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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of Hit the Target and Big Week, an in-depth account of the legendary World War II combat group the Flying Tigers.
In 1940 Pearl Harbor had not yet happened, and America was not yet at war with Japan. But China had been trying to stave off Japanese aggression for three years - and was desperate for aircraft and trained combat pilots.
General Chiang Kai-shek sent military aviation advisor Claire Chennault to Washington, where President Roosevelt was sympathetic but knew he could not intervene overtly. Instead he quietly helped Chennault put together a group of American volunteer pilots.
This was how the 1st American Volunteer Group - more commonly known as the Flying Tigers - was born.
With the trademark smiling shark jaws on their P-40 fighters, these army, navy, and marine pilots became a sensation as they fought for the Chinese. Those who initially doubted them were eventually in awe as they persevered over Rangoon despite being outnumbered 14-1 by Japanese aircraft; as they were described by Madame Chiang Kai-shek as her "little angels" and by a Chinese foreign minister as "the soundest investment China ever made"; and as they ultimately destroyed hundreds of Japanese planes while losing only a dozen of their own in combat. Two of their veterans would later earn the Medal of Honor, and as a group the Flying Tigers managed to rack up a better record than any other air wing in the Pacific Theater. When Tigers Ruled the Sky is a thrilling and triumphant account of their courage and their legacy.
©2016 American Graphic Systems, Inc. (P)2016 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Donald Hill on 11-21-17

A Well Written Historical Perspective

Bill Yenne did a great job of balance and articulation in telling the story of The Flying Tigers. It really tied a lot of things together for me from reading previous accounts, watching documentaries, and recently viewing the old movie: God Is My Co-Pilot (based on the autobiography by Robert Lee Scott).

The book takes you through the phases of the fabled Flying Tigers in China during WWII. He gives much praise to Claire Chennault, and his ability to put together a fighting force to help the Chinese against the Japanese aggression during WWII. He really portrays Chennault in a very good light, and deservedly so. History shines a well deserved spotlight on this great man.

Perhaps the only thing I might suggest to the author is to have invested a bit more time researching the treachery performed by members of the U.S. State Department that wanted to insure that Chiang Kai Shek's leadership for a free China during and after the war was undermined at any cost. Traitors like John Stewart Service and Lauchlin Currie are key players that allowed China to fall into the hands of Mao and the communists after WWII ended. Another player in this circle, mentioned by Yenne in the book is Thomas Corcoran (along with Lauchlin Currie, but does not mention John Service). Currie (and Service) played big roles in undermining Chiang's motives with the U.S. military leadership and the White House, and their cause was aided by Corcoran. And they got away with their treachery! Thus the sad tail of what happened to China after the war.

He pretty much has General Stilwell pegged, as a theater commander that was a real determent to the U.S. concerns in China during WWII. However, he was being played by communist sympathizers that did not want to see Chiang Kai Shek succeed under any circumstances and fed lots of false information to Stilwell (mentioned above). But he doesn't deserve much credit for his leadership showing such spiteful prejudice against the Chiang and his cause for China.

Overall, this is a great story! It is well balanced, telling the story of great and brave men who held off the Japanese allowing China to remain in the fight during the war. He is a rock solid writer. The conclusion of the story is also brilliantly crafted telling the reader about the fate of these great men and their mark on history. Bill Yenne has written many books and is on my A list!

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5 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 06-19-17

A Great Read of a Great Group of Fliers

I very much enjoyed this book and it held my attention throughout. Well told and we'll read it captures the story of a group of pilots who left secure positions in our military for very insecure jobs as soldiers of fortune in a foreign land.

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