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Petey78
03-28-2005, 04:36 PM
While we're all twiddling our thumbs waiting for the patch I thought I'd ask the question: What's your favourite aviation book and why? No reason other than the cupboard's bare right now and I can't get to sleep without something to read! Incidentally, the best I've read recently is 'Fate is the Hunter' by Ernest K. Gann, the true story of an airline/cargo pilot flying in the thirties and forties, no aces, no air battles, just a d**ned good read about pilots, airmanship and luck. Unmissable, spine tingling prose from start to finish.

Petey78
03-28-2005, 04:36 PM
While we're all twiddling our thumbs waiting for the patch I thought I'd ask the question: What's your favourite aviation book and why? No reason other than the cupboard's bare right now and I can't get to sleep without something to read! Incidentally, the best I've read recently is 'Fate is the Hunter' by Ernest K. Gann, the true story of an airline/cargo pilot flying in the thirties and forties, no aces, no air battles, just a d**ned good read about pilots, airmanship and luck. Unmissable, spine tingling prose from start to finish.

blakduk
03-28-2005, 05:21 PM
One of my favourites was 'First to the Last' by Adolf Galland. It gave some good insights into the conflict from the Luftwaffe perspective, especially from a guy who was your typical 'glamour' flyboy who found himself promoted out of the frontline. He was involved from the very early days of the secretly reborn German airforce to the bitter end in '45. It has good anecdotes but is a little dry in literary style.

Capt.LoneRanger
03-28-2005, 06:04 PM
Final Flight - Stephen Coonts

on the documentary side:
Aircraft of the Aces - Legends of World War II

Arms1
03-28-2005, 07:06 PM
"Terror In The Starboard Seat" by Dave McIntosh, a personal account of flight ops by a canadian mossie navigator and his volunteer american pilot, an absolutely fantastic first person account of mossie ops by two decorated heroes; this book is very well written and is my all time favorite read, i have read it twice now and will again sometime. McIntosh wrote this himself without a ghost writer and i gaurantee you will not be able to put it down. hint...nothing like dropping down into the landing cicuit of a german night fighter field and wreaking havoc,(this is not thier most daring exploit but just one of many) read this book , you will be glad you did

PBNA-Boosher
03-28-2005, 07:09 PM
A Dance With Death, by Anne Noggle

Jambock_Dolfo
03-28-2005, 07:19 PM
"The Big Show" - Pierre Clostermann, the recent reedition, complete and unabridged. Can't beat it.

p1ngu666
03-28-2005, 07:27 PM
i got a 3 part book
guy gibson enemy coast ahead, the last enemy (amazingly well written), and douglas bader story http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

other one, mosquitopanik! is good too, lots of accounts of mossie ops http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

got one on kamikaze's which is also a good read http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Arms1
03-28-2005, 07:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by p1ngu666:
i got a 3 part book
guy gibson enemy coast ahead, the last enemy (amazingly well written), and douglas bader story http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

other one, mosquitopanik! is good too, lots of accounts of mossie ops http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

got one on kamikaze's which is also a good read http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

the guy gibson book sounds interesting! if you are into historical fiction the "Flashman" series of books by George MacDonald Fraser are tremendously funny as well as historically accurate

3.JG51_BigBear
03-28-2005, 08:13 PM
JG 26 Top Guns of the Luftwaffe by Donald Caldwell. Not the most riviting book written on the subject because of the relatively slow pace but its about my favorite German fighter unit and it tracks the day to day life of professional airmen in a tightly knit fighter unit. Its fascinating to me to see the Luftwaffe emerging, pilots gaining skill during the Spanish civil war and the Blitz. The process of natural selection of the Battle of Britain as the Luftwaffe pilots are tested under fire and the emergence of the most skilled and professional aerial fighting force in the world. Then you get an up close and personal look at the fight for survival as Luftwaffe pilots take on the ever growing Allied bomber formations, the shuffling of skilled units and combat leaders to hotspots and the attrition that would eventually be the end of the Luftwaffe. The part of the book that describe the last months of the war are probably the most interesting because of the almost total domination of the skies over Europe by Allied fighter units. Its really an interesting read.

wayno7777
03-28-2005, 09:08 PM
Just found Zemke's Wolfpack in a used paperback store. Finished it in three sittings. Pretty good. There's a Stephen Coonts compilation called War in the Air. He takes excerpts from 24 books. From WW1 to 'Nam. Very good.

