The in the tittle mentioned dates are in some way not really correct: the first operational flight with Lancaster bombers took place on the 3rd of March 1942 (with 4 Lancaster’s that laid mines before the German coast).
7.377 bombers have been built of which 3.460 were lost during operational ‘wartime’. Crashes during take-off and landing are not included! What a numbers! This shows that flying these bombers was not a ‘piece of cake’!
This book mainly satisfies model makers and readers with great interest for the technical design of the ‘Lanc’. Used letter types and camouflage schemes form, together with the technical details, like types of artillery cupola and armament, the principal part of this book. The book contains a lot of detailed figures and beautiful colour pictures.
Of course the modifications for the Dambusters also get enough attention! Furthermore, reports about the operational deploy of this renowned plane are, however, missing. The post war users (20 years!) of the Lancaster are mainly situated outside the UK.
Bulk users were France and Canada, but also Egypt (then Royal Egyptian Air Force) and Sweden (flying test bed for the in Sweden developed jet engines) have had specimen, nearly always as maritime patrol plane or for Search and Rescue. The French also used them in outpost as New Caledonia.
What I absolutely found interesting is the, although summarized, story about the developments of the for his time heavy bombers. In six weeks – yes, six weeks! – a two engine Manchester bomber (3 tail fins and 24 cylinders(!) Rolls Royce Vulture engines) was rebuild into a 4 engines Lancaster with 2 tail fins. The chosen engine type for his was the 12 cylinder Rolls Royce Merlin, with which also the Spitfire flew.
Then the Top of the Pop under the engines! Note: when the Americans developed the Mustang, they had to ask the British for help (RR Merlin engines).The by then in the VS by Packard developed engines could not come close.
Conclusive: model makers, for you a real candy box with Lancaster details. There even is an overview of construction box manufacturers admitted, with the by them delivered design variations.