Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

A very good military read

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

A very good military read

Old 11th Oct 2018, 10:11
  #601 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 77
Posts: 6,364
Biography of Lord ("Sam") Elworthy due out end of October, should be an interesting read. However, a very good read IMHO is Anthony Furse's biography of Wilfrid Freeman. Without Freeman I suspect we might have lost the air war, and thus been defeated by Germany

Last edited by Wander00; 24th Jan 2019 at 14:58.
Wander00 is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2019, 07:52
  #602 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Posts: 93
"Malta Spitfire" by George Buerling & Leslie Roberts. ISBN 978-1-906502-98-0

Have to recommend this one; just read it and could not put it down. The biography of George "Screwball" Buerling, written in 1943 and therefore has some of the raw emotions that can be lost in other biographies written after WWII had ended.
Double Hush is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2019, 18:18
  #603 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Urcal (Almeria)
Posts: 54
WanderOO. Can you offer an ISBN for the biog of Wilfred Freeman,please ? Regards.
cafesolo is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2019, 19:51
  #604 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North of Watford, South of Watford Gap
Age: 65
Posts: 234
cafesolo - My copy's ISBN is 1-86227-079-1. BTW it's Wilfrid, not Wilfred
Innominate is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2019, 22:44
  #605 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: liverpool uk
Age: 64
Posts: 1,281
Across an angry sea by Lt Gen Sir Cedric Delves experiences when he led D Squadron 22 SAS during the Falkands War. os well worth a read. Very descriptive book not just about the battles he and his men fought but also of the environment they operated in.
air pig is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:35
  #606 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Urcal (Almeria)
Posts: 54
Innominate. Thank you. Have ordered.
cafesolo is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:59
  #607 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 77
Posts: 6,364
And I have amended to Wilfrid
Wander00 is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2019, 16:55
  #608 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Urcal (Almeria)
Posts: 54
May I humbly recommend to anyone suggesting books of interest to include the ISBN number ? I went first to "Just Books.co.uk. to find No Trace. Then to Amazon,the same. When Innominate set out the ISBN (post 484,above ) I returned to Just Books to find a whole page of offers for this publication,mostly offered through Amazon. And magic ! From nothing to another full page. Incidentally, the prices offered at Just Books were marginally more than the prices at which Amazon were dealing.

Thank you,WanderOO,for the amendment.

Happy reading to all Ppruners. Cafesolo.
cafesolo is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2019, 13:10
  #609 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Threshold 06
Posts: 439
Another good military read - from a different perspective

Tales of daring do, punching holes in the sky, pressing on regardless and wizard heroics are all part and parcel of the the military aviators life. There is a pleathora of good reads out there ....but sometimes, something a little gentler can put things into perspective especially when viewed from the ground. John Mount's novel "Rig a dig dig (Boy Entrant Blues)" does just that

It's a novel largely about the 'rites of passage' suffered by 16 year old boys joining up at time of great social change, but where old and sometimes cruel traditions were paramount ensuring the continuation of the higherarcic "Entry System" of Boy training. It is set at St Athan during the early sixties where the main character joins up with the 45th Entry and we follow him through ITS, the Wings, workshops and graduation to his first posting. As an ex BE myself, there are so many "been there, done that, got the t-shirt" moments that it took me very little time to read. (It is pretty obvious that much of it is based on Johns own experiences as a B/E with the 45th) Having said that, it IS a novel and should appeal to many outsiders who just like a good read. My good lady is reading it now and she asked if it really was like that back in the day. She is a good few years younger than me and she said it gave her a great insight to my early 'formative' years in the Air Force. Apparently, she understand me much better now!!!!

Those of you who have gone through the B/E or Apprentice training of the 50s and 60s should find it very entertaining and will nudge at the memory banks a bit. If you went through St Athan in those times you WILL find so much comes flooding back. Those of you who were direct entry, Cranners, Sleaford Tech or whatever might just have their eyes opened a bit.

A word of warning, the layout is a little random at times as John has self published, but, as I say, well worth a read.

Available as paperback only through Amazon books but very reasonably priced at around £6:50.
oldmansquipper is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2019, 14:35
  #610 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 1,967
Originally Posted by Hamish 123 View Post
Totally agree, Murray Peden's book is fantastic. Really strong on the day to day minutiae of the training process, and then being on a heavy bomber squadron. You have to constantly remind yourself that the author was only 18/19 at the time, and a pathfinder captain on Halifaxes! Brilliant book.

Halifaxes? I must have read the wrong book.
Stirlings and B 17s, and not Pathfinders either.
langleybaston is online now  
Old 8th Feb 2019, 17:32
  #611 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Under a recently defunct flight path.
Age: 74
Posts: 1,243
Tempting. The 45th were 'Senior Entry' when I arrived at Saints in Jan 63 (48th Entry).
Lyneham Lad is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2019, 09:09
  #612 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 77
Posts: 6,364
Mike Brooke has kindly sent me a copy of his latest book "Flying Past" as a "fund raiser" for RAFA Sud Ouest France. I could not resist a quick look:it recounts his experiences display flying in aircraft from the earliest days of flying to (then) modern jets. Fascinating stuff as there is a lot about the flight characteristics of very different aeroplanes. Usual disclaimer but strongly recommended. My copy is on order. (ISBN 978 0 7509 8768 4)

(His previous 4 books are very readable too)

Last edited by Wander00; 9th Feb 2019 at 21:28.
Wander00 is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2019, 19:34
  #613 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: York
Posts: 39
A very good military read

A review of Ladies of Lascaris: Christina Ratcliffe and the Forgotten Heroes of Malta's War: This account of the life of an interesting lady and acquaintances set against the backdrop of the Second World War siege of Malta is a ‘good read’: all that an author may expect. The thread of the story, Christina Ratcliffe, is interesting in itself but superimposed on the well-researched situation of Malta at war it creates a tale of the indomitable spirit of the population.

