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633 Squadron Operation Crucible - #3 in a…
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633 Squadron Operation Crucible - #3 in a series (original 1977; edition 1979)

by Frederick E. Smith

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Member:the1pendragon
Title:633 Squadron Operation Crucible - #3 in a series
Authors:Frederick E. Smith
Info:Bantam Books (1979), Paperback, 216 pages
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633 Squadron: Operation Crucible by Frederick E. Smith (1977)

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It's late in the war and the Nazis have begun using ME262s against the B-17s, which are helpless against these new jets. Even the P-51 escorts could do little against these fast enemy fighters. Usually little could be done until the 262s ran out of ammunition. Early models of the jets had been prone to engine failure. Another difficulty was that the armament was similar to that of the older fighters and was only effective within range of the B-17 machine guns. The newer models of jets carried rockets and since 24 of the rockets, could be fired at once and from outside the range of the B-17 gunners, the effect was like being shot at with a shotgun. Two German nationals who had spied for the British are sent to discover the location of the factory where the 262s are being built. They learn that the factory is cleverly camouflaged between a couple of hills. The jets are assembled using parts that are brought in by train at night, and the planes are flown out as they are completed, along what appears on reconnaissance photos to be just a road rather than a runway. The two agents, posing as railway engineers claiming to have been interested only after having seen a plane take off, are captured by the Gestapo, It is only because railway engineers are in such short supply and the local chief engineer wants to protect them, that the Gestapo chief doesn’t have them immediately shot. The British, anxious to eliminate the factory before the captured agents can be tortured into revealing that they have given away the location of the plant, argue for a low level flight of Mosquitoes (high-speed, twin-engine fighterbombers) to attack the factory, a risky mission under the best circumstances. The weather won’t permit a raid by B-17s. This book is a good, light read, made more appealing by the tension between the British officers, who obviously don’t get along. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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