For once, there comes a book that lives up to its cover hype and more!

At 640 pages and over 900 color and blackand-white pho­to­graphs printed on glossy pages, this is, in­deed, the book on the famed Martin B-26 medium bomber, and in my view, the very best one to date as well.

This stel­lar pro­duc­tion is all the more re­mark­able in that the author does not men­tion hav­ing con­sulted the Glenn L. Martin Mary­land Avi­a­tion Mu­seum, Inc. of Mid­dle River, MD/USA at all, in­deed, as con­firmed for me as well by its long­time Ar­chiv­ist Stan Piet of Bel Air: “The author didn’t con­tact us for any­thing, so I’m cu­ri­ous about the pub’s con­tent.” So was I!

Rather, the author re­lies upon The Ma­rauder Ar­chives at Akron and Tuc­son, as well as on US Air Force files and records, plus was given ac­cess to the data of famed B-26 de­signer Pey­ton Ma­gruder.

This great saga thus opens with a bi­og­ra­phy of “Mr. Martin” as his for­mer em­ploy­ees still called him in 1986 when I be­gan my own re­searches into, “The man, his air­craft, and the com­pany he built.”

This per­cep­tive ac­count ad­mits that he was, most likely, gay in his sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. So what? He was also a “mama’s boy” and he made avi­a­tion his­tory, and pro­vided em­ploy­ment for thou­sands, es­pe­cially here in Mary­land.

Next comes De­sign and Pro­cure­ment, fol­lowed by Pro­duc­tion. Fol­low­ing that, the author delves into ev­ery sin­gle as­pect of the air­craft from start to fin­ish, in­clud­ing GLM’s epic bat­tle with the US Se­na­to­rial Tru­man Com­mit­tee of World War II, a sin­gu­lar topic that pre­vi­ous Martin au­thors have tended to skirt.

It is to this writer’s credit that he does not, and for that I com­mend him.

In sum, if you’re at all in­ter­ested in this con­tro­ver­sial war­plane, this is the book for you, so don’t miss it!

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