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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 30th Oct 2012, 21:56
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This is technical background stuff.

Druid's Circle by "Dixie" Dean is a superb account of the engineering, R&D and flying that went into new types and new weapons (canons in thin wings, the amazing story of RPs) by an engineering test pilot. One of the very best, beautifully written and a real page-turner. He even sneaked out on ops in a a Tiffie (strictly against specific orders) to see how his RPs worked in action.

Off aviation, or rather about the recieving end of it "Admiralty Brief" by Capt Edward Terrell describes how the author, a peacetime Barrister, developed armour essentially made of tarmac to protect ships from light shellfire and shrapnel. One of the forgotten miracles of the war. Brilliant, funny, irreverent and a very unusual and quirky aspect of the war. He received the highest financial award of the war for his R & D, deservedly so.
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Old 30th Oct 2012, 22:39
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Keep Your Head Down

Must thank the contributors suggestions on here. Regularly have a look for books of interest and have read quite a few on this forum

One I can suggest, not aviation although helicopters do get a mention:

Keep Your Head Down
Nathan Mullins

Afghanistan from the perspective of a 15 year special forces citizen soldier - who then went back to his day job.

cheers
layman

Last edited by layman; 30th Oct 2012 at 22:40. Reason: seplling
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Old 30th Oct 2012, 23:01
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"Pegasus Bridge"


Details one of the greatest feats of aviation ---Ever!
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 00:17
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Two interesting books in my library are-
Unarmed into Battle, the story of the Air observation Post by Major General H. J. Parham and E. M. G. Bellfield.

Memoirs of an Air Observation Post Officer, by Major Andrew Lyell. DFC

Real flying in both of those. Far lighter but equally readable is-
An Evil Boy, by F/Lt A. H. 'Witt' Wittridge DFC (RAF Retd)

Regarding the Falklands conflict from the 'other side', I have a translated Spanish publication titled 'Falklands Witness of Battles', by J. R. Briasco and S. M. Huertas
This contains a lot of reports and photos from the Argentines, including one chapter detailing the attack on HMS Invincible.
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Old 31st Oct 2012, 14:42
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Regarding the Falklands conflict from the 'other side', I have a translated Spanish publication titled 'Falklands Witness of Battles', by J. R. Briasco and S. M. Huertas
This contains a lot of reports and photos from the Argentines, including one chapter detailing the attack on HMS Invincible.
Well, they are spanish authors, not really "from the other side".

I am finishing "The Golden Horseshoe", the wartime career of Otto Kretschmen, WW2 U-boat commander. Really good read!
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Old 13th Nov 2012, 08:04
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Best Lancaster ops book: "The Eighth Passenger" Miles Tripp, flying No.218 Squadron Lancs out of Chedburgh and post war crew reunion and thoughts of the bombing campaign. Look for the revised copy.

Best B-17 ops book : "Dead Engine Kids" John J Briol, diary of ops flown from 457thBG Glatton,UK. Hard to find and expensive but a good read.

"Serenade To The Big Bird" by Bert Stiles flying B-17's from Bassingbourn is a classic on the strain of operational flying.
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Old 13th Nov 2012, 08:44
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I am finishing "The Golden Horseshoe", the wartime career of Otto Kretschmen, WW2 U-boat commander. Really good read!
I had forgotten about that, Marcantilan. I read it many years ago. As you say really good. The Golden Horseshoe was attached to the conning tower of U99. Kretschmer was well known for his considerate treatment of survivors of ships that he sank.

After the war, he joined the Bundesmarine and rose to the rank of Admiral.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 09:10
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Viper Pilot has been hard to put down whilst laying on the beach at Batu Ferringgi...

Battled through Max Hasting's "All Hell Let Loose" which was an amazing overview of WW2 that I'd highly recommend.


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Old 30th Dec 2012, 14:02
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VIPER PILOT

I agree it is a great read.

It has technical stuff that is easy to understand , action stories , lots of little one or two liner gems of info , and probably the best description (to me at any rate) of how the USAF functions. The authors (very brief) thoughts on why these conflicts were fought make for interesting reading .The humour is there too but in the form of sideswipes the author takes at any number of people and nations. I took those as tongue-in-cheek although others may disagree.

