The Exbury Junkers 3D product shot

The Exbury Junkers: A World War II Mystery

A World War II Mystery
ISBN 1-903953-60-X
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by John Stanley
Curious tale of a lone German Ju188 aircraft shot down at Exbury in 1944 under mysterious circumstances.

Anybody who enjoys a real-life detective story will find plenty to enjoy in this well researched book which will also appeal to those interested in the hidden history of the Second World War.

On a fine spring morning in 1944, seven weeks before D-Day, a solitary German Junkers 188 twin-engine bomber appeared from the clouds above the Isle of Wight. It circled low over the island, enduring a barrage of anti-aircraft fire, before crossing the Solent to the Hampshire coast. There, it was met with immediate attack by two RAF Typhoons and more anti-aircraft fire. The damaged German aircraft crashed in a field near Exbury House, which then served as HMS Mastodon, a naval headquarters deeply involved in the preparations for the upcoming Normandy landings.

Unfortunately, none of the men aboard the Junkers Ju188 survived. Upon investigation of the wreckage, it was revealed that seven men had been crammed into a plane designed for only four crewmembers. The aircraft's inexplicable manoeuvres before its destruction sparked speculation about the purpose of its flight and the intentions of the seven young victims aboard. Author Nevil Shute found the incident particularly intriguing and included it in one of his books Requiem for a Wren.

Due to the lack of survivors and the strict security measures in place in the Solent region because of the D-Day preparations, the Exbury Junkers incident faded into history and remained an unsolved wartime mystery.

Many years later, during a visit to Exbury Gardens, which postwar had been returned to its owners, the Rothschild family and opened to the public, John Stanley stumbled upon the mystery. Intrigued by the tale of Exbury Junkers, he embarked on a quest to solve the enigma once and for all.

This book chronicles his research, revealing the identities of the seven young Germans who perished in the crash, and delves into why so many were aboard such a small aircraft and what they aimed to accomplish with their ill-fated flight to Southern England.

details softback | 156 x 234mm | 135 pages | b/w photos