Canberra in Southern Africa Service
Author: Michael Hamence and Winston Brent
Details: 298 x 210mm, 96pp, colour and B&W photos, diagrams
ISBN: 0 9583 3880 4 0
Reviewed By: Dean Wingrin
As the authors state in their preface, this book is about an obsolescent aircraft type operated by two small air forces which received little publicity or acclaim for its exploits outside Southern Africa. However, the type in question, the English Electric Canberra, is no stranger to conflict and is still in service with many airforces around the world.
The complete story covers more than 40 years, from 1953 when most of the Rhodesian aircraft were constructed (for the RAF) through to 1993 when the last airworthy SAAF examples were sold to Peru. The book is, understandably, divided into two main sections: one detailing the Canberra in Rhodesian Air Force service and the other in South African Air Force service. Due to the politics of the day, the two services had close relations and it is for this reason that an analysis of the history of the Canberra in two air arms in, one book, makes complete sense.
What is of considerable interest is that the authors have gone into considerable detail to describe the peculiarities of the aircraft and it's combat history. Thanks to some considerable research, details are given of combat sorties, weapons used and accounts form the crew themselves of numerous sorties. Weapons are described and the ingenuity of the ground and engineering crew must be admired when both air arms were operating (successfully) under an arms embargo. New information detailing the co-operation between the RhAF and SAAF is given.
Numerous lists and appendices give details of weapons, equipment, losses and squadron histories. Also included is the complete history of individual RhAF aircraft and abbreviated histories of the SAAF Canberras. Yet another book which any serious researcher of conflicts in Southern Africa should not be without.
298 x 210mm, 96pp, colour and B&W photos, diagrams
This book may be purchased online at The Airforce Shop.