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The Typhoon was the RAF's chosen heavyweight fighter-bomber to support the British and Canadian Armies during the invasion of northwest Europe in World War II (1939-1945). A specialist in the aircraft (his father flew them in WWII), author Chris Thomas has done much research on the Typhoon's operations with 2nd TAF during this crucial period of the war. His research reveals for the first time the extent, and chronology, of the struggle to equip 18 RAF and RCAF squadrons in time for D-Day, and how this feat was only narrowly achieved. These 18 squadrons (later increased to 20) were organised into highly mobile, self-supporting wings that provided devastating close support for the British and Canadian armies in their advance across northwest Europe.
Thomas' book analyzes the tactics employed by the Typhoon squadrons during these epic events, supported by the words of the pilots themselves. These battles were by no means one-sided, with the Typhoons' nemesis - the highly effective German flak units - exacting a terrible toll on 2nd TAF units. Indeed, some 400 aircraft and 150 pilots were lost during the Normandy campaign alone. Losses such as these led Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst, Air Officer Commanding 83 Group (which controlled more than half of 2nd TAF's Typhoon squadrons), to remark 'I suppose that flying one of these aircraft was the most dangerous task the Air Force has ever asked anybody to do'. Along with photographs and diagrams, the book includes artwork by the author as well, making for a comprehensive and authoritative guide.