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Thread: What Book Are You Reading?

  1. #841
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    Shooting Script by Gavin Lyall

    My favourite read by the late Gavin Lyall, a pilot who can write an aviation novel with feeling. The story includes a D.H. Dove, D.H. Vampires and a B-25. Read this book more times than I can count, not a complicated technical read but very enjoyable none the less.
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    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  2. #842
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    Given all the recent fuss and fury over the latest film production of Dunkirk, this book is pretty topical:

    "Dunkirk", Julian Thompson, Pan Books, ISBN 978-15098-6004-3. £8.99

    This book is overly rich on detail. It is at its best when telling the story at individual, platoon or company level. I felt that continuity suffered when too many regimental names, numbers and other detail intruded.

    It is an excellent read and explains that the reason for the debacle lay with the defeatist French army leadership.

  3. #843
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    The 17th Century Literature.

  4. #844
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    "At Hitler's side". Nicolaus Von Below. Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-468-0

    Von Below was one of Hitler's adjutants for most of the war years. He was very much an insider. He tells his story abetted by excuse after excuse. If you can overlook the propaganda, it is a gripping account of life very much at the heart of the Nazi establishment. The half truths, lies and evasions are to be expected, and indeed the reader isn't disappointed on that account.

  5. #845
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    "Fighting thru' to Kohima". Michael Lowry, Pen & Sword Military Books. ISBN 184415802-0. £12.99

    This is a personal account of the British Army against the Japanese Army in Burma. It is compelling, savage, and does little to protect the reader against the sheer brutality of hand-to-hand battle implicit in trench warfare. Dealing with an implacable enemy, an equally implacable terrain and climate is perfectly described by this author.
    Last edited by John Green; 6th November 2017 at 11:36.

  6. #846
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    Caribbean Volunteers At War - Mark Johnson

    The story of the coloured volunteers who came to fly and fight with the RAF in the Second World War.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  7. #847
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    And your opinions?
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  8. #848
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    It's not bad so far.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  9. #849
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    Marylands over Malta - the extraordinary story of Adrian Warburton the legendary recce pilot in Malta during 1941/2.

  10. #850
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    "Voices from the Battle of Britain". Henry Buckton, David & Charles, ISBN-13: 978-0-7153-3623-6 £19.99

    Yet another very competent account of the Battle of Britain, provided by those who took part. The excitement, the sense of urgency, anxiety and fear of failure are on show.

    It is instructive to note (see recent discussion on Historic re convoy CW9 - Peewit) that the author confirms that the subsequent German attacks on CW9 were a consequence of detection by recently installed German radar and not as some opinion has it, by observer visual sighting.

    A very useful account.

  11. #851
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    Hi All,
    Thought it was about time I read my World War One by AJP Taylor that I was given as a Christmas present in the 70's, sadly I have never read but
    looking forward to this and his follow up about WW2...



    Geoff.

  12. #852
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    "Air Force Blue", Patrick Bishop, William Collins, ISBN 978-0-00-743313-1, £20. Tesco price £12.

    This is a history of the RAF by accomplished historian, Patrick Bishop, published to coincide with the centenary of the RAF, next year 2018.

    A good account but, I found it slightly underwhelming. Mr. Bishop delves into the characters and personalities of the RAF top brass. He very adequately explains the administrative background and shines a light into some of the more bizarre - with hindsight - military policy decisions that still attract comment.

    If you need to take a look at how the RAF was assembled from its earliest days, this is for you.
    Last edited by John Green; 4th December 2017 at 11:39.

  13. #853
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    "Mosquito Missions", Martin Bowman, publishers: Pen & Sword, ISBN 178159167 - 9. £19.99.

    I came late to this book first published in 2012. It features a wealth of detail about the development and performance of the Wooden Wonder, its deployment thru' the RAF and the uses to which this fabulous aeroplane was put.

    The author refers - albeit briefly - to the number of aircrew casualties suffered as a consequence of offensive operations flown in appalling weather conditions merely to maintain continuity of attack on German targets. A dreadful waste of skilled and courageous aircrews and resources.