If anyone knows of anything else Dan Hampton has written that is readily avauilable please let me know
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Old 30th Dec 2012, 14:34
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Ahh, Viper pilots - like Dos Gringos....

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Old 30th Dec 2012, 18:24
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Love and war in the Appenines

by Eric Newby. Compelling read about E&E in Italy before and after the armistice in WW2. Once you've read it you'll want to read more of his books just to find out what happens to Wanda.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 12:20
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Currently reading "Misty", first hand stories of the F-100 forward air controllers in the Vietnam War. Very interesting stuff. ISBN 0-7596-5254-6.

Other recommended military reads are:

"In the Service of the Sultan" by Ian Gardiner. A first hand account of the Dhofar insurgency. ISBN 1-84415-467-X.

"By Any Means Necessary" by William E Burrows. America's secret air war, an investigation into America's top-secret air war against the communist bloc, and its cost in human lives. ISBN 0-09-943625-6.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 13:46
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T.21. I have just read Miles Tripp's 'The Eighth Passenger'
If you look at my location, you will see that it is relevant to me. In fact, I live on a piece of land that was the wartime WAAF's billets. Very good book.
In the village, we had a 70th Chedburgh Airfield Anniversary this year. Over 400 people turned up, and we had the kind permission of the farmer to drive down the runway, and other parts of the airfield. Very evocative.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 14:00
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I haven't gone through ALL the previous pages so don't know if it's been covered.

I'm reading Francis 'Gary' Powers' book Overflight which he wrote after leaving the CIA/USAF. It's utterly fascinating stuff.

I remember the incident when it happened albeit as a kid, but there was always the sense that he'd done something wrong in handling his interrogation.

When you read his account it's really good to see how woefully inadequate his (and the other pilots') briefings were.

It's interesting that he is only recently receiving the acknowledgement that he was due, mainly due to his son's efforts. The contribution made by the U2 guys is inestimable considering this was pre-satellite times.

Downloaded onto my Kindle. ***** star recommendation.

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Old 4th Jan 2013, 09:19
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Clashes: Air Combat over North Vietnam, 1965-1972: Marshall L., III Michell: 9781591145196: Amazon.com: Books Clashes: Air Combat over North Vietnam, 1965-1972: Marshall L., III Michell: 9781591145196: Amazon.com: Books

Clashes is a superbly written account of the air war over Vietnam between 65-72. The author flew F4s during the conflict however, it is not a personal account of his tours of duty. Instead, it is a factual analysis of how the war developed and evolved throughout the period. It highlights many areas of clever innovation and equally, some rather disturbing approaches that the USAF made that no doubt cost the lives of some of its aircrew.

Highly recommended. The USAF crews I work with rate the author very highly. I have had the privillege of meeting him several times recently and am always in awe of his humble approach to what was an outstanding career!
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 10:08
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Following on from the Falklands thread, an alternate history series based in a world where the Americans finished WWII using A-bombs and now impose a Pax Americana using B-70 Valkyries.

This volume deals with the UK, operating independently and recovering the Falklands. Bloody good series to read.....

Lion Resurgent Lion Resurgent


Stuart Slade

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Old 4th Jan 2013, 12:09
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Right then....Col Mike Mullane's "Riding Rockets" is simply a must. He was a Mission Specialist on the Shuttle for 3 flights. I'm not sure I've ever read a more "warts and all" book. He describes NASA in terms very close to the bone, and even his marriage in fairly eye-opening terms. His honesty in talking about his transition in going from the USAF to NASA, with the gender stereotypes he had, is illuminating, however, his descriptions of flying in orbit, and gazing down are the closest I've ever felt to actually "being there". I highly recommend.

I was so impressed, I dropped him an email, expecting nothing back. But he sent a real nice, personal email. A real gent.

Just read this book!! If you've got ANY inklings of interest in spaceflight, get it!

Amazon Amazon

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Old 4th Jan 2013, 12:36
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Second the "Riding Rockets" praise.
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 15:15
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"Growling over the Oceans" by Deborah Lake - the Shackleton, men and machines. 1951-1991
Not a book I'd heard of until I saw it in the library a few weeks ago.Excellent read.Full of anecdotes from air and ground crew. Surely some of PPRuNe readers contributed towards it?
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Old 8th Jan 2013, 07:43
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Thirded the "Riding Rockets" book..!
Very few punches pulled. A real insiders story.
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