Popular Aviation History Books

15+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Aviation History

Discover the list of some best books written on Aviation History by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Aviation History highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3.7/5

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos , Larry Alexander

Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bom Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever. 

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.8/5

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

Area 51 is the most famous military installation in the world--& it doesn't exist. Located 75 miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada's desert, it's never been acknowledged by the government, but it's captivated imaginations for decades. Myths & hypotheses about it have long abounded, thanks to the enveloping secrecy. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunne Area 51 is the most famous military installation in the world--& it doesn't exist. Located 75 miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada's desert, it's never been acknowledged by the government, but it's captivated imaginations for decades. Myths & hypotheses about it have long abounded, thanks to the enveloping secrecy. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems & nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landings were filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insiders have divulged the truth about their time inside the base--until now. Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to 19 men who served the base for decades & are now aged 75-92, & unprecedented access to 55 additional military & intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots & engineers linked to the secret base, 32 of whom lived & worked there for extended periods. In Area 51 she shows what's really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror. This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it a seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that's never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the base into a gripping narrative, showing that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.5/5

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien

The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won   Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won   Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky. O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.   Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.2/5

The Few: The American "Knights of the Air" Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain by Alex Kershaw

By the summer of 1940 World War II had been under way for nearly a year. Hitler was triumphant and planning an invasion of England. But the United States was still a neutral country and, as Winston Churchill later observed, "the British people held the fort alone." A few Americans, however, did not remain neutral. They joined Britain's Royal Air Force to fight Hitler's air By the summer of 1940 World War II had been under way for nearly a year. Hitler was triumphant and planning an invasion of England. But the United States was still a neutral country and, as Winston Churchill later observed, "the British people held the fort alone." A few Americans, however, did not remain neutral. They joined Britain's Royal Air Force to fight Hitler's air aces and help save Britain in its darkest hour. The Few is the never-before-told story of these thrill-seeking Americans who defied their country's neutrality laws to fly side-by-side with England's finest pilots. They flew the lethal and elegant Spitfire, and became "knights of the air." With minimal training and plenty of guts they dueled the skilled pilots of Germany's Luftwaffe in the blue skies over England. They shot down several of Germany's fearsome aces, and were feted as national heroes in Britain. By October 1940, they had helped England win the greatest air battle in the history of aviation. At war's end, just one of the "Few" would be alive. The others died flying, wearing the RAF's dark blue uniform-each with a shoulder patch depicting an American eagle. As Winston Churchill said, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

I WANT TO READ THIS
4/5

Horses Don't Fly: The Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace by Frederick Libby

From breaking wild horses in Colorado to fighting the Red Baron's squadrons in the skies over France, here in his own words is the true story of a forgotten American hero: the cowboy who became our first ace and the first pilot to fly the American colors over enemy lines.     Growing up on a ranch in Sterling, Colorado, Frederick Libby mastered the cowboy arts of roping, From breaking wild horses in Colorado to fighting the Red Baron's squadrons in the skies over France, here in his own words is the true story of a forgotten American hero: the cowboy who became our first ace and the first pilot to fly the American colors over enemy lines.     Growing up on a ranch in Sterling, Colorado, Frederick Libby mastered the cowboy arts of roping, punching cattle, and taming horses. As a young man he exercised his skills in the mountains and on the ranges of Arizona and New Mexico as well as the Colorado prairie. When World War I broke out, he found himself in Calgary, Alberta, and joined the Canadian army. In France, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an "observer," the gunner in a two-person biplane. Libby shot down an enemy plane on his first day in battle over the Somme, which was also the first day he flew in a plane or fired a machine gun. He went on to become a pilot. He fought against the legendary German aces Oswald Boelcke and Manfred von Richthofen, and became the first American to down five enemy planes. He won the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action.   Libby's memoir of his cowboy days in the last years of the Old West evokes a real-life Cormac McCarthy novel. His description of World War I combines a rattling good account of the air war over France with captivating and sometimes poignant depictions of wartime London, the sorrow for friends lost in combat, and the courage and camaraderie of the Royal Flying Corps. Told in charming, straightforward vernacular, Horses Don't Fly is an unforgettable piece of Americana.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3/5

Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Warm Beer: An American Fighter Pilot Over Europe by Philip D. Caine

In 1941, before America entered World War II, determined young LeRoy Gover signed on with Britain’s Royal Air Force to fly the plane of his dreams, the fast, sleek Spitfire. When America joined the fight, he transitioned to the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt. Former USAF pilot and aviation historian Philip D. Caine has skillfully selected from the young flyer’s letters and diar In 1941, before America entered World War II, determined young LeRoy Gover signed on with Britain’s Royal Air Force to fly the plane of his dreams, the fast, sleek Spitfire. When America joined the fight, he transitioned to the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt. Former USAF pilot and aviation historian Philip D. Caine has skillfully selected from the young flyer’s letters and diary entries to create a vivid portrait of the kind of man who helped win the war. A story of great courage, Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Warm Beer is a testament to the many other brave men who served.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.8/5

