"A FEW BRAVE MEN" tells the story of the post-World War I entrenched military, political and ideological debate that threatened the early development of America's strategic bombardment capability. General Curtis E. Lemay is the centerpiece of this gripping and dramatic story of the struggle to advance U.S. airpower. The first part of the book focuses around Gen. Lemay and his efforts in 1935 to 1941 to develop pre-WWII strategic bombing for national defense despite political conflicts against strategic bombers. Before Pearl Harbor he and other Air Corps proponents had a significant battle to get approval and funding for the development and deployment of the B-17 and B-29 bombers. Historically, these parts of the novel are correct. Bart Coltrane is a composite of several Americans that went to England in 1939-1941 to fly for the British against Germany. The vast majority of American pilots flew in the RAF Eagle Squadron with some working in other critical aviation roles. Bart Coltrane flies special operations behind the lines for the British Special Operations Directorate (SOE). By 1939 the Second War had already begun in Europe. France and Western Europe nations were falling to the Germans led by the awesome but little publicized German air force and in particular their bombers. The British Intelligence service was having great difficulties in deploying and supporting their Special Agents operating behind the lines in Europe. They called upon President Roosevelt for aircraft and crew to take on the very dangerous support missions. The President responded by sending Bart Coltrane and his B-25 crew to England where they flew exciting and dangerous missions behind the lines for the RAF and British Intelligence. These were named Black Bart missions after the notorious British Pirate John Bartholomew Roberts of Pembrokeshire, Wales. The character Black Bart represents the early American volunteers who helped the British prior to the US entering the war. The American volunteer's contribution to the British war effort was notably significant.
Literature-Fiction, Genre-Fiction, Historical,