Merfyn Bourne has been fascinated by aircraft from an early age. His first school was at the end of the runway of Croydon airport and, as a five year old, he was entranced by the sight of aircraft low overhead. Fate decreed that he should become a lawyer however, and only years later turn his attention again to the aircraft of the 1940s and 1950s. Ironically, he is the only male in his immediate family not to have seen front line combat: another seven have served, between them, in the armies of three different countries in six different wars.
He has long been concerned that though there are many books that describe various elements of the Second World War in the air there is none that covers the whole panorama of conflict and covers all the theatres of war. In particular the war in Russia has been poorly served. This book is an attempt to put things right.