  14. #854
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    They Gave Me a Seafire - Commander R "Mike" Crosley

    The book charts Crosley's service career in the Fleet Air Arm during the entire period of the Second World War. Part of his service saw him in action aboard HMS Eagle, flying Sea Hurricanes on the Harpoon and Pedestal Malta convoys of June and August 1942. It was during this time that he shot down his first enemy aircraft and survived the dramatic sinking of HMS Eagle. From there he graduated on to Seafires, (the Naval equivalent of the Spitfire), and flew this type in Combat Air Patrols over Norway and ramrod strikes from Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa in November 1942), through to D-Day in June 1944 in the European Theatre of Operations, and then in the Pacific abroad HMS Implacable as part of the British Pacific Fleet in 1945 until the end of the Pacific War, by which time he had command of his own combined squadron, 801 and 880.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  15. #855
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    Bomber Command, Max Hastings. Pan books.

    This, for me, is a re-read. It is comprehensive and holds the readers interest thru' out. Some will take issue with Hastings' conclusions - I did.

  16. #856
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    "Patronising B##stards", Quentin Letts, Constable, ISBN 978-1-4721-2735-8 £16.99

    Mr. Letts writes for the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail so, hence, is everyone's favourite journalist! This book is a savage assault on the hypocrisy, humbug and cant endemic in British public life. The author is merciless in exposing the intellectually warped thinking processes of those who consider themselves our masters.

    His excoriating prose flays and strips the veneer of make believe acceptability that cloaks the activities of champagne socialists, the kingdom of luvvies, foreign aid, the Civil Service, and the squirming heaving pulsating mass of cheap carpetbaggers that runs thru' our society like a glutinous thread of sewage.

    Quite a book! The author writes what most of us think.

  17. #857
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    "RAF Fighter pilots in WW2". Martin Bowman, Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 1783831928 £25.00

    Analytical account of the individual performances of RAF Fighter Command flight and ground crews during the last war; leaning more towards 1940/41/42. Each chapter accompanied by 'endnotes'.

    Bowman tells of one incident which considerably altered my perception. I'm sure that most are familiar with the 'Battle of Barking Creek'. This was an infamous incident when in a case of mistaken identity, Spitifres attacked Hurricanes over East London during the later part of 1939 just after war was declared.

    At the Courts Martial that followed, Sailor Malan who gave the order to attack what he had identified as enemy aircraft was persuaded to give evidence for the prosecution against P/O John Freeborn one of his own pilots. The Court very properly found that it amounted to no more than a regrettable act of the 'fog of war'.

    Freeborn's counsel, Sir Patrick Hastings, assisted by Roger Bushell, having heard Malan's denial of responsibility, called Malan 'a bare faced liar' !

  18. #858
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    "Hurricane", Brian Milton. Andre Deutsch & Co. ISBN 978-0-233-00318-4 £7.99.

    This is an examination of the worth of that most durable of WW2 fighters; the Hurricane. Based on manufacturers and official information supported by the accounts of those who flew this iconic aircraft. Concluding chapters deal with the advent of the Typhoon and Tempest and reference to the war in the Far East.

    First rate account, holding the readers attention all the way.

  19. #859
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    "The Millionaires' Squadron", Tom Moulson, Pen & Sword, ISBN 178345339-2. £25.00.

    This is a very entertaining account of the doings of 601 squadron of the RAF from its pre war inception thru' to its disbandment after WW2.

    They were certainly a wild bunch always pushing the accepted boundaries; they might to-day be known as 'Hooray Henry's'. The titles of the book suggests that most of them were united by extreme wealth. As fighter pilots they fought well and partied even better !

  20. #860
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    The recent snowy weather prompted a mini plethora of reading.

    Cover of Darkness by Roderick Chisholm DSO DFC.
    Chisholm was a pre war Auxiliary who served in the RAF 1940 - 45,a very honest and self effacing book,he scored 9 victories and ended the war as an Air Commodore.

    Eighty knots to mach2 (45 years in the cockpit) by Richard Linnekin.
    Linnekin was a US Navy officer,starting out on a cruiser and then became a pilot - qualifying on 80 knot biplanes,flew from carriers during Korean War and later became a test pilot.


    Biplane by Richard Bach.
    Bach traded his Fairchild 24 for a 1929 Detroit-Ryan Parks P-2A Biplane,and this book is the story of him teaching himself to fly the Parks by flying it from New Jersey back home to california (2600 miles - coast to coast)

  21. #861
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    As I wait patiently for warmer spring weather
    I have just re read Hitler's Jet Plane by Mano Ziegler.
    Mano Z was a Luftwaffe pilot/test pilot/Me163 pilot and in this book he tells the story of the development/history of the Me 262.

