiring forensic analysis to ascertain their fates. Wider events contextualise the author's primary focus - effectively 'resurrecting' casualties through describing their backgrounds, previous experience, and tragic effect on their families. In particular, the emotive and unresolved issue of the many still 'missing' is explored. During the course of his research, the author made numerous trips to Arnhem and Oosterbeek, travelled miles around the UK, and spent countless hours communicating with the relatives of casualties - achieving their enthusiastic support. This detailed work, conducted sensitively and with dignity, ensures that these moving stories are now recorded for posterity. Included are the stories of Private Albert Willingham, who sacrificed his life to save civilians; Major Frank Tate, machine-gunned against the backdrop of blazing buildings around Arnhem Bridge; family man Sergeant George Thomas, whose anti-tank gun is displayed today outside the Airborne Museum 'Hartenstein', and Squadron Leader John Gilliard DFC, father of a baby son who perished flying his Stirling through a hail of shot and shell during an essential re-supply drop. Is Private Gilbert Anderson, who remains 'missing', actually buried as an 'unknown', the author asks? Representing the Poles is Lance-Corporal Czeslaw Gajewnik, who drowned whilst escaping the hell of Oosterbeek, and accounts by Dutch civilians emphasise the shared suffering - sharply focussed by the tragedy of Luuk Buist, killed protecting his family. The sensitivity still surrounding German casualties is also explained. This raw, personal, side of war, the hopes and fears of ordinary men thrust into extraordinary circumstances, is both deeply moving and revealing: no longer are these just names carved on headstones or memorials in a distant land. Through this thorough investigative work, supported by those who remember them, the casualties live again, their silent voices heard through friends, relatives, comrades and unpublished letters. So, let us return to the fateful autumn of 1944, and meet those fighting in the skies, on the landing grounds, in the streets and woods of Oosterbeek, and on the 'bridge too far' at Arnhem. Now, the casualties can tell their own stories - as we join this remarkable journey of discovery.
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
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  • The Final Few

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: AWOZW
    Paperback
    During the summer of 1940, Britain stood alone, defying the Luftwaffe's aerial assault - the prelude to a proposed seaborne invasion. Fighter Command faced this challenge against overwhelming odds with immeasurable courage and tenacity, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, immortalising these young Spitfire and Hurricane pilots as 'The Few'. Some 2,927 aircrew comprised the 'Few', 544 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice that fateful summer, now known as the Battle of Britain. A further 791 would perish before the war's end. Today, precious few indeed remain alive worldwide, the Battle of Britain Fighter Association now numbering twenty-seven. Veteran aviation historian Dilip Sarkar, however, has spent a lifetime recording the stories of casualties and the memories of survivors. In this important book commemorating the Battle of Britain's seventy-fifth anniversary, he brings us more original work and new interviews with 'The Final Few'. This is likely to be the last such work produced, as sadly but inevitably Churchill's 'Few' fade from living memory.
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    • RRP £9.99
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  • Spitfire Ace of Aces

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: AITPJ
    Paperback
    Johnnie Johnson is a character literally straight out of the pages of ' Boys Own'. By the end of the Second World War the RAF Spitfire pilot was a household name in Britain, feted by Churchill and Eisenhower. Although he missed the Battle of Britain, when slow- flying bombers were abundant and easy targets for fighters, by 1945 he had notched up 381/2 enemy 'kills' - all fighters, which took far more skill to shoot down - and was officially the RAF's top-scoring fighter ace. One of his most impressive achievements was that, despite participating in over 1,000 combat missions, he was never shot down. His Spitfire was damaged once, and on his return to base he apologised to his fitter, saying, 'I was surrounded by six of them.' Aviation historian Dilip Sarkar spent many hours with Johnson in the final years of the great man's life, recording the last interviews Johnson ever gave. The book is infused with breathtaking firsthand accounts from Johnnie himself and many of his fellow Spitfire pilots, also interviewed by the author, and profusely illustrated with photographs from Johnson's personal albums.
    • £11.29
    • RRP £12.99
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  • The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: AFETJ
    Paperback
    HMS Royal Oak was a Revenge-class battleship of the British Royal Navy, infamously torpedoed at anchor by the German submarine U-47 on 14 October 1939. Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland when she became the first of the five Royal Navy battleships and battle cruisers sunk in the Second World War. The loss of life was heavy: of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 833 were killed that night or died later of their wounds. The raid made an immediate celebrity and war hero out of the German U-boat commander, Gunther Prien, who became the first submarine officer to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. To the British, the raid demonstrated that the Germans were capable of bringing the naval war to their home waters, and the shock resulted in rapidly arranged changes to dockland security. Now lying upside-down in 30 m of water with her hull 5 m beneath the surface, Royal Oak is a designated war grave. Includes 103 Photographs
    • £10.89
    • RRP £10.99
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