Though they never received the press their U.K.-based contemporaries did, RAF bombers, chiefly flown by 205 Group, played a vital role in the Allied victory in the Med. Alun Granfield presents a wide-ranging account of 205's war in BOMBERS OVER SAND AND SNOW, 205 GROUP RAF IN WORLD WAR II, a 2011 Pen & Sword Books release.
205 (Heavy Bomber) Group was created in October 1941, replacing 257 Group which had operated Wellingtons over North Africa since June 1940. In time, 205 Group flew combat ops over North Africa, the Med, Sicily, Italy, the Balkans, France and Germany with Wellingtons, Liberators and Halifaxes. Indeed 'Wimpeys' were used in the Med long after they had been relegated to training duties in England. During the war, 205 Wing flew almost 50,000 sorties, losing 938 aircraft.
205's war consisted on daytime and nocturnal strategic bombing ops, sea sweeps, minelaying, supply missions to partisans and battlefield support, the latter being of great importance to the campaign against Rommel. Then too, living conditions, especially in North Africa, were rugged in the extreme - pitched tents, blinding sandstorms, high temps in the day, freezing temps at night, enemy strafing attacks, etc.
Granfield does an admirable job of presenting 205's lengthy roster of missions in a comprehensive, readable narrative. Though most missions aren't covered in minute detail, they are effectively summarized and Granfield provides a number of first-person reminscences that bring 105's combat career to life.
The book is illustrated with photographs, maps and squadrons badges.
BOMBERS OVER SAND AND SNOW is a well-researched, informative account of the RAF's 'unknown' bomber war in the Med. It is a compelling tribute to those largely unknown warriors and the aircraft they flew. Recommended.