    @ Newforest - Wrong Side of the Sky was quite a nice book as well (I think we still have a copy somewhere)

  22. #862
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    @ Newforest - Wrong Side of the Sky was quite a nice book as well (I think we still have a copy somewhere)

    I agree, got that as well!
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  23. #863
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    Newforest - Always helps when an author is a pilot

    Do you still visit scotland sometimes btw ?

    rgds baz

  24. #864
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    We were in the Outer Hebrides two years ago as I have a cousin there and were due again this year, but it looks as though a Russian cruise is taking precedence!
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  25. #865
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    "All the Countries We've Ever Invaded". Stuart Laycock, The History Press, £9.99.

    A truly remarkable account of GBs adventures thru' the world, thru' out the centuries. Out of almost 200 nations registered with the United Nations, 171, that is 90% have been invaded by GB.

    The motivation was alternatively greed, land acquisition, competition among other powers, sometimes related to all three, rarely was it altruistic.

    My concluding thought was that after all this quite amazing pursuit of power and territory spanning five or six centuries, how on earth did we ever imagine that our inclusion into the EU would ever be anything other than, eventually, a rejection by all sides of the attempt to subsume a global power into a 'mess of pottage'.

  26. #866
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    Just finished reading........" Blue is the Sky " G D Fleming. William Earl and Co...

  27. #867
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    Presumably not getting any stars on your approval rating quotient?
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  28. #868
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    I’ve just started to read NAM’s latest publication: Station of Nations – The History of RAF Balderton

    What makes it more poignant was that I was privileged to meet two of the veterans who contributed to the book last Sunday at the RAF Balderton Commemoration at the museum.
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    Please help move Chinook ZA717 to Newark Air Museum

  29. #869
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    "Spitfire on my tail", Ulrich Steinhilper & Peter Osbourne, Independent Books, ISBN 978-1-8728-3679-9.

    In my opinion, there is little to commend what I understood to be, was a personal account of the air battles of 1940. The narrative is introverted and exculpatory and not a lot to do with the actual air fighting. The author dusts off a few of the usual excuses to explain the complete defeat of the Luftwaffe by the RAF.

    There wasn't a huge amount of "Spitfire on my tail" content to justify its purchase. I thought that I was in for a very pleasurable account of 'derring-do' between quite evenly matched young men intent on mayhem. Instead; a rather mediocre account of Herr Steinhilper's personal obsession - Herr Steinhilper.

  30. #870
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    Hi All,
    Just finished Bronson An interesting insight to the prison system by one of the longest serving inmates with trouble not to far behind. Having read
    the book it's obvious that he has some problem that has not been treated over the years, instead just shoved from pillar to post as each prison cannot handle him. He even tells the reader this all through from smashing himself over the head with a bottle and wanting to hurt somebody after playing in the
    woods up until his mood swings that has resulted in his troubles.

    To me he is as much of a product of the system alongside himself losing control, the systems answer was to repeatedly shove him in solitary in humane
    conditions so is it any wonder he has gotten worse ? It's enough to drive the sanest person mad, don't get me wrong he did the crime so had to do time
    and again he knows this as he tells the reader so he isn't stupid or insane just needs to be treated IMHO.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Three chapters in to The Secret Hunters that Ranulph Feinnes admits it may or may not be fiction ? But until the author of his found journal or his family contact him he will claim it's his work of fiction based on that journal.

    In 1997 a journal is found in an all weather shelter in Antarctica. Travelling back to England the finder reads an extraordinary story of depravation, war, survival
    and the thirst for revenge. It is the autobiography of Derek Jacobs, who as a child was an inmate of the Nazi concentration camps where he saw his mother horrifically abused, particularly by one man. Unlike his mother, he survives the camps and the death march to be brought up in Canada. There, as a young
    man forging a career in the environment movement, he comes across the same man. The meeting unblocks the suppressed memories of his childhood and
    Derek savours the heady flavour of revenge. He is co-opted by 'The Secret Hunters' and with dogged patience they track their prey through a web of
    intermediaries, discovering that he and his cohorts believe they can re-establish the fascist state. On a secret mission to mine valuable minerals in the
    Antarctic Derek confronts him. The result is deadly - but for which man?


    Geoff.
    Last edited by 1batfastard; 16th April 2018 at 16:13.

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