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Sabotage in the Sky by L. Ron Hubbard
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Sabotage in the Sky

by L. Ron Hubbard

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This 1940 adventure story dates from that bygone era where America was poised on the brink of war. The devastating events of Pearl Harbor were still a year away and many Americans were in favor of staying out of the European conflict. Of course, that would all change, and Hitler’s mad plan would be dashed by Allied Forces. Hubbard’s story taps into these events with a patriotic tale about Bill Trevillian who finds himself caught up in an international scheme involving the latest design in pursuit planes meant to out-maneuver the German Messerschmitt. Hubbard’s use of the fictional Messerschmitt 118D appears to be a variation on the Messerschmitt BF 109E-3, which was already in action over France. The BF 109E-3 had an advantage of the eight gun British fighters in that it could fire a greater weight of metal and thereby cause more destruction. Hubbard’s use of an advanced version is a thrilling plot device that adds credibility to Sabotage in the Sky. In fact, various versions of the Messerschmitt BF 109 would become the mainstay of the Luftwaffe. Hubbard also refers to the L97 as the secret American design to counter the threat of the Messerschmitt 118D. The L97 would be a fictionalized version of the British Spitfire or the American Bell P-39. Of course, readers following international news at the time were well aware of the war raging in Europe and it’s interesting to note that Hubbard’s villain here is Erich von Straub, an unsympathetic Nazi. Sabotage in the Sky appeared a year before America entered the war but already the Nazi regime was being reviled by adventure writers. Sabotage in the Sky is an excellent example of a patriotic air adventure story. Hubbard’s knowledge of current events and airplane technology (circa 1940) add another level of enjoyment to this fast-paced tale. I found myself swept along by the adventure where “The whistle of wind in the wings made the night seem mysterious and lonely.” And Bill Trevillian is cut from the cloth of the American experience. I love Hubbard’s description of him: “He was good-looking in a sleepy sort of way, very tall, very languid, always looking for something upon which to lean his obviously weary soul. Down in his eyes there lay a watchful spark of humor, and upon his lips there always lingered the ghost of his last smile and the beginning of the next.” That reminds me of the All-American Gary Cooper in a lot of ways. The fast pace, snappy dialogue, endearing characters, and the air action scenes all carry the reader along on a breathtaking adventure of thrills and spills. Highly recommended. ( )
  TPMCNULTY | Jun 28, 2014 |
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Two test pilots demonstrate the newest and best American fighter planes for the British and French, but a German spy tries to prevent any new aircraft sale, so the Nazi planes can triumph.

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Galaxy Press

Two editions of this book were published by Galaxy Press.

Editions: 1592122973, 1592122795

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