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The Crew

Narrated by: Peter McGovern
Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: History, Military
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Summary

The Crew recounts the intimate, personal testimonies of Wing Commander Ken Cook, who served as Bomb Aimer with the Comans crew. The audiobook specifically follows Flying Officer Jim Comans and his crewmen from their enlistment as volunteers, through training and into operational service. The Comans crew flew 45 hazardous bombing missions - mostly deep into Germany at night - through the winter of 1943 to the summer of 1944.  

At 95, Ken Cook is the crew's last survivor. Enlisting in the RAF Bomber Command at 19, his extraordinary story brings a moving insight into the bombing campaign. His experiences, particularly during the Battle of Berlin, highlight the extreme danger each bomber crew faced. With Bomber Command's casualty rate of over 44 percent, the book describes how the airmen overcame immense physical and mental challenges to survive. There are now very few surviving RAF Bomber Command airmen from the Second World War. The Crew will be one of the final eyewitness testimonies to a momentous time in our history.

©2020 David Price (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Rather dull to be honest.

Seems to be very little original research in this book - just a rehash of other well known sources. Some glaring factual inaccuracies (assuming that the Zepplins were filled with helium and it was explosive!). The narration is not ideal - poor pronunciations and strange gaps in sentences.

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  • R
  • 31-03-20

To my friend Alfie,Tail End Charlie 41 to 46

Men who were not recognised for their bravery, for the cost they paid in the dark cold nights over Europe.
To them no cheers, no accolades, no history of the brave acts but just cruel condemnation of actions they were not privy to the planning of. They carried out the duty and many died killed over enemy territory or drowned in the North Sea without a grave their families could grieve at. The lucky ones came home and lived with the memories of their comrades who they shared those missions. This book brings these days back to those brave men who fought hours with a short life expectancy. These men forged friendships, fought and died, they went further than many fighting force did. This book reveals the story of these men and their bravery that this country only honoured long after many had passed away. The use of one crew through the process of becoming a bomber crew this book is a wonderful piece of work that exposes these men as the quitevheros we can be proud of. So well written and narrated.

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Really good

Much like the best books about modern history this one follows a group of people though there war which creates a great personal element to it while still giving context to the bigger picture meaning you understand why they are going what there doing.

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  • C
  • 21-03-20

Poor narration

An interesting story and perspective spoilt by very stilted narration. It would be worth re recording by someone whom understands the subject.

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Well researched.

A lovely and well researched book into the history of one crew of a Lancaster Bomber during WW2. Sprinkle in some very interesting history on other aircraft and story's from the German aircrew perspective and you have a very fine story.

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    2 out of 5 stars

I really struggled with this one....

I've long been a fan of this facet of RAF history, but I really struggled with this one. The story jumps about a bit too much, although it does try and shoehorn in as much of the historical backdrop before getting down to business.

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Never judge a book by its title

This book promised an insight into the life of a bomber crew and so expected to get to know the crew intimately. Unfortunately, the book felt more like a few facts from logbooks about the crew, padded out with facts about Hitler, Churchill, the German air war in russia and other campaigns. The narrator seems to try hard but lacks the authority of voice for this kind of book. I tried to stick with it to the end but failed.

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Fascinating story but poor narration

This is an enjoyable and informative book and the following of the Comans crew was a good way to tell the story.
For me the audio book was spoiled by the poor narration with its continuous mispronunciations, the narrator seems not to be a history buff, never shortening Womens Auxiliary Air Force to WAAF (Pronounced WAFF) as an example and struggles repeatedly with how to pronounce place names.

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  • Paul
  • 02-03-20

Interesting individual tales, challenged narration

There are some interesting personal stories recounted, but the author does not give much context for the training of the crew ('other' air crew spent as many weeks in training as pilots) never mentioning the Commonwealth Air Training Program, though recounting a specific US training program. The narrator has some challenges with proper-name pronunciation and acronyms; air crew fly with the "raaf" (as opposed to the R-A-A-F, or Royal Australian Air Force).

Leo McKinstry's 'Lancaster: The Second World War's Greatest Bomber' does a better job recounting the air crew roles and the huge challenge faced by crews attempting to bail out (far worse survival than the Halifax).