Book First Published in October* 1942 - 208 pages

*The book itself says “October 1942” but the biography of W. E. Johns says it was “November” 1942.  However, I am told there is a first edition copy of this book showing the date “September” 1942!

Re-published in 1993 as Biggles defends the Desert

I believe this Biggles book was never serialised elsewhere.  If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME


Biggles and his Squadron are sent to defend the main air route from the West Coast of Africa to the Middle East and find out what has happened to seven planes that have been lost making the journey. The team discovers a German Squadron present and they have perfected a device that makes a compass useless, throwing planes completely off course. Ginger lands in the desert and foolishly gets lost, only to be saved by Biggles. The picture on the dust cover of the book shows Biggles finding Ginger. The Germans are lead by Hauptmann von Zoyton, (who Biggles will meet again in 'Sergeant Bigglesworth C.I.D.'). Biggles manages to get hold of a German Messerschmitt and decides to use it to have a look at the Germans' aerodrome. Unfortunately, Ginger shoots him down, believing the plane to be flown by an enemy pilot. Both sides attack each other's base, culminating in a major German assault on Biggles' Squadron at Salima with paratroops. The base is only saved in the nick of time by the arrival of reinforcements. A final attack on the German base forces them to evacuate and Biggles has a showdown with von Zoyton, neither of whom has ever been defeated in a dogfight. No prizes for guessing who wins.


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Biggles Sweeps the Desert

Subtitle - A "Biggles" Squadron Story

Publication Details - published by Hodder and Stoughton



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