-HH- Beebop
03-28-2005, 09:24 PM
Currently reading "A Good Clean Fight" by Derek Robinson, author of "A Piece Of Cake".

A classic Derek Robinson story: three groups of men converge for a final battle in the western desert during World War II. An SAS patrol travels through the Sahara to attack a German airbase hundreds of miles behind the lines; a German intelligence officer, with a personal grudge to settle, plans to play the SAS at their own game. And our old friends from Hornet Squadron (A PIECE OF CAKE) are overhead - only just - now committed to suicidal ground-attack missions to satisfy their commander's determination to keep his job.
(Review from Orion Books)

An excellent read about the North African Campaign. Made me think twice about making more than one pass when strafing ground targets.

Anyone read "D-a-m-n-e-d Good Show" by him?
(don't you just love censorship?)

vocatx
03-28-2005, 09:46 PM
I've probably read hundreds of aviation books over the years, including some mentioned above, but my all time favorite is "Reach For The Sky" by Paul Brickhill. This is the biography of Douglas Bader written in 1954. My edition is a Bantam War Book printed July 1978. Lots of good flying stories in it, but what is really impressive is the account of his recovering from the crash in his Bulldog (I think) and his fight to get back in the RAF. Also the stories of badgering the Germans as a POW.

blakduk
03-28-2005, 10:08 PM
I always remember the story a great-uncle told me of Douglas Bader. Undoubtadly a brave man but notorious for losing wingmen. The allied airmen who were incarcerated with him (my great uncle among them) apparently found him to be a pain in the a**e.

davido53
03-28-2005, 10:09 PM
Fate is the Hunter

by Ernest Gann

Petey78
03-29-2005, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the responses guys, I'll definitely look out for some of the books mentioned above, I've read 'Reach For The Skies' and have 'Enemy Coast Ahead' (Guy Gibson) sitting on my shelf in the next room, I concur, excellent reads, both! Interestingly, both Gibson and Bader were rumoured to have been difficult personalities to get along with and some with somewhat extreme views like to speculate that Gibson's Mossie had been sabotaged by RAF ground crew prior to his final mission which resulted in his fatal crash. Personally, I don't subscribe to the theory! After posting this topic last night I remembered another very interesting read that I think is worth recommending: "German Air Attache" by Martin Simons (ISBN 1-85310-879-0) which charts the wartime career of Peter Riedel - German Air Attache in Washington DC. As an engineer, a champion glider pilot and airline pilot in South America, he was tasked with analysing the American capacity to gear up for wartime aircraft mass production from 1939 until the outbreak of hostilities in 1941 when he returned to Germany. The book was written using Riedel's own words and memoirs and gives a real insight into some of the reasons that Germany lost the war and how the Nazi leadership chose to ignore his advice at great expense to themselves. Riedel was not a member of the Nazi party and came close to falling foul of the authourities on many turns. He was also a great friend of Ernst Udet and Hanna Reitsch and describes the heady days of German gliding and display flying prior to the war. It really is a fascinating read from start to finish.

Slickun
03-29-2005, 10:34 AM
"One Day in a Long War" by Jeffrey Ethell and Albert Price. It's about the ONE day in the Viet-Nam war that had the most air to air combat. Includes an absolutely riveting account of Randy Cunningham's epic dogfight with an unknown NVAF pilot in a Mig-17. It includes in depth looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the planes and men involved.

Like all the Ethell and Price books, a gem. If you see any of the books by those two, get them. Off the top of my head they also wrote, "Air War, South Atlantic" about the Falklands air war, and a book about the second Berlin Raid by the 8th AF. Can't remember the exact title.

Best fiction is a book called "The Last Tally-Ho" about some US pilots flying Hellcats in the pacific. Can't remember the Author.

SkyChimp
03-29-2005, 10:39 AM
To Win The Winter Sky

Six Months to Oblivion

The First Team and The The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign

Bloody Shambles volumes 1 and 2.

