Osprey’s Combat Aircraft series focuses on the Short Stirling for it’s 124th volume. Overshadowed by the Avro Lancaster, this type represented a step change for the RAF, as until the Stirling entered service it hadn’t previously operated a four-engined heavy bomber. Rather than delve into the aircrafts development and history, there is a short introduction, after which the reader is immersed into the initial introduction of the Stirling onto 7 and 15 Squadrons. Successes, failures and mishaps are treated equally, along with how the airframes were improved as a result of operational experience. The volume is packed with period photos and there are ten pages of colour profiles. While the Stirling’s time as a bomber was a short one, it was employed in Electronic Countermeasures, Special Duties and glider towing roles, and there is a fascinating insight into how this heavy bomber type was utilised to provide support to clandestine operations in Occupied Europe. Although not the most glamorous aircraft, the Stirling filled a crucial place in the nascent Bomber Command, and Jonathan Falconer’s splendid book is a worthy tribute.
Short Stirling Units of World War 2
By: Jonathan Falconer
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2042-6 Price: £13.99
Format: 183 x 248mm