The press release with this book leaves us in no doubt the Memphis Belle is an all-American icon and that some claim she is in the top five of the most famous American aircraft of all time. Cribbing off this stuff is easy, but I know enough about this most illustrious of Flying Fortresses to know she has a place high up in the historic aircraft hit parade. The aeroplane has been subject of a painstaking restoration project since 2005, so this book appears to be quite timely. The famous dramatic movie of modern times turns up on film channels as regular as clockwork, so, like the Dambusters, this old Fort will never fade away and why should she?

This excellent book collates a grand spread of images showing the aircraft, and more importantly the men who flew and maintained her, during those dramatic days when she acquired her fame. There is a lot to look at, including all the publicity stuff involving the great and the good on both sides of the pond and a fair deal more about William Wyler’s original film, which I regret to say I have never seen in full. I am disappointed that the only colour images are on the rear jacket. All manner of documents, cuttings, adverts and ephemera are reproduced. What’s not to like? This book is a must for 8th Air Force aficionados.

The Images of War series continues to provide a huge range of subject matter backed up by excellent captions and additional information. They are great value for money and are the sort of books you can dip in and out of when you feel the need. There is something comforting about them. This is one way print wins hands down over the web. Nuff said.

Mark Barnes

Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives
By Graham M Simons with Dr Harry Friedman
Published in soft back by Pen & Sword £14.99
ISBN: 978 1 84884 691 3


Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is a longstanding friend of WHO, providing features, photography and reviews. He has contributed to The Times of London and other publications. He is the author of The Liberation of Europe (pub 2016) and If War Should Come due later in 2020.