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  • Published: 15 October 2024
  • ISBN: 9780552178006
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $24.99


The RAF's Legendary Wooden Wonder and its Most Extraordinary Mission

The incredible story of one of WW2's most iconic aircraft told through one impossible mission by the master of the aviation thriller

'Captivating' Daily Telegraph
'Stunning' James Holland
'Superb' Daily Express
'Wonderful' John Nichol
'Remarkable' RAF News

Built of lightweight wood, powered by two growling Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, impossibly aerodynamic, headspinningly fast and armed to the teeth, the de Havilland Mosquito was the war-winning wonder that should never have existed: the aircraft the RAF didn't think it wanted then couldn't do without.

Flying on operations barely eighteen months after a single prototype was ordered off the drawing board, it was the answer to its pilots' prayers: a stunningly versatile warplane capable of leaving the Luftwaffe in its wake to attack when and where the enemy was least expecting it.

Excelling as a spyplane, night-fighter and pathfinder for Bomber Command's heavies the Mossie's reputation was cemented by a series of daredevil bombing raids across occupied Europe, including on Berlin itself, where only surprise, speed and precision could ensure success.

So when Churchill's top secret Special Operations Executive needed to destroy the Gestapo HQ in the centre of downtown Copenhagen to prevent a devastating Nazi last stand that might prolong the war for many months, there was only one machine for the job.

This is the story of that legendary aircraft told through that one impossible mission.

Like Rowland White's previous books, Mosquito is an unputdownable mix of utterly compelling storytelling, incredible human stories and fascinating technological detail, which sheds never-before-told light on a pivotal mission that helped bring the war to its bloody and brutal close.

Praise for Mosquito

’10/10' Helen Fry
'Excellent ... provides thrilling accounts' The Past
'A brilliant read' Army Rumour Service Book Club
'A triumph' Damcasters podcast
'A tremendous book ... can't recommend it more highly' We Have Ways podcast
'An addictive, moving and tenaciously researched tale ... his best book to date' Flypast
'Mosquito reads like a thriller... Unreservedly recommended' Aviation Historian
'It's like the best adventure stories except this one is the real thing' Best of British
'A fascinating insight into one of the aircraft's most dramatic episodes' History of War
'White immerses the reader in the action from the first page ... a must read' Flight International
'Thrilling... A multi-layered, painstakingly assembled narrative... an instant classic' Warships IF

  • Published: 15 October 2024
  • ISBN: 9780552178006
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Rowland White

Rowland White is the author of four critically acclaimed works of aviation history: Vulcan 607, Phoenix Squadron, Storm Front and Into the Black, as well as a compendium of aviation, The Big Book of Flight. Born and brought up in Cambridge, he studied Modern History at Liverpool University. In 2014 he launched Project Cancelled to produce apparel inspired by the best in aviation, space and other cool stuff. Find it at projectcancelled.com

For more information on Rowland White and his books visit his website at rowlandwhite.com or find him on Twitter at @rowlandwhite

Also by Rowland White

See all

Praise for Mosquito

A captivating history ... White used the history of these operations to weave stories of fortitude and courage into the story of a great machine

Daily Telegraph

This is history as it should be written: adrenaline-charged, exciting, impeccably and painstakingly researched with a cast of vividly-drawn characters. Riding through it is among the greatest, most extraordinarily brilliant aircraft of them all: the Mosquito. One of the most gripping works of history I’ve ever read

James Holland


Helen Fry

Wonderful detail, intricate research and most importantly, powerful & moving human testimony, ensure the reader is gripped from the first page to the last by this incredible story

John Nichol

Believe the plaudits - Mosquito is a wonderful tome ... an addictive, moving and tenaciously researched tale ... his best book to date


No dry history, Mosquito reads like a thriller, not just based on fact, but factual in every detail ... this is hard to put down ... Unreservedly recommended

Aviation Historian

White's engaging style has the reader hanging on every line. It's like the best adventure stories except this one is the real thing

Best of British

The pace at which White's narrative runs along and the skill with which he ties together the many strands of his chosen story, are exceptional ... an excellent read, unreservedly recommended


White immerses the reader in the action from the first page ... a must read

Flight International

Weaving together the story of its evolution with vivid accounts of the crews that flew it and the Special Operations Executive on the ground, Mosquito is both a tribute to the finest aircraft Britain produced during the war and a page-turning thriller about its use as the world’s first precision aerial weapon

Tom Petch, author of Speed Aggression Surprise: The Secret Origins of the SAS

Excellent ... provides thrilling accounts

The Past

Superb ... It is in tales of daring raids that this book excels, with his gift for vivid description, the author goes to the pulsating heart of the action ... a gripping narrative

Daily Express

This book does the Mosquito's memory proud ... Superb

Daily Mirror

Thrilling ... A multi-layered, painstakingly assembled narrative ... Mosquito is an instant classic

Warships IFR

With his usual deft touch and highly readable style White weaves together the stories ... a fascinating insight into one of the aircraft's most dramatic episodes

History of War

A tremendous book ... can't recommend it more highly

We Have Ways podcast

Remarkable and moving ... the important parts of the tale of the development of the "Wooden Wonder" emerge subtly from from a very human story ... White conjures well - as he did in Vulcan 607 - the spirit of the Air Force at the time ... the book is strikingly relevant

RAF News

Exciting and breathtakingly pacy...This is exactly how modern hitory should be written

Andy McNab

I more than enjoyed it - it could have been written specially for me

Jeremy Clarkson

A masterwork of narrative history

Clive Cussler

An utterly compelling war story, brilliantly written

Simon Winchester