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Thread: 3 title Self-Isolation reading list challenge

  1. #1
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    Default 3 title Self-Isolation reading list challenge

    Ok , here is the scenario :
    A young person contacts you and tells you they are in Covid-19 self isolation and that they just learned their Grandfather served in aircrew in Bomber Command in 1944. They tell you they want a recommendation from you for 3 books that they can use their time reading to learn 1) A bit about what their Granddad went through on a personal level, and 2) A bit about the Campaign they were part of in general.
    What 3 books would you give them? I will start the ball rolling :

    1) Boys, Bombs and Brussels Sprouts by J. Douglas Harvey (..unfamiliar to non-Canadians perhaps? But well worth searching out)
    2) Men of Air by Kevin Wilson
    3) The Bomber War by Robin Neillands

    Wishing all forum members and families good health!
    Cheers, Clint

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    Murray Pedenís A Thousand Shall Fall.

    Charlwood. No Moon Tonight.

    Middlebrook. The Nuremberg Raid. (Actually, all the Middlebrook books are so well researched).

    Jim

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    I agree with Jim anything by Martin Middlebrook, in order mine would be;

    Peenemunde Raid.
    Berlin Raids.
    Hamburg Raids.
    Nuremberg Raid.

    I put the Peenemunde raid first as my uncle did his first op on that raid and killed on the first Berlin raid covered in his Berlin book.

    Cheers,

    John.
    Last edited by John Williams; 28th March 2020 at 06:46.

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    The "big" picture is in "The Struggle For Europe" by Chester Wilmot!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    At a personal level, some of the best books written by former BC aircrew -

    'A Thousand Shall Fall' - Murray Peden
    'Luck and a Lancaster' - Harry Yates
    'Only Birds and Fools' - Norman Ashton
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Yes, some good choices here for sure! I agree Luck and a Lancaster and No Moon Tonight are classics....some titles here I am unfamiliar with and will add them to my reading list.
    Peter and John : any crew autobiographies you would recommend...?
    Many thanks

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    Hi Clint,

    ‘Journey into night, by Don Charlwood, ‘Through the bombsight’ by Andrew Maitland, ‘Swifter than eagles’ by Clement Barnett Hewitt, ( not an autobiographical but a great story about a Pathfinder Crew that didn’t make it by one of the crew’s nephew), and one about the war in North Africa, ‘We wore blue’ by Syd Wickham. If you after a good book on the 8th Airforce although not an autobiography is ‘ Target Berlin, mission 250: 6 March 1944’ by Jeffery Ethel & Alfred Price.

    Cheers,

    John.
    Last edited by John Williams; 28th March 2020 at 20:16.

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    For what it's worth, some long standing favourites, vivid passages in all, all from the horse's mouth.

    Miles Tripp The Eighth Passenger
    Very telling, in his account of 218 Sqn ops in 1944 and 1945 as a Flt/Sgt Bomb Aimer, his post-war follow up of his crewmates, and his personal thoughts on their duty carried out (for which the 1993 edn is to be preferred).
    The Eighth Passenger (in a Lanc crew of seven) you may be able to work out before reading.

    Terence O'Brien DFC+Bar Chasing After Danger
    A tour of Blenheim ops over Brest in 1941 (53 Sqn), then Hudsons to the early 1942 NEI campaign in the FE (62 Sqn).
    I knew Terence for a time, in his 90s. An engaging man and an acute observer, his books (incl two on his part in the FE theatre, 1944/45) are all equally readable.

    "Richard Passmore" Blenheim Boy
    WOp/AG from 1938 to being shot down on a 40 Sqn Blenheim night op 25/26 July 1940: all crew surving, to captivity.


    Lastly, two very personal views from other perspectives

    Roderick Chisholm DFC+2 Bars, DSO CBE(M) Cover of Darkness
    Vivid account of the radar air war from a 604 Sqn NF pilot (and later) - with close relevance to Bomber Command losses.

    RV Jones CH CB CBE Most Secret War
    An immensely readable personal account of the scientific intelligence war by a bright mind with wit, humour and a very strong sense of duty - not to be over awed by "the great and good" in ill-temper.
    Highly relevant for Bomber Command exposure to its own blunders and for the discovery and neutering of German techniques.

    All these, if you have the time, are best found in the hardback edns of the day, as the plates are often larger, higher quality and more plentiful than later pb edns and some disgraceful current hb re-issues.

    I use www.bookfinder.com for its multiple source listings coverage, among others.

    Don Clark
    www.211squadron.org
    Last edited by Don Clark; 28th March 2020 at 22:24. Reason: addnl
    Toujours ŗ propos

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    I found the autobiographical Almost a Lifetime by John McMahon a compelling read. McMahon was the only survivor from the crew of Lancaster ED440 of 49 Sqn. Book is mostly about his time as a PoW, a grim forced march and a later quest to contact the night-fighter pilot who shot down ED440.

    Robert

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    Hi Chaps

    I would like to recommend "The Lost Graves of Peenemunde" by Mike Mcleod and Sean Feast.

    https://fighting-high-books.myshopif...-of-peenemunde

    It is not due out until July but there is every chance we will still be here by then. It contains some remarkable revelations.

    Hope this isn't considered cheating!

    Mike Mcleod

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