Dowding and Churchill: The Dark Side of the Battle of Britain by Jack Dixon

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh – later Lord – Dowding was one of the greatest Englishmen of the 20th century. He created Fighter Command with its unique early warning system (radar) from nothing in 1936 to the efficient defensive force it became in 1940. In consequence Fighter Command was the only arm that was properly prepared for battle when war was declared against Germany. Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh – later Lord – Dowding was one of the greatest Englishmen of the 20th century. He created Fighter Command with its unique early warning system (radar) from nothing in 1936 to the efficient defensive force it became in 1940. In consequence Fighter Command was the only arm that was properly prepared for battle when war was declared against Germany. Hugh Dowding led Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain, and was victorious. The campaign, although a series of defensive engagements, was one of the decisive battles of Western Civilization.The strategic importance of the Battle of Britain was recognized at the time, yet, the moment it was won Dowding was summarily relieved of his command and shuffled into retirement without recognition, reward or promotion. This book reveals that this was the result of a shabby conspiracy by fellow officers. The Air Ministry published a brief account of the Battle in March 1941 and in it there was no mention of Dowding.Churchill was furiously indignant. But in November 1940 he had acquiesced in Dowding’s removal. Why? And what are the factors that led to Dowding’s dismissal in the first place? In this thought-provoking and authoritative book Jack Dixon answers these questions and explains Dowding’s true greatness.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.2/5

Dresden: Tuesday, 13 February, 1945 by Frederick Taylor

At 9.51 p.m. on Tuesday 13 February 1945, Dresden's air-raid sirens sounded as they had done many times during the Second World War. But this time was different. By the next morning, more than 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices had been dropped on the unprotected city. At least 25,000 inhabitants died in the terrifying firestorm and thirteen square miles o At 9.51 p.m. on Tuesday 13 February 1945, Dresden's air-raid sirens sounded as they had done many times during the Second World War. But this time was different. By the next morning, more than 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices had been dropped on the unprotected city. At least 25,000 inhabitants died in the terrifying firestorm and thirteen square miles of the city's historic centre, including incalculable quantities of treasure and works of art, lay in ruins. In this portrait of the city, its people, and its still-controversial destruction, Frederick Taylor has drawn on archives and sources only accessible since the fall of the East German regime, and talked to Allied aircrew and survivors, from members of the German armed services and refugees fleeing the Russian advance to ordinary citizens of Dresden.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.2/5

I Was A Kamikaze by Ryuji Nagatsuka , Robert Leckie (Introduction by) , Nina Rootes (Translated by)

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.8/5

Devil at My Heels by Louis Zamperini , David Rensin

The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation, Louis Zamperini: Olympian, WWII Japanese POW and survivor. A juvenile delinquent, a world class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a WWII bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most, when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Lou The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation, Louis Zamperini: Olympian, WWII Japanese POW and survivor. A juvenile delinquent, a world class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a WWII bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most, when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Louis and two other survivors found a raft amid the flaming wreckage and waited for rescue. Instead, they drifted two thousand miles for forty–seven days. Their only food: two shark livers and three raw albatross. Their only water: sporadic rainfall. Their only companions: hope and faith–and the ever–present sharks. On the forty–seventh day, mere skeletons close to death, Zamperini and pilot Russell Phillips spotted land–and were captured by the Japanese. Thus began more than two years of torture and humiliation as a prisoner of war. Zamperini was threatened with beheading, subject to medical experiments, routinely beaten, hidden in a secret interrogation facility, starved and forced into slave labour, and was the constant victim of a brutal prison guard nicknamed the Bird–a man so vicious that the other guards feared him and called him a psychopath. Meanwhile, the Army Air Corps declared Zamperini dead and President Roosevelt sends official condolences to his family, who never gave up hope that he was alive. Somehow, Zamperini survived and he returned home a hero. The celebration was short–lived. He plunged into drinking and brawling and the depths of rage and despair. Nightly, the Bird's face leered at him in his dreams. It would take years, but with the love of his wife and the power of faith, he was able to stop the nightmares and the drinking. A stirring memoir from one of the greatest of the "Greatest Generation," DEVIL AT MY HEELS is a living document about the brutality of war, the tenacity of the human spirit, and the power of forgiveness.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4/5

Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg

This is a most compelling story of a most significant life; the most private of public figures finally revealed with a sweep and detail never before possible. In the skilled hands of A. Scott Berg, this is at once Lindbergh the hero--and Lindbergh the man. Awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. From one of America's most acclaimed biographers comes the definitive acc This is a most compelling story of a most significant life; the most private of public figures finally revealed with a sweep and detail never before possible. In the skilled hands of A. Scott Berg, this is at once Lindbergh the hero--and Lindbergh the man. Awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. From one of America's most acclaimed biographers comes the definitive account of the life of one of the nation's most legendary, controversial, and enigmatic figures: aviator Charles A. Lindbergh.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.1/5

I Could Never Be So Lucky Again by James Doolittle , Carroll V. Glines

Pilot, scholar, daredevil, general . . . James "Jimmy" Doolittle was one of America\s greatest heroes. In a life filled with adventure and achievement, Doolittle did it all. As a stunt pilot, he thrilled the world with his aerial acrobatics. As a scientist, he pioneered the development of modern aviation technology. During World War II, he served his country as a fearless Pilot, scholar, daredevil, general . . . James "Jimmy" Doolittle was one of America\s greatest heroes. In a life filled with adventure and achievement, Doolittle did it all. As a stunt pilot, he thrilled the world with his aerial acrobatics. As a scientist, he pioneered the development of modern aviation technology. During World War II, he served his country as a fearless and innovative air warrior, organizing and leading the devastating raid against Japan. Now, for the first time, here is his life story - modest, revealing, and candid as only Doolittle himself can tell it. Doolittle tells a story of the sucesses and adventures, the triumphs and tragedies of a true American hero - a far-seeing leader whose courage, devotion, and daring changed the course of modern history . . . and continues to make its influence felt to this day.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.8/5

The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe 1940-1945 by Richard Overy

The ultimate history of the Allied bombing campaigns in World War II Technology shapes the nature of all wars, and the Second World War hinged on a most unpredictable weapon: the bomb. Day and night, Britain and the United States unleashed massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize occupied Europe, destroying its cities. The grisly consequences call into question how “ The ultimate history of the Allied bombing campaigns in World War II Technology shapes the nature of all wars, and the Second World War hinged on a most unpredictable weapon: the bomb. Day and night, Britain and the United States unleashed massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize occupied Europe, destroying its cities. The grisly consequences call into question how “moral” a war the Allies fought. The Bombers and the Bombed radically overhauls our understanding of World War II. It pairs the story of the civilian front line in the Allied air war alongside the political context that shaped their strategic bombing campaigns, examining the responses to bombing and being bombed with renewed clarity. The first book to examine seriously not only the well-known attacks on Dresden and Hamburg but also the significance of the firebombing on other fronts, including Italy, where the crisis was far more severe than anything experienced in Germany, this is Richard Overy’s finest work yet. It is a rich reminder of the terrible military, technological, and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all the war’s participants into an abyss.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.4/5

Battle of Britain by Len Deighton , Max Hastings

In this text, Deighton and Hastings look at how the few defended Britain in the Battle of Britain. They depict the reality of the battle and how it was enacted by those who took part, whether in the air, on the ground, in the planning rooms or at home in towns and villages.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.4/5

The Battle Of Britain: Myth and Reality by Richard Overy

From the award-winning author of The Dictators, Richard Overy's The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality is the best introduction available to a defining moment in British history. The extraordinary struggle between British and German air forces in 1940 was one of the pivotal events of the Second World War. How close did Britain really come to invasion during this time? Wha From the award-winning author of The Dictators, Richard Overy's The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality is the best introduction available to a defining moment in British history. The extraordinary struggle between British and German air forces in 1940 was one of the pivotal events of the Second World War. How close did Britain really come to invasion during this time? What were Hitler and Churchill's motives? And what was the battle's real effect on the outcome of the war? 'It is harder to imagine a sounder and more succinct account of the Battle of Britain'   Max Hastings, Evening Standard 'No individual British victory after Trafalgar was more decisive in challenging the course of a major war than the Battle of Britain ... the best historical analysis in readable form which has yet appeared on this prime subject'   Noble Frankland, The Times Literary Supplement 'The Battle of Britain is hard to beat'   Saul David, Sunday Telegraph 'Exemplary ... a compelling account'   Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'Succeeds brilliantly ... along the way a lot of myths bite the dust'   Time 'A captivating and brilliant analysis of the fragile circumstances of Britain's victory'   Observer Richard Overy has spent much of his distinguished career studying the intellectual, social and military ideas that shaped the cataclysm of the Second World War, particularly in his books 1939 - Countdown to War, Why the Allies Won, Russia's War and The Morbid Age. Overy's The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hessell Tiltman Prize.

I WANT TO READ THIS