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Max Hastings' Dambusters book

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Max Hastings' Dambusters book

Old 20th Aug 2019, 08:59
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Max Hastings' Dambusters book

The Mail Online has been running a piece to promote Max Hastings' soon to be published book about Operation Chastise. The article, the core of which is, presumably, in Hastings' own words, says 56 crewmen of 617 Sqn died in the raid whereas three survived, as is well known.

Makes me wonder how many other basic errors will be revealed when we finally see the book itself.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 11:33
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As the publisher's blurb states:
Hastings vividly describes the evolution of Wallis’ bomb, and of the squadron which broke the dams. But he also portrays in harrowing detail those swept away by the torrents. He argues that what modern Germans call the Mohnekatastrophe imposed on the Nazi war machine temporary disruption, rather than a crippling blow. Ironically, Air Marshal Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris gained much of the public credit, though he bitterly opposed Chastise as a distraction from his city-burning blitz. Harris also made perhaps the operation’s biggest mistake – failure to launch a conventional attack on the huge post-raid repair operation which could have transformed the impact of the dam breaches on Ruhr industry.

Here once again is a dramatic retake on familiar history by a master of the art. Hastings sets the Dams Raid in the big picture of the bomber offensive and of the Second World War, with moving portraits of the young airmen, so many of whom died; of Barnes Wallis; the monstrous Harris; the tragic Guy Gibson, together with superb narrative of the action of one of the most extraordinary episodes in British history
.

As the owner of four of Hastings' earlier books: "Bomber Command", "Armageddon", "All Hell Let Loose" and "Catastrophe", "Operation Chastise" is on my shopping list for what will almost certainly be a good read.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 12:35
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Can anyone recommend James Holland's book about the raid?
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 13:46
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Hastings has always been a bit too right wing for me BUT he is a good historian.

I recently reread his Korean Way book and while could be rerevised as more files open it really is shocking how inept the UN side were, 8th Army collapse and aftermath almost allowed Korean to be reunited until Communists.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 20:58
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The definitive book on Op CHASTISE was written years ago by John Sweetman; I very much doubt that Hastings' book will add anything of substance to that production.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 00:38
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Found it to be very readable for the non historian with an excellent level of depth of knowledge about the whole enterprise, in particular from the behind the scenes politics.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 04:33
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Originally Posted by Downwind.Maddl-Land View Post
The definitive book on Op CHASTISE was written years ago by John Sweetman; I very much doubt that Hastings' book will add anything of substance to that production.
Is there a Kindle version ????
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 06:07
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Originally Posted by howiehowie93 View Post
Is there a Kindle version ????
The title of the original publication was "The Dams Raid: Epic or Myth?" with a second edition published in 1990 as "The Dambusters Raid". The latter included an additional chapter that further evaluated the success of the raid as a counter to the seemingly endless attacks mounted on the effectiveness of the raid by the post-war revisionists. Sorry, I don't know if either Title is available on Kindle.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 10:50
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Kindle has the Max Hastings book "Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943" which will be available first week in September, but can be "pre-ordered" now.

Mods: hope this doesn't constitute advertising - seems to be no more so than the rest of the thread!
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:38
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Ref my earlier post, can I assume the James Holland book wasn't a big seller among PPRuNe folk? I read the excellent Sweetman account years ago.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 15:23
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Originally Posted by XV490 View Post
Ref my earlier post, can I assume the James Holland book wasn't a big seller among PPRuNe folk? I read the excellent Sweetman account years ago.
I read it and really enjoyed it - it's certainly a gripping account. If you like his Battle of Britain one you won't go far wrong.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 08:43
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Thanks, Trident. I'll give it s whirl.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 11:16
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Originally Posted by XV490 View Post
Makes me wonder how many other basic errors will be revealed when we finally see the book itself.
Mail's errors rather than those of Hastings?
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 17:24
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Originally Posted by Airbanda View Post
Mail's errors rather than those of Hastings?
I doubt it. It's too well written to have been a Mail Online hack's work. I suppose, however, it could be a 'puff' job by someone at the publishers.
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 23:00
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A piece by Mr Hastings in today's Times Magazine:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...5e50ed7eb55215

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Old 9th Sep 2019, 14:00
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TBH, I purchased Max Hastings book, 'Arnhem' when it was released and was very pleasantly surprised to find a whole wealth of new material within it's pages. I look forward to the same with this one.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 17:22
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His article in the "Times" colour magazine wasn't very complimentary about Gibson as a person........ but then we revert to the arguments in the Douglas Bader thread
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 20:07
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'Johnny' Johnson who served under Gibson is not very complimentary about Gibson either.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 21:09
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A bit of thread drift, but fascinating background to Guy Gibson here: https://flashbak.com/fascinating-dam...phemera-36506/
….including music he chose for his appearance on desert island discs on 19th February 1944 and copy of "Valuation for Probate" of his effects after his death (his VC was valued at 250!)

Gibson's Desert Island Discs Music Choices
  1. Richard Addinsell . Warsaw Concerto
  2. Jack Hylton & His Orchestra. Where or When (from Babes In Arms)
  3. A Thousand and One Nights Waltz. Johann Strauss II
  4. The Flying Dutchman. R Wagner
  5. Bing Crosby. If I Had My Way
  6. The Marines Hymn. Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians
  7. Royal Air Force March Past
  8. Ride of the Valkyries. Richard Wagner
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