Book First Published in August 1941 - 254 pages

I believe this was the first Biggles book not to be serialised elsewhere.  If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME


The Air Ministry have allowed Biggles, Algy, Ginger and Smyth to accompany a party of volunteers to help Finland in their struggle against Soviet aggression. Whilst on a reconnaissance flight, Biggles finds a dying Polish scientist called Petolski, who had been working on important experiments with metal alloys for aircraft. He had the results of seven years' labour in a portfolio with him and rather than let the research fall into German hands, (Poland having been invaded by Germany), he has hidden it. The portfolio has been hidden by the wreckage of the plane Petolski was in when it crashed just over the Russian border. Reporting the matter to Colonel Raymond, Biggles is instructed to recover the portfolio. Whilst searching for the plane wreckage, Ginger discovers a party of Russians and Erich von Stalhein is with them. An initial clash with them confirms that they to are after the portfolio. Von Stalhein is first to find the crash and the portfolio but it doesn't take long for Biggles to take the papers off him. Trying to take off from a frozen lake, Biggles hits an obstruction and their plane is put out of action. Russian parachutists drop and they are captured, but not before Biggles has a chance to hide the portfolio again. The prisoners are handed over to von Stalhein, who tells Biggles that unless the portfolio is handed over to him, he will have his friends shot. Biggles agrees to take von Stalhein to the papers and through a clever ruse manages to escape, steal the plane they went in and return to rescue Algy, Ginger and Smyth. Stealing a sledge, our heroes return to the lake where they crashed in order to get food from the supplies on board the aircraft. However, fate has a trick to play on them and they are all caught in an avalanche. Biggles is knocked unconscious and loses his jacket. Algy captures a Russian bomber and they fly back to Finland where Raymond is waiting for the papers. Biggles regains consciousness only to say that the portfolio was in his missing jacket! Biggles flies back alone to find the portfolio but a thaw has set in and his aircraft is unable to take off from the frozen lake due to the amount of water now on the surface of the ice. Ginger flies out (as prearranged) when Biggles fails to return and Biggles is able to pass the portfolio to him. Biggles then tries to walk back to Finland but has a dangerous encounter with a bear. He is saved by Ginger who has had his own problems and had to land. Biggles and Ginger now have to return to the lake to meet Algy who will be flying out when neither Biggles nor Ginger returns, (again as prearranged). Before they do, Ginger hides the portfolio in a hollow tree trunk. Arriving at the lake, Biggles is able to signal to Algy, but Algy is shot down before he can fly away. Algy is able to join the others and they all return to pick up the papers. However, now there is a Russian camp right on the site and whilst gathering wood for fires, the papers have been found and given back to von Stalhein! Biggles goes into von Stalhein's tent and relieves him of the portfolio at gunpoint. Our three heroes then escape and using a stolen boat hide out on a small island. Now desperate for food, Ginger raids a nearby large house and finds von Stalhein is using it as a base. Here, he sees a Swede named Olsen who is also flying with the Finns and realises that he is a traitor working for the other side. When Biggles is made aware of this he arranges to ambush Olsen, who is shot whilst trying to escape. Stealing a single-seater aircraft, Ginger is sent with the portfolio back to Finland. Ginger meets Smyth flying a flying boat and is able to lead him back to rescue Biggles and Algy in the nick of time.


Click here to see the story illustrations from the original HARDBACK first edition of this book


Biggles Sees it Through

Publication Details - published by Oxford University Press


The spine and cover illustrations from the original Oxford first edition


The first issue dust  wrapper can be hard to determine but it has the word “found” on the FIRST line of the front flap, not the second line and the 13 Johns titles on the back of the book are listed in BLUE font (from Baltic to Spitfire Parade) with an aerodrome above and fish below.

If “found” is on the first line but the font is RED then you have the second issue dust  wrapper.  If the word “found” is on the second line of the front flap and there is a blue font on the back, you have a third issue dust wrapper.



On 21st May 2018, Howard Leigh’s original cover art for this book sold on eBay for a fortune.  I didn’t get it sadly, I was the person who was outbid.



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Dust jacket of the 1960 Brockhampton Press reprint (NB – This is one of only FOUR Oxford books that were reprinted by Brockhampton Press)

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Frontispiece of the 1960 Brockhampton Press reprint

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