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Thread: 3 title Self-Isolation reading list challenge

  1. #11
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    Hi all, I would choose a different type of books - maybe not so readable but full of facts:

    Jonathan Falconer: Bomber Command Handbook 1939 - 1945 - to get a a general overview

    Ian Carter: Bomber Command, 1939-45 - photographic book as sometimes a photograph may tell you more than several pages of text

    As for the personal level I do not know much of books in English due to my specific area of interest - RAF/RCAF airmen of Czechoslovak origin.
    So if it would be not considered too cheeky I would recommend him mine Moonlight Flyer: Diary of a Second World War Navigator - first hand straight-out account written during WWII by John Gellner DFC - RCAF navigator/pilot of Czech origin with Jewish roots.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  2. #12
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    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the tip on the up coming book on Peenemunde, Iíve just ordered my copy.

    Cheers,

    John.

  3. #13
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    The Science of Bombing: Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command by Randall Thomas Wakelam

    The Bombing War: Europe, 1939-1945 by Richard Overy

    Bomber by Len Deighton (fiction but well worth a read)
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

  4. #14
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    Thanks all, interesting suggestions .... some though might be a bit "heavy" for the original brief, for 3 books for a "newbie" to read......perhaps?
    Amrit, I have to say I am surprised by your Overy suggestion...I found the book made me angry, as I found it quite unfairly critical of Bomber Command.....just my opinion.
    I am partway through The Right of the Line (Terraine) and can't put it down...I don't know why I waited so long to read it...probably intimidated by it's size!
    Pavel, not "cheeky" at all! We are all friends here ... I will look the book up.
    Don, thank you for the suggestion, I have not heard of "bookfinder" before...I have relied on Abebooks and Amazon up to now.
    All the best, Clint

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClintCoffey View Post
    Amrit, I have to say I am surprised by your Overy suggestion...I found the book made me angry, as I found it quite unfairly critical of Bomber Command.....just my opinion.
    Our interests, and sympathies, should not blind us to books critical of the subjects of our allegiances. Overy may make comments that makes us angry, but they do open our eyes to the fact that not everyone thinks BC did a good job.
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

  6. #16
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    Hi Clint,

    One more book I throughly enjoyed was ĎCased by the Suní by Hank Nelson, very much written from an Australian airmanís war from training to operations. I read it back in 2002 while touring around the UK and Germany, so I was feeling the part.

    Cheers,

    John.

  7. #17
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    Possibly I'm missing a linguistic quirk here (with all respect, Pavel), however feel moved to say that in citing my suggested personal accounts, above, I should perhaps have pointed out that they were all not only very readable but factually reliable on my reading (the pen-name "Richard Passmore" notwithstanding - nor his reticence to identify his Squadron: all discussed here long ago).

    When I say reliable, I mean accurate within reason (and from knowledge of other accounts). All accounts, whether from the time or later, whether from a contemporary source or recall, or later source or recall: all are subject to error. Some are misunderstandings, some are simple mistakes on original recording or in compilation, some are faithful reports of incorrect information, some are quirks of recall. Discussed further here: http://www.211squadron.org/do_it_yourself.html#Mistakes. Some few are deliberate fabrications, sadly.

    Anyway, back to the proposal:
    "A young person ... 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 want a recommendation ... 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."

    After a recent heavy cull (having largely completed my 211 Squadron research), I've kept a number of the first-hand, personal accounts that most appealed to me over the years. Of those from the 1960's as a complete beginner, there has always been a copy of Chisholm on the shelf - along with Richey Fighter Pilot and Wisdom Wings Over Olympus, each read & reread until in need of replacement (but these are not personal accounts by aircrew of Bomber Command from 1944).

    You might though make a case to include
    Sean Feast Master Bombers
    Which, a recent (2008) work, gives personal accounts (in part first-hand) for aircrew of 582 Sqn (No 8 Pathfinder Group).

    As for broader factual campaign accounts, there are more than you can poke a stick at, either more or less contemporary or long long post-war.
    Some of the more recent have lead to bitter dispute, some indeed deservedly discredited. I'm disinclined to expand.

    I'm happy to say I too have long held the highest regard for the accessibility, detail and accuracy of
    John Terraine The Right Of the Line.
    The subtitle gives the broad scope:
    The Royal Air Force in the European War 1939-1945

    If they were still somewhat constrained at the time (about the import or extent of which I'm far from clear), a significant place is still held in my regard by the three vol HMSO overall history
    Royal Air Force 1939-1945:
    Vol I Denis Richards The Fight at Odds
    Vol II Denis Richards & Hilary Saunders The Fight Avails
    Vol III Hilary Saunders The Fight is Won
    If not quite for the absolute beginner, all three can be read online at HyperWar, along with a selection of other official UK accounts.

    Hoping to have added something useful and not too late, that'll more than do from me on this topic, the main thrust being personal accounts accurate and readable for an interested beginner.

    Don Clark
    www.211squadron.org
    Last edited by Don Clark; 29th March 2020 at 05:25.
    Toujours ŗ propos

  8. #18
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    My recommendations are ;

    Three Stripes and Four Brownings : by Bill Jackson ; 218 Airgunner
    Popeyes War : by Lories Lucas : Wing Commander F Lucas DFC & Bar
    Berlin Raids : by Martin Middlebrook.
    Artie, Bomber Command Legend. W/Cdr Artie Ashworth, DSO, DFC & Bar AFC & Bar

    Cheers
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  9. #19
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    Glad to see John Terraine getting a mention - and it’s a good intro to WW1 studies as well. Three great fiction accounts:

    - Nevil Shute’s ‘Pastoral’: written in 1944 so a little rose-tinted but still a great story.
    - Spencer Dunmore, ‘Bomb Run’: a classic, set during the final Berlin Raid 24/25 March 1944 (but doesn’t mention that it was a bit windy).
    - Not Bomber Command, but supposedly bomber crews loved it, and it’s one of the best novels about war flying ever - Victor Yeates’s ‘Winged Victory’ - could do with sympathetic editing but still a riveting account.

    Richard
    Last edited by Richard; 29th March 2020 at 09:45. Reason: typos

  10. #20
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    Bearing in mind that the brief is for books for someone new to Bomber Command I would like to suggest On the Wings of Morning by Vince Holyoak. It covers the base at Bottesford and the comings and goings of various squadrons. It contains many anecdotes and is not overly technical. A nice light read in a way.

    Mike Mcleod

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