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Summary

Former Tornado Navigator John Nichol tells the incredible story of the RAF Tornado force during the First Gulf War in 1991; the excitement and the danger, the fear and the losses. It is an extraordinary account of courage and fortitude.

We were doing about 620 miles-per-hour, 200 feet above the desert, in total darkness. Everything was running on rails as we approached the target. Then all hell broke loose. I remember the missile being fired at us; I broke left and shouted, “Chaff!”

All I could see was a flame, like a very large firework, coming towards me. Then there was a huge white flash. I remember an enormous wind and then I was knocked unconscious. My last thoughts were that I was going to die.’

In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighbouring Kuwait, setting in motion a chain of events that had unimaginable political, military and personal repercussions, which still reverberate around the globe today.

This is the story of the aircrew at the heart of Operation Desert Storm, almost none of whom had any prior experience of armed combat. It is the story of the Tornado’s missions, of those who did not return - and of the families who watched and waited as one of the most complex conflicts in recent history unfolded live on television. It is a story of untold fear and suffering, and astounding courage in the face of hitherto unimaginable adversity.

©2021 John Nichol (P)2021 Simon & Schuster UK

What listeners say about Tornado

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What a book!

I am a little biased because I served with a number of the gentlemen featured in this book as groundcrew on Tornado during the 1980’s. I have followed their escapades during the Gulf War but have for the first time heard their families side of the story! Truly humbled about what they went through and overcame!! My only criticism is that the squadron numbers were said as separate numbers instead of the correct 15 or 27 for example!! As in the previous Lancaster book the sound of the crews audio and engine noises gives it a further lift!! Nice touch!!
Would recommend this to anyone who has read/heard Tornado Down!! This is more Tornado Down plus!!

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Thank god for fast forward

OK. The narrating of this book IS truly awful. Its not down to the narrator. I've heard him in other books and he is wonderful in those. He's obviously been told to make the story as dramatic as it can be.
This isn't a story though. It's an account of an awful war. I can't help throughout the book that the author really has pushed the limits on making this account so dramatic.
It sometimes gives the impression that the aircrew joined the RAF just to fly fast jets and have a good time. That the last thing they all expected was to actually go to war whilst the rest of us were going about our day to day lives. The direction of the story I feel is totally wrong in this respect.
There are better accounts of the Gulf War and much better accounts of flying a fast fighter jet. (Top Gun Days for example)

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Great book

Only thing turn up the speed to 1.2 makes for a much better listen. The narrator speaks very slowly

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Speed it up.

great book, let down a bit by the narration. I highly recommend listening to it at 1.20x speed, this makes it quite palatable.

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Excellent throughout.

First class. "unputdownable" if that can be said of an Audible book. First class!

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Great!!!... Except

The story is brilliant, and the detail and length are excellent... but I nearly stopped listening very early on. The narrating is (in my opinion) terrible. Trying to put far too much expression into each word. when I don't think the writer intended it to be like that. but still... fabulous story!

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Grateful

All of us should be reminded of the service that others before us have contributed to our now privileged existence. This book does that.

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  • Mr
  • 06-06-22

Great listen

A great listen with just the right balance of technical information with the action and topped off with highly emotive passages surrounding those lost.

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Annoying narrator

Story overall is not bad but overly dramatic narration is annoying. Interesting and vivid description of torture suffered by pilots and distress of their families at home. I wish he focused more on the Tornado pilots traning and the machine itself.

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RAF family perspective

loved it. very moving and glad it gave the perspectives of the families of those who went to war in the Gulf.

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  • Ash
  • 14-07-21

Brilliant

This is really a superb book. More than just a book on the Tornado it also covers an area of personal interest, and that was the early air operations in the Gulf War. The author brilliantly interweaves the story of the aircraft and the pilots who flew it along with the families who experienced it in a very different way. The narrator who I believe has narrated the authors other books was very easy to listen to, although for me personally I had the speed at x1.1 as I preferred the pace and delivery at that speed. Was very sad when I came to the end of this book. Highly recommended !!!