Pen & Sword Books

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Hurricanes in Action Worldwide

Hurricanes in Action Worldwide written by Adrian Stewart and published by

Pen & Sword Books - £22 - Hardback - Pages 224

The Hawker Hurricane was the RAF’s most valuable fighter asset in the Second World

War, yet even today is relatively under-appreciated by the general public. Yet from the

early months of the war it was the single engine fighter most often encountered by the

Luftwaffe and during the Battle of Britain it made 80% of the successful interdictions of

enemy formations.

As this superbly researched book written by a leading authority on the air war reveals, this was only the start of the Hurricane’s war service. Its reliability and versatility ensured that variants saw action in more war theatres worldwide than any other fighter. Indeed, as the RAF’s Official History recalls ‘Everywhere the Ubiquitous Hurricane was to be seen’.

This book follows the ‘Hurri’ to Russia, Malta, North Africa and as far afield as Burma, Sumatra and Java.

Seaborne versions fought in the Battle of the Atlantic and defended the Mediterranean convoys. In the ground attack role Hurricane fighter bombers made countless sweeps over occupied Europe. Pilots’ first-hand accounts supplement the text.

Readers are left in no doubt as to the massive contribution that the Hurricane made to ultimate victory.

As the blurb says on the back of the book, the hurricanes were the planes of the RAF that were doing the donkey work of the flying rather than the ‘glorious’ Spitfire that gets all the praise. This book intends to sell the hurricane to the reader which it does do a great job in doing, as it talks about the heroes, the dogfights and we hear all the stories from around the world where the hurricanes had a strong influence. But there was a minor point for me in the book and that was that it seemed to be missing something, maybe there was a lack of characters, or maybe it was just me and all we wallow in is the glories of the Spitfire. But other than that this was a good read, and it was nice to read about the Hurricane rather than the Spitfire. The book has enough good pictures, and those who are big fans of the Hurricane will enjoy this book.

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