SUTHERLAND, Jon ; CANWELL Diane. Air War East Africa (1940 – 1941), the RAF versus the Italian Air Force. Barnsley : Pen and Sword, 2009. 192 p.
After the book by Christopher Shores (Dust Clouds …), this one is a logical sequel, as it could almost be presented as a version 2.00 of the previous one. Indeed, we are not in the presence of a real research work, but rather a compilation of recent publications to complement the excellent study provided by Christopher Shores (and Corrado Ricci) in 1996. Indeed, the two co-authors Have consulted several sources later, although it is regrettable the absence of certain titles. Schoeman’s work on South African hunting, with references to James Ambrose Bown (The War of a Hundred Days), is sometimes somewhat outdated. It is even curious to see the authors cited the book mainly devoted to ground operations and not the one specific to the SAAF of the same author (A Gathering of Eagles, although also a little obsolete). Overall, this book remains very curious, because it is not bad in itself, but it suffers from big flaws. In the first place, there is a lack of research in the primary archives (the authors often repeat certain errors that are easy to detect by consulting the ORBs for example) and updating the data without taking into account the whole of the recent literature, forgetting Some of the classics (although sometimes it seems that the authors have consulted the information, but not cited, the very brief bibliography: only 15 references, without any archive, is glaring.) Secondly, The analysis is very limited, it is unfortunate to take up again this argument of the missed opportunity of the Italians for an offensive in the Sudan …, while the political influence of the Prime Minister Jan Smuts is almost absent. (Or from a more confidential literature) and does not correct any However, the whole is not bad. The writing is easy to read (especially for a non-English speaker), the main air operations are described correctly, several elements are provided on the terrestrial aspects.
This book can hardly be used to go further because of the absence of any research work in the archives and the absence of any bibliographic references (except for a short and ridiculous list of 15 references, some very At the end of the book).