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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 21st Jan 2017, 10:11
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Just started the Gerachty book on Brixmis - looks interesting! Also received yesterday Mike Brookes's most recent (4th book) "More Testing Times" . He and I are almost exact contemporaries entering the Canberra world in the sixties. He went on to be an instructor and then into ETPS and test flying. I enjoy his writing style, and references to a number of people I worked with or for, or otherwise knew. Usual disclaimers, but highly recommended reading
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 07:21
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I've just finished "Scramble" by Tom Neil.. and I'd rate it as one of the very best accounts of the BoB I've ever read - the book finishes with the story of the author's subsequent service in Malta.. His stories of his training had me laughing out loud! Some things never change.. Highly recommended.
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 13:55
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pprune to Kindle in less than 90 secs, tremendous story, what a privilege it was to have served on 249 Gold Coast sqn 65-69, Malta seemed like a second home, perhaps it was.
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 17:11
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What with Hurricane Mk 1s, "Malta dog", mosquitoes and fleas, it was hardly a rest tour for the great man!
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 19:52
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A Tangent - Douglas Reeman RIP

Author of many a good military read primarily witha Naval setting

Douglas Reeman, author ? obituary

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 20:59
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Author of many a good military read primarily witha Naval setting

Douglas Reeman, author ? obituary
Sad news. I've read all of his excellent books.
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 23:29
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Me too, have always enjoyed his books
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 15:05
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Forgive my resurrecting this thread but I wanted to mention a few 'military' titles that I have recently read and enjoyed-

An Evil Boy ...He Flew Spitfires - Flt Lt A H Wittridge

Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer
- Alastair Panton & Victoria Panton Bacon. Deals with just six weeks of the author's life as a Blenheim pilot before he became a PoW but an absolute page-turner. Highly recommended.

Fighter Pilot-The Life of Battle of Britain Pilot Bob Doe - Dr Helen Doe. An enjoyable bio of a BoB pilot who by his own admission had none of the 'normal' qualification to be a fighter pilot and RAF officer. Written by his daughter.

Everlasting Arms - Air Commodore John Searby. A memoir of Bomber Command.

No Flight From The Cage - Cal Younger. Originally published not long after the war and another page-turner. Engrossing account of wartime life (and of getting from Australia in order to participate in the war) and life as a PoW.

Warlike Sketches 1939-1945 - Arrol Macfarlane. The adventures of a WW2 Royal Artillery officer who came from Argentina and became an AOP Auster pilot operating initially in North Africa and then north through Italy during which time he managed to write-off six Austers. Another very interesting and enjoyable read.





Last edited by olympus; 11th Mar 2017 at 16:08. Reason: Correction
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 15:23
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Kintyred:-
"Their Greatest Disgrace". A truly excellent book about the campaign to clear the pilots of ZD576 (Mull of Kintyre) by David Hill, a long-serving civilian engineer working in MoD. The author pulls no punches, names names, exposes the deceit and lies. Depressingly it appears that nothing has changed. The book was self published as no publisher would touch it, fearing MoD's response. All proceeds from the sale to Medecins Sans Frontieres. 15 reviews on Amazon....all 5 stars.
I totally endorse your comments, and of course the book as well. Mull was perhaps the worst airworthiness related UK military fatal air accident in the past 30 odd years, but by no means the only one. PPRuNe threads alone account for some 70 needless deaths in such tragedies, and David Hill's book deals with the "woods" of the dysfunctional UK Military Air Safety System, why it became so, who were responsible, the cover up since, as well as the loss of ZD576 itself. Those interested in the system's reform but are put off by the arcane nature of it all can do no better than to read this book. Highly recommended:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Their-Great...atest+Disgrace
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Old 12th Mar 2017, 00:52
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An Evil Boy

Olympus, I found this book years ago and agree it's worth a session with a pint or two!
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Old 12th Mar 2017, 06:49
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One of my colleagues was ex-BRIXMIS and would occasionally have us rolling about in hysterics with some of his tales...

On concerned the time when the spooks had provided him with a device with which to measure the thickness of armour on some new Sovietski tanksi - they were instructed to press it against the armour, press the button and take a reading... So one dark night on tour they found one and crept up to it and pressed the button as briefed...

