EAGLES AT WAR by Walter J. Boyne


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 The big cast of characters who flew through the 1930's in Trophy For Eagles (1989), trying to prepare for the coming air war, get their chance to test their flying skills and theories when America at last enters the war. Col. Henry Caldwell--who fought like a terrier all through the Depression to get the Army's air corps ready for the next war instead of the last war--has hit a major snag just as he is making headway. The snag is Elsie Rayner, the sexpot air-industry executive whose last great affair was with Bruno Hafner, now an evil genius of Nazi air power. Caldwell is so besotted with Elsie that love clouds his judgment and he throws important business to her corporation even though the company builds lousy planes. Across the Atlantic, Hafner hopes to turn out the world's first jet fighters, and handsome Helmut Josten hopes to fly them. Josten also hopes to win the heart of Lyra, a Russian countess who lives for one purpose--to mortally wound the Nazis. She manages to do quite a bit of damage through spying and seduction that take her to Hitler's inner circle. But no one's hope is completely satisfied. Elsie cheats; Germany's industrial machinery is too heavily damaged to turn out more than a few jets; and the Truman commission is looking into corruption in the aircraft industry. When the fighting ends, however, there are still enough characters to continue the saga into the Korean episode. The war seems to go awfully fast, but that's because the concentration is on jets and politics rather than on the big scene. Apart from the usual curse of stereotypes, then, this is done well enough to entertain fans of flying.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-517-57610-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991


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