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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 20th Apr 2008, 13:48
  #61 (permalink)  
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Rasimus 'When Thunder Rolled'
Agree, most excellent. That one deals with him being a new guy F-105 driver. His recent "Palace Cobra" relates his subsequent Vietnam tour flying F-4s.

From WWII: "Pursuit Through Darkened Skies," by Michael Allen DFC**. R/O in a night fighter crew, very good.

"Queen of the Midnight Skies," by G. Pape and Ronald Harrison. Probably the best overview of the US night fighter program including, obviously, the development and deployment of the P-61 'Black Widow.' But it also goes heavily into the US' use of the Beaufighter (4 squadrons) and the Mosquito (1 squadron) as night fighters.

"The Two o'clock War" by Walter Boyne. It's about the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
 
Old 20th Apr 2008, 14:37
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GPMG - Great! I've got a copy! Didn't realise they went for that much.

That said, I see that it mainly gets rave reviews on Amazon but there is one dissenter who I side with. I'm convinced it is a novel rather than an authentic memoir. There are too many discrepancies in times/locales etc.

That said, a good read.
Wikipedia describes "Devil's Guard" at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil's_Guard .
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Old 20th Apr 2008, 16:37
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Pursuit Through Darkened Skies

Brick, as a point of interest, the son of Michael Allen is a PPRuNe member. And the son of the pilot in that book is a very good chum of mine and has been for the last 30 years . . .

jf
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Old 20th Apr 2008, 16:59
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The Tunnels of Cu Chi by Tom Mangold & John Pennycate ISBN 030436715

200 miles of tunnels around Saigon that not only enabled the Viet Cong to move about undetected but also contained hospitals, training facilities and living quarters. This is the story of the Tunnel Rats, the GIs who fought the VC underground, usually in the pitch dark, and their adversaries, the Vietnamese who saw the US as an invader propping up a corrupt regime.


A fascinating read that doesn't need any dramatic licence to convey both the tactical problem it posed and the claustrophobic terror in overcoming it.
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Old 20th Apr 2008, 17:06
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as a point of interest, the son of Michael Allen is a PPRuNe member. And the son of the pilot in that book is a very good chum of mine and has been for the last 30 years . . .
And it is quite a point.

Allen's book, along with C.F. Rawnsley and Bob Wright's "Night Fighter" about the evolution of night fighting in WWII - Rawnsley was the R/O to John Cunnigham - is one of the best of the many I've read on the subject and one I cited in my bibliography for a US night fighter squadron work.
 
Old 20th Apr 2008, 18:28
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Trash fiction, although someone may remember

Hi all,

I'm wondering of anyone can point me at the title of a nice trashy
piece of fiction I read many years ago.

Set in Germany (just outside Berlin IIRC) NATO mission
with a couple of fast drivers who's job it was to fast pick
up any pilots shot down / tech downed over East Germany.

I can remember bits of the story but not too much more.

Oh and in addition to my above recommendations

Golgotha by John Gardner (Alternative history)

Any help appreciated

Thanks

DaveA
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Old 20th Apr 2008, 18:44
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'Feet Wet' Gillchrist
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Old 20th Apr 2008, 18:48
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Concur. I thoroughly recommend.

When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot Over North Vietnam by Ed Rasimus.

Cheers

TJ
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Old 20th Apr 2008, 18:50
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Not Vietnam, and not of the air, but excellent reading is Knife Edge: Life as a Special Forces Surgeon by Richard N. Villar. Served with the SAS, now a GP

sw
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Old 21st Apr 2008, 09:47
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Diver Dave,

I think the book you are referring to is "Recovery" by Stephen Thompson.

A team from the US equivalent of BRIXMIS has to recover the "Jesus Box" from a downed A-10 forced over the Border by Migs. Not a bad read, I always thought it would have made a cracking film. Sadly my copy was loaned out and never returned.

There was at least one sequel featuring the same characters.

Also a good read is " Dragon Jet" by David Axton, about an armed and EW-equiped DH-125.

Edited to add ISBN: STEVEN L. THOMPSON Recovery
Harlequin Books. (ISBN: 9780373970797)

Last edited by Cpt_Pugwash; 21st Apr 2008 at 10:12.
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Old 21st Apr 2008, 11:27
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Have to second the recommendation for Mark Berent - Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Eagle Station - all cracking reads - unusually, Berent writes well about Ground Ops as well as flying.
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 10:07
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'Feet Wet' by Rear Adm Paul T Gillchrist USN

(whats with their initials - USN so big there's another Adm P Gillchrist?!)