But what they spooks hadn't told him was that the device used some sonic technique. As they pressed the button, there was an almighty and quite deafening 'BOING' which echoed through the night, so they bravely rushed into hiding. A few seconds later, the hatch flew open and some poor Soviet grunt appeared with his hands over his ears, who then peered around his tank wondering what the hell had caused the noise which had so rudely interrupted his slumbers. My colleague said that the hardest part was trying to stifle their laughter.
I know that chap! Another funny aspect to his story was that he had a very common name and was posted to BRIXMIS because he was on his record of service, a fluent Russian speaker. However, there was another chap with the same name and rank who was the real Russian speaker and sometime in the past, they had got confused.
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Old 12th Mar 2017, 23:00
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
Kintyred:-

I totally endorse your comments, and of course the book as well. Mull was perhaps the worst airworthiness related UK military fatal air accident in the past 30 odd years, but by no means the only one. PPRuNe threads alone account for some 70 needless deaths in such tragedies, and David Hill's book deals with the "woods" of the dysfunctional UK Military Air Safety System, why it became so, who were responsible, the cover up since, as well as the loss of ZD576 itself. Those interested in the system's reform but are put off by the arcane nature of it all can do no better than to read this book. Highly recommended:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Their-Great...atest+Disgrace
Thanks Chug,

David Hill has very kindly let me read the draft of his next book, which deals with the procurement failings of MOD. It will strike a chord with many current and retired servicemen. As ever he quotes chapter and verse of a number of sorry episodes. I don't want to give away the plot but it will come as no surprise to find that the bad guys are still in charge. I must just quote one cracking line. "....competence is simply not tolerated by senior MOD staff, because it raises the bar of expectation among the Services and Industry."
Another page turner.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 02:11
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Also by Wing Commander Closterman "Flames in the Sky"
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 08:45
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Mike Brooke's series of four books, latest is "More Testing Times", and IMHO as good a read as its predecessors
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 09:12
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Anything by James Hornfischer:

Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. Covers the battle off Samar where US escort carriers and escorts took on the Japanese fleet in daylight culminating in four escorts charging battleships and cruisers to point blank range. Lot of first person perspective.

Neptunes Inferno. Primarily covers the US surface navy at Guadalcanal. Like above heavy with first person accounts. Highlights the confusion, slaughter and sacrifice of the navy in this campaign. Fact I never knew; four times more sailors killed at Guadalcanal than ground pounders. Found the book impossible to put down.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 12:51
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Just got back from a trip round Myanmar (Burma). Took John Masters' "Bugles and a Tiger" and "The Road Past Mandalay" already mentioned in this thread.


The day after I had been reading of him and his boss standing on Mandalay Hill looking down on the Jap emplacements, I was standing on the hill doing the same thing (no emplacements any more).


I told our guide who led me to a plaque on a pillar commemorating the men of the 4th Gurkha Rifles who took the hill!


(Later went via Thailand to the Bridge over the River Kwai and the CWGC cemetery where it was very dusty in the air and poppy crosses were left)
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 19:40
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Obviously the tops has to be 'Fighter Pilot, by Robin Olds. No doubt about it. If you disagree, read the book.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 21:15
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Just finished The Kamikaze Hunters by Will Iredale.
We don't know we are born today. Was chatting to an old FAA wartime Aviator last week. He still hates the little yellow baskets. Knowing that at least 10 downed airmen had been executed gave me the willies.
Just about to start The Rise and Fall of the Bomber by Greg Baughen. It covers the inter-war period.
I have scanned Dave Hills book. It leaves me too traumatised to read it in depth. SWMBO keeps suggesting I should stop reading military history and stick to Cebebies!
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 13:05
  #539 (permalink)  
 
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The Silver Spitfire

I have just read The Silver Spitfire, by Tom Neil. He wrote it at the age of 92!

Neil was a 23 year old RAF Squadron Leader who was posted to the 100th Fighter Wing of the USAF. While flying P-51 operations in France he discovered and commandeered (for himself) an abandoned Spitfire.

Great insight into how the USAF fighter wings operated and how comparatively easy it was, in a war zone, to retain a Spitfire as a personal chariot.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 18:55
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Fate is the Hunter, no doubt mentioned before; today in The Works for a bargain 3.
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