Was there ever a year when a movie about the AVG wasn't in the works? 2016 is proving to be no exception, with Variety reporting last week: "Skydance and Alibaba Pictures are teaming up on the World War II pic 'The Flying Tigers,' which chronicles the first American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force that fought alongside the Chinese in WWII. 'Braveheart' screenwriter Randall Wallace is penning the script. Skydance's David Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce along with Alibaba." For more, go here
Alas, my history of the AVG is temporarily out of print, since HarperCollins decided a few months ago to hand it back to Smithsonian Books, the original publisher. Amazon.com has has a few copies remaining at $15.99. Even better, I'll send you an autographed copy for just one cent over Amazon's price, $16 including delivery by Media Mail. If you're in a hurry, or live in Alaska or Hawaii, make it $19 for Priority Mail. (A useful companion to the history is Tales of the Flying Tigers, a collection of five short books about the AVG, now available as a paperback as well as an e-book.)
On another front, I'm told that the world's only Brewster Buffalo fighter — shot down in 1942, retrieved by a Russo-Finnish-American salvage crew in 1998, smuggled from Russia to Ireland to America in 2004, and loaned to the Finns for clean-up and display — won't be returning here on schedule. The loan has evidently been extended by two years, so BW-372 will remain on display in the Finnish Air Force Museum at least until 2018.
How can it be that, more than seventy years after it ended, new stuff keeps surfacing about the Second World War? In Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II, Istvan Deak describes what was going on beneath the European surface, while those titanic tank battles and city-busting raids were raging elsewhere and overhead. What I like best about Mr Deak's account is that he shuns the delicate academic policy of attributing the nastiness to a mythical race of "Nazis," with an astonished German population as victimized by the aliens as anyone else. To him, there was no "Nazi-occupied Europe." The occupiers were German. (Perhaps that's because Mr Deak himself was one of the occupied. Most academics visit the Second World War as tourists, but he actually lived there.) Another fine thing about his book is that, while the paperback is rather pricey, the e-book is only $5.99. Really, you owe it to yourself to get with the digital revolution. Blue skies! — Daniel Ford
Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and the wars of the past hundred years, grouped under these headings:
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Posted May 2016. Websites © 1997-2016 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.