In 1944, the English Electric Company foresaw the need for an eventual replacement for de Havilland's superlative Mosquito. Taking advantage of the newly developed jet engine, English Electric's chief designer Teddy Petter created a design so excellent that it went on to serve for more than four decades, an extreme rarity in terms of the typical design's service life.
The Canberra was so versatile that it could perform nearly every mission an Air Force could desire, from level bombing to low level attack to tactical and strategic reconnaissance to electronic warfare to training to target towing to flight test. Name any role and it's probable that a Canberra has done it.
Fittingly enough, the Canberra was even good enough to overcome the Americans' “Not Invented Here” mindset and so became one of the very few foreign designs to have served in the USAF.
95 pages, softcover. This book is typical of Osprey's profile books. The photos and profiles provide a capsule history of the Canberra's RAF service.
The book is divided into nine chapters, breaking up the Canberra's story into easily digestible chunks. Chapter titles are:
- 1. In The Beginning
- 2. Binbrook and Beyond
- 3. Training Days
- 4. Photographic Memories
- 5. The Suez Campaign
- 6. Going Nuclear
- 7. Middle East and Far East
- 8. RAF Germany
- 9. Ultimate PR. 9
The book closes with appendices listing all Canberra squadrons by order of formation, a list of captions for the colour plates, and an index.
The chapters each have a decent selection of photos to compliment the text. Photos are printed in both black and white and in colour. In the centre of the book are nine pages of colour plates which illustrate the typical colour and marking schemes that operational Canberras wore.
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