CowboyTodd41
03-29-2005, 10:44 AM
I'm with Davido, Fate is the Hunter is probably the best book about what it means to be a pilot ever written. The way Earnest K. Gann can make something as seemingly boring as riding shotgun in a DC-2 on a mail route seem ten times more intense than any dogfight is truly amazing. If you've never read it, I highly recomend you do so.

boxduty
03-29-2005, 11:55 AM
'Bomber' by Len Deighton is good, as is anything by Derek Robinson...

Slickun
03-29-2005, 01:35 PM
"Bomber" IS outstanding. But..stay away from "Goodbye Mickey Mouse" by Deighton. Sure it's about Mustangs, but mostly it's a character development book with very little air to air fighting.

BuzzU
03-29-2005, 01:40 PM
Playboy works for me.

FoolTrottel
03-29-2005, 02:46 PM
Winged Victory by V.M. Yeates, WWI air combat, Sopwith Camel. (Some reviews) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/090767545X/104-0879614-2095128?%5Fencoding=UTF8)
(If I'm not mistaken, but I very well might be, this book was read by British pilots in 1939/40 a lot....)

And/or
Angriffshoehe 4000 (http://www.warbirdforum.com/bekker.htm) (Or 'The Luftwaffe Diaries')

Have Fun!

Secudus2004
03-29-2005, 02:56 PM
Tail End €" Charlies
The Last Battles of the Bomber War 1944 €" 45
John Nichol & Tony Rennell

And read what it was really like€¦ For our Forgotten Hero€s

Merlin Power
The Growl Behind Air Power in World War II
Victor Bingham

See the Winners and the losers that had them!

What were they like to Fly?
Squadron Leader D.H.Clarke, D.F.C., A.F.C.

Enlightening, funny and informative

Wings of the Weird & Wonderful Vol€s 1 & 2
Capt. Eric Brown

Stirling Wings.
The Short Stirling goes to War
Jonathan Falconer

Halifax
An Illustrated History of a Classic World War II Bomber
K.A.Merrick

Halifax
Second to None
Victor Bingham

Clipped Wings
Ian & Ralph Ormes

Jane€s
Fighting Aircraft of World War II

Regards

Secudus

horseback
03-29-2005, 04:38 PM
My all-time favorite is 1000 Destroyed-The Life and Times of the Fourth Fighter Group in world War Two. Written by the Public Affairs Officer of the 4th FG shortly after his return to civilian life, it is full of funny quotes, a good picture of the life of an escort group in England, and the personalities who made the group effective.

cheers

horseback

Slickun
03-29-2005, 04:45 PM
1000 destroyed is available online. Just do a google search "1000 Destroyed". Good luck finding one anywhere else.

It is an outstanding book, written shortly after the war, so you get a period perspective.

blakduk
03-29-2005, 06:40 PM
'Bomber' by Len Deighton is an awesome read- its fiction but very well researched.
The movie 'Memphis Belle' was originally going to be based on this book but the cost was too prohibitive. Shame, because that movie sucked!

Stork
03-30-2005, 06:44 AM
"Whip" by Martin Caiden. Its a novel about B-25 skip bombers in New Guinea. He wrote scores of non-fiction aviation titles so really knows his stuff. Along the same lines check out "we band of brothers" a non-fiction account of skip bombers in the pacific. The best work to give the feel of the terror of air combat. In those gun heavy planes if they lose one engine they did't get home.

TugZooey
03-30-2005, 09:01 AM
I haven't read many, but Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is an excellent book, even if you're not into aviation.

BTW they found, IIRC, Saint-Exupery's P-38 a year or two ago.

Edit: I think they found the plane in the 80s, they found his bracelet a few years ago.

vocatx
03-30-2005, 07:20 PM
If you are interested in novels, there is a four book series by Frederick E. Smith called 633 Squadron. The stories were based loosely on the Dam Busters. Some really well developed story lines and characters.

The.Tyke
03-31-2005, 01:01 AM
Having just read reviews on most of these books so far mentioned, I'm going to order Winged Victory by VM Yeates.
I've not read a WW1 airwar book yet and this one seems to get the full 5 stars from everybody that has read it.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1904010652/qid=1112256264/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/103-0342627-5249423