Item description for BUFFALOES OVER SINGAPORE: RAF, RAAF, RNZAF and Dutch Brewster Fighters in Action Over Malaya and the East Indies 1941-1942 by Brian Cull, Paul Sortehaug & Mark Haselden...
The Brewster B-339 Buffalo received much criticism during its brief service with the RAF, some justified, some not. Some of the pilots who eventually flew it in combat were happy with their mounts, others hated it as an operational fighter. Rightly considered below par for service in the UK, the vast majority of the 170 aircraft acquired by the RAF Purchasing Commission from the United States was diverted for use in the Far East, where it was believed they would be superior to any Japanese aircraft encountered should hostilities break out there. This assessment was to prove tragically very incorrect. When war did erupt, the Japanese Army Air Force - with its highly maneuverable Ki-27 and Ki-43 fighters - and the Japanese Navy Air Force equipped with the mighty A6M Zero, proved vastly superior in just about all aspects, and many of the Japanese fighter pilots were veterans of the war against China. By contrast, the majority of the young British, New Zealand, and Australian pilots who flew the Buffalo on operations in Malaya and at Singapore were little more than trainees, and many flew into battle with only the basic training of their trade. Nonetheless, these fledgling fighter pilots achieved much greater success than could have been anticipated, although many paid with their lives. This is their story, complete with appendices and previously unpublished source material and photographs.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 9.5" Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Publisher Grub Street Publishing
ISBN 1904010326 ISBN13 9781904010326
Availability 0 units.
More About Brian Cull, Paul Sortehaug & Mark Haselden
Brian Cull has written and co-authored more than 20 books on the air war of 1939-45. He lives in Suffolk, England.
Reviews - What do customers think about BUFFALOES OVER SINGAPORE: RAF, RAAF, RNZAF and Dutch Brewster Fighters in Action Over Malaya and the East Indies 1941-1942?
Extremely satisfied Nov 4, 2007
Excellent, promt service. I was very pleased with how quickly the book was delivered and would definitely order from this seller again.
Day-by-day account of a hopeless fight Sep 10, 2005
Written after delving directly into the Squadrons' archives, this book is made up of the reports and recollections of the RAF, RAAF, RNZAF and ML-KNIL pilots who flew the Buffalo against the Japanese in the early stages of the Second World War. Air operations by other units are only mentioned in relation to them. There is not much in the way of analysis or comments (in fact, there is little actually written by the authors), but you get first-hand, day-by-day accounts of the flying operations undertaken by the men within the 243, 453, 488 RNZAF and 21 RAAF, and some from the Dutch pilots from 1-, 2- and 3-V1G-V. Written in the almost casual, careless style so typical of fighting soldiers and airmen, they convey a sensation of approaching disaster which is hard to match. There is a very interesting photo section made up of the very few period pictures existing. Appendices show the complete Buffalo victory claims, the casualties, the fate of every single airframe, some useful maps as well as some individual recollections. Probably the most detailed look on the operations undertaken by Allied Buffalo operators, and an indispensable component of any book collection dedicated to the Pacific war.
Thank God for People Like Cull Mar 10, 2005
This book is a real delight. Take and obscure fighter aircraft flown by Commonwealth Air Units in Malaya and Singapore, combine it with an absolutely hopeless battle and you have the makings of a great read.
The Buffalo fighter has won the appelation of "the worst aricraft ever manufactured." Cull proves that although obsolete before it was even delivered to RAAF, RNAF and Netherlands East Indies units in S.E. Asia, it was clearly not a complete washout. Having read numerous works on the fall of Singapore and Malaya I had assumed that the Buffaloes were simply swept from the sky in the one fell swoop. It is amazing to learn that some units actually gave as well as they got from the Japanese. There are actually some confirmed kills of Japanese Naval Zeros!!!
The fighter leaked oil along the crank seals, was underpowered, slow, and most times the .50 machine guns would not fire most of the time. But on the other side of the equation, the aircaft, because of it weight, was fast in a dive an robust (your chances of coming out of belly landing were good as Cull renumerates in many accounts).
They were largely unloved by their crews, and they could not stand up to even a Japanese dive bomber in aerial combat.
It becomes clear that the fighter may have been capable if it had been better flight tested, uparmed, up-poowered. But even then it would still be outclassed by the Japanese fighters.
Cull recounts numerous aerial combats with great detailed accounts from most of the suviving Australian, British and NZ pilots.
There is a lot here. One is struck by the fact that British were so bamboozled by the Japanese aerial supremacy that they convinced themselves that they were actually fighting Germans and claimed engagements with numerous Me-109s??! The shock that Asians were really much, much better as pilots, had much better equipment was simpley too much for them to believe.
There are also larger issues that Cull does not explore, but these books offer wonderful jumping off points for further study.
Cull's latest Jun 11, 2004
This is another in a series of books written by Brian Culls, Christopher Shores, or another of the latest generation of WWII aviation historians from Grub Street who are begetting comprehensive histories of often little explored WWII aerial arenas. The aerial defense of Singapore has been largely neglected by historians. Often, when one of these writers publishes, there is little left to explore on the topic. Cull's research isn't quite up to that standard in this volume. This is due in part to the fact that his subjects lost the battle and, thus, many of their records. (Ever wonder what the battle history of Japan's 68th Sentai at New Guinea was?) Japanese records don't exactly abound either. Nonetheless, he does an excelent job and I recommend this work mightily to anyone interested in the Pacific air war.