Holiday Reading

So between the exams I’ve been reading my way through a bunch of books and as it’s that time of the year when you might have some time off, here’s the stuff I’ve been getting through lately.

The Dam Busters:  Race to Smash the Dams

Dam Busters Race to Smash The Dams 1943

Race to Smash The Dams 1943

I got this for a birthday present some months back, it’s a pretty thick book and first impressions: ‘How are you going to fill all those pages?’.  Start reading and you will find it hard to put down.

The bulk of the book is actually not about the raid, but the actual race to make it happen and bring together the million cogs that would make the machine work in a handful of weeks.  That gives it a sense of pace, but the truly gripping part is the detail provided to the crews themselves.  Excerpts from letters from crews to wives & girlfriends, dates of arrival, entries in log books.   There can be no spoilers in a story this well known, but I bet you’ll read it and still hit the pages of John Hopgood crashing and feel a sense of loss that the movie doesn’t come close to.

I can honestly say I read this faster then most books that find there way on to my desk.

A good book leads you on to another and in this case, this book sent me off wanting to read the book authored by the squadron leader Guy Gibson.

Enemy Coast Ahead

Enemy Coast Ahead Book Cover

Enemy Coast Ahead

The ‘once more into the breach’ stuff of most war books is one thing, but the raw statistics on Guy Gibson combined with the background you get from reading the book above, certainly left me feeling a need to read a bit more.   So this book was straight on the wishlist and I’ve just started reading it.

First impressions were two fold:   The opening pages hit you like a revelation, the preface from Sir Arthur Harris is almost worth the cover price alone.

The pages that follow from Guy hit you like you’re reading a transcript from a Formula 1 legends’ interview, in the sense that right from the off it’s a humble “there’s more than me, without the ground crew I am nothing….”.    If you accept that the fastest race car drivers are fast because of absolute blind faith that the car won’t break, then there’s some mileage in the cross-reference that perhaps Guy had absolute faith in the job his ground crew had done before every trip.

Anyway this is the book I’m currently reading and it’s not disappointing so far.

Hope all who come across this blog are having a great Christmas / Festive Holiday break.

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