He had his first carrier landing in 1953 and last in 1980, flew F8, F4, F14 and others. Not strictly Vietnam although some chapters are definatly... a very enjoyable read (ever aborted LL whilst battling with a reptile in the cockpit? ) ...but also poinient as 25+ years of aviation will sadly always be.

ISBN 1 85310 191 5


EDIT: appologies, its given above! (although -ve ISBN)
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 10:20
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Diver_Dave,

Have you read the non-fiction story of that time?

BRIXMIS by Tony Geraty (cant remember spelling of surname but well known)

er..... and another book on the same subject with similar name!

Tony's book is a collection of stories from accross BRIXMIS (he was never there although it is an excellent book) and the 'other book' was written IIRC by an ex-BRIXMIS member. (the other book was in RMCS library several years ago, black hardback, gold writting... there that helps!)

Sneaking into Soviet tank sheds during May day celebrations; measuring the caliber of a BMP with a half eaten apple; getting chased by the Stasi down a wooded track flat out - in reverse - to escape accross the fields in a G-wagon.... Amazing read, backed up with phots... and I bumped into an ex member at an MT section a while ago - photo of a rally car on the wall..? no its got Mission plates! You were in BRIXMIS then? a gleaming bloke.
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 10:52
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I've just finished "Flights into History" by Ian McLachlan. It gives an insight into the work of aviation archaeologists but by far the best bits are the descriptions of how young men behaved in conditions of extreme peril both in the air and on the ground.

Particularly good is a long section written by a 49 Squadron navigator who was captured after his Lancaster was shot down over Dusseldorf. He described his story as a line-shoot. Not so.
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 11:35
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Having seen this obituary in today's Torygraph, I've found a secondhand copy of Paddy Barthropp's autobiog (with the help of a South American river .....) which ought to be good.

Loved the bit in the obit about his repatriation as a Kriege after VE day - nicked a Mercedes fire engine and drove from Lubeck to Brussels - including an overnight stop in Hamburg where he and his companion enjoyed the favours of two frauleins ..... in exchange for a tin of corned beef .....

....... wonder what he's have thought of today's RAF ........
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 12:15
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[/quote]The Tunnels of Cu Chi[/quote]

I forgot this one... Brilliant... An awful way to make a living...
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 14:21
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A bit off thread but ...

... speaking of BRIXMIS, the Cosford Museum has got one of their cars in their Cold war exhibition. It's the Opel equivalent of a Vectra (I think), but 4WD, hot engine, IR headlights and all sorts of Gucci stuff. They've put it next to a Trabby to make it feel at home!

Well worth a visit ..... and so is the rest of the Museum of course...
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 21:19
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Recovery

Thanks

Capt Pugwash,

That's the one!

Tried Googling various combinations of the bits I could
remember but never had any luck before.

Something Witty.

I had NO idea. (I'm only an ex blanket stacker so why should I know! Cue
various jokes, assorted insults etc...)

That's gone on my reading list as soon as I can find a copy.

IIRC from the early-mid 80's I remember a serious diplomatic
incident with an American Major (I think), from some mission in
East Germany getting shot whilst inside an airbase (recollection
shaky here, please flame gently). 'm guessing it's kind of the same thing but
gone very wrong.

Thanks very very much.

In regards to the Mark Berent books I can't read the bit at the 'O' club with 'Hostletters Holocaust' (Eagle Station I think) without crying with laughter
every time.

That said, they're a very good mixture of sweet and sour.

Regards to all.

DaveA
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Old 27th Apr 2008, 18:29
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Diver_Dave

Re: " IIRC from the early-mid 80's I remember a serious diplomatic
incident with an American Major (I think), from some mission in
East Germany getting shot whilst inside an airbase (recollection
shaky here, please flame gently). 'm guessing it's kind of the same thing but
gone very wrong."

Maj. Arthur Nicholson, 24th March 1985, Ludwigslust TZ - tank firing range. Nicholson had been out of the vehicle photographing posters inside one of the buildings. His NCO spotted a figure in the nearby woodland aiming a weapon at Nicholson & warned him to come back to the car. Nicholson was shot from the treeline as he returned to the vehicle.
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Old 27th Apr 2008, 23:21
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... speaking of BRIXMIS
Ah, those were the days, when we had a decent enemy to fight..........
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