The medium-bomber workhorse of the tactically-optimized Ninth Air Force, Martin's much-maligned B-26 Marauder recovered from its poor start to combat with the Eighth Air Force, to go on and equip no less than eight bomber groups. Although the media initially coined the phrase "the widow maker" for the Marauder, a change of tactics from low- to medium-level soon improved the crews' chances of survival - by the war's end it boasted a lower loss per sortie ratio than any other twin-engined bomber in the USAAF. Like the B-17, the B-26 was one of the first American-manned combat aircraft to see action in Europe, with initial Bomb Groups arriving in East Anglia in the spring of 1943. From that point on Marauders bore the brunt of the medium bomber effort on France and the low Countries, proving particularly effective in the lead up to the D-Day invasion. This volume covers all aspects of Marauder operations in Western Europe, featuring first-hand accounts from surviving B-26 crews, plus an analysis of the training and tactics employed. Full unit histories are also included, plus detailed appendices covering unit disposition and locations.
Author's Introduction/A Phoenix Rising/Honing the Technique/The New Ninth/D-Day to the Ardennes/Battle of the bulge/Deadly Adversaries/Appendices