The story of a young girl, perhaps a little feckless but strong in character, travelling so widely in the 1930s would be interesting enough. This story shows how she develops into a charismatic lady under very difficult conditions who helped create an entertainment group in the early part of the war and became a watch supervisor in the plotting room of the wartime Air Headquarters of the most bombed area in the world.

Her romantic involvement with an RAF pilot and the dangerous life he led is well recorded without being mawkish. Her commitment to Warburton is shown to be complete making the decline of her later years more poignant and touching.

To complete the story, creating a real feel for the time, the recollections of various characters living in Malta makes for a complete picture of how people of different callings were affected by the privations of a siege that lasted for over two years.

I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a good factual human story set against a fascinating account of a crucial period of history.
MMHendrie1 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2019, 06:52
  #614 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 186
My contribution:

Convenant with Death- John Harris. The life and death of a New Army Battalion on the Somme. Loosely based on the Leeds Pals.
Bomber- Len Deighton. Covered already.

Non Fiction:
To the victor the spoils- Sean Longden. The 21st Army Group in NW Europe 1944-45. More of a 'social history'- you won't look at a WW2 vet in quite the same way again.
Singapore Burning- Colin Smith. Staggering incompetence at virtually every level. Hardly anyone comes out of it with any credit although it does shed a slightly better light on Arthur Percival and the bum deal he got dealt. Also deals in detail with the loss of the PoW and Repulse in detail.

Favourite quote: Apparently Arthur 'Bomber' Harris and Adm Tom Phillips had served together prior to going their separate ways and frequently had animated discussions about the battleship vs aircraft debate. After one such debate an exasperated Harris said Tom, one day you'll be standing on the bridge of your battleship and it will be sunk by torpedo carrying aircraft. As you slip beneath the waves your last thought will be "That was a f*****g big mine".
Whilst not a great fan of Harris and if true, I did think it rather good.
PapaDolmio is offline  
Old 3rd May 2019, 11:18
  #615 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Norwich
Age: 76
Posts: 84
A leader from the front Col Robin Olds

Jackw106 is offline  
Old 8th May 2019, 22:05
  #616 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Godforsakencountry
Posts: 269
"The Earth Is Weeping" : Peter Cozzens"
The epic story of the Indian Wars of the American West. A very readable and interesting book. Nothing to do with flying but it is military. Over 500 pages but it reads very easily and gives the story from both sides. it was quite an eye opener to me just how much the disunity amongst the tribes contributed to their own downfall. Highly recommended.
Argonautical is offline  
Old 9th May 2019, 05:45
  #617 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London
Posts: 41
Sagittarius Rising

Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis RFC WW1

No Moon Tonight by Don Charlwood RAF WW2
phantom menace is offline  
Old 9th May 2019, 12:42
  #618 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 79
Posts: 4,530
Jackw106, thank you for the YouTube video of Christina Olds' tribute to her Dad. So full of love and pride, and rightly so. I would commend it to all, never mind the book itself on which her presentation is based.

You need to put aside an hour and threequarters to do so, which I only realised when she wasn't half way through, but you won't regret it, and I defy anyone who does so to have a dry eye at the end of it. His headstone is surrounded by bottles and coins. You bring a fresh bottle to replace an empty one, you drink a toast and "Throw a Nickel on the Grass...". Most will know why, just watch the video if you don't. Hell, watch the video even if you do!
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 12:55
  #619 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cambs
Posts: 129
Field Service by Robert Edric. A novel set on the Somme in 1920. The war is long over but the army has retained men to recover the dead from battlefield burial places, identify them where possible and re-inter them in cemeteries under the auspices of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is a'quiet' book, not a lot goes on, no great denouement but rather a finely drawn study of character. Over the years we have all met the officers from the commission: the colonel, his staff captain and the chaplain; also the captain, lieutenant and sergeant at the coal face.
When visiting the Somme and Flanders it didn't occur to me how the many cemeteries were originally established, this book gave me some understanding.
Slow Biker is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 18:32
  #620 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Exit stage right.
Posts: 288
Originally Posted by Argonautical View Post
"The Earth Is Weeping" : Peter Cozzens"
The epic story of the Indian Wars of the American West. A very readable and interesting book. Nothing to do with flying but it is military. Over 500 pages but it reads very easily and gives the story from both sides. it was quite an eye opener to me just how much the disunity amongst the tribes contributed to their own downfall. Highly recommended.
I think the original title of teh thread is correct and would happily argue with anybody who tries to make this only a "flying" thread read. This is a great thread because nobody is attempting to sell anything just share what they have read.

In relation to the tribes downfall, it wasn't just disunity, it was sheer numbers. To quote an Indian Leader ( using as it was then), "If we stop and kill 30 people in a Wagon train it does not stop the White faces coming, however if we lose 10 men on an attack on a Wagon train it could be the end of a tribe, we can't replace the numbers and these maybe the hunters of food for the tribe."

Ultimately White Mans Greed was what destroyed everything.

Disgressing a little bit but Indian culture and their attitude to the Land, Animals etc made them the first Environmentalists, where as Pale Faces were happy to destory mountains with water / chemicals to obtain Gold / Silver etc.
racedo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.