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Summary

"The flak started about four or five minutes before the target and immediately it was apparent that it was intense and extremely accurate. Oboe entailed the pilot flying dead straight and level for ten minutes on the attack run. Suddenly a tremendous flash lit up the sky about 50 yards ahead of our nose and exactly at our altitude. Within a tenth of a second, we were through the cloud of dirty yellowish-brown smoke and into the blackness beyond. I shall never forget the spontaneous reaction of both my pilot and myself. We turned our heads slowly and looked long and deep into one another's eyes-no word was spoken-no words were needed."

The Mosquito was probably World War II's most versatile combat aircraft. This book contains hundreds of firsthand accounts from many of the two-man crews who flew in them; pilots and navigators. It portrays the dramatic experiences of flying in its many roles as pathfinder, night fighter, reconnaissance aircraft, precision bombing, and low-level ground attack aircraft. It describes many of the RAF's most audacious raids on prime but difficult targets where carpet bombing by heavy bombers was likely to be ineffective and cause unnecessary casualties to civilians. It is a remarkable record of the aircraft and the men that flew them.

©2010 Martin W. Bowman (P)2019 Tantor

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Boring,boring, boring!

This is the most boring book I've had the misfortune to encounter! It's just a catalogue names,decorations, destination and results .

10 people found this helpful

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Has its merits and moments, but need abridging

If you're a Mosquito aficionado you'll probably enjoy this book. An earlier review criticised it for being a list of data of operational records and whilst the criticism is valid, there are some excellent stories as well. The narrator is faultless and easy to listen to, but it's essentially a collection of fascinating anecdotes loosely chaptered with rather an overload of full names and exact dates. As a physical reference book with stories it wouldn't be a problem, but the content is not ideal for audio without a re-edit.
Overall I enjoyed it for the priceless anecdotes and stuck with it. I felt the first few hours were a bit heavy but it got better as it progressed, no doubt the author was tiring of the overbearing detail himself?
I found the book gave a great impression of the way in which operations were conducted and at times you got vivid clarity of how guys bailed out, info on a myriad of engine failures, as well as the more mundane but still fascinating aspects of life on a Mosquito Sqn. I enjoyed the anecdote about dropping newspapers to bases in newly liberated Europe and the exploding beer barrel.
Sadly there are many areas of Mosquito operations that are missing. There's no mention of the Tsetse Mosquito or the rocket firing aircraft that followed it. Neither is there a mention of highball and it's development, which would have made a fascinating story. More detail on the development and construction of the aircraft would have worked well too. The book could do with a re-write and additional material spliced in. With a bit of tinkering it could become a highly regarded work.

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No drama here, just statistics. So disappointed.

if youre into stats and repetition its for you. i gave up after three chapters.

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very informative

a very informative piece which highlights a part of ww2 history I was unaware of. It comments on the continued bombing of the UK cities by the Germans post the 1940s blitz campaign and their interception by the wooden wonder. It also mentions about the interception of German bombers destine for the Normandy landing beaches, weeks after the landing. A lot of interesting information, previously unknown. The material would make a good TV documentary.

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OK if you like listening to lists

Unfortunately not what was expected judging by the title, just a narrator reading missions reports presumably from what seemed to be Mosquito squadron diaries. Frankly very tedious and quite boring.

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So boring

I thought this book was about aircrews real life stories or extracts from diaries. It’s not , it’s a monologue of events & is extremely boring.

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Highly informative book

Great book offering detailed information regarding the plane and crews that flew. Whilst not a storybook, it describes in detail the planes history and details the crews own insight into its performance. Highlighting in detail its varied operational history and impact during the operational life.

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Good book, but.....

Slightly disappointing. I'm sure the book will make excellent reference material but for me, there was too much squadron/pilot detail (including Luftwaffe) and not enough tales of the pilots' experiences. Experiences which were there were excellent. Maybe I was expecting to much having just read John Nichol's Lancaster and Spitfire. Glad I bought it, but won't rush to listen again

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Profile Image for Caroline P. Usher
  • Caroline P. Usher
  • 15-03-22

Bo-ring

nothing but a recitation of Mosquito operations, naming the crew, the target, the bomb load or the type of markers, and the result. no explanation of the aircraft's origin, design, manufacture, the features that made it such a strong performer. when the book lists a series of markedly unsuccessful raids, there is no effort to explain why. the occasional quote from a crewman's report is interesting, but rare enough that it cannot sustain interest.