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Len Deighton's masterpiece

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Richard Wood17/04/2012 08:51:08
1086 forum posts
164 photos

'Bomber' covers a Lancaster raid over the Ruhr in 1943.

Although it's fiction, Deighton's thorough research into his

subject gives it real authenticity.

Events in Britain & Germany are covered over a 24 hour period

and Deighton's detailed, lucid style communicates the hard

reality of an air raid from both perspectives.

The breakdown of a pilot  approaching the end of a tour

is poignantly described.

Written over 40 years ago, it's still highly recommended reading.



Edited By Richard Wood on 17/04/2012 08:51:57

Edited By Richard Wood on 17/04/2012 08:52:16

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator17/04/2012 17:50:44
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

Yes, its an excellent read - I'd recommend it too. Also worth reading is the partner book "Fighter". This was a very different book to "Bommber" as it wasn't fiction - it is actually an analysis of the Battle of Britian. Deighton's thorough research - which Richard mentions above - is obvious throughout and his skills as a novelist means he presents the history in a very easy to read style.

Both of these are good reads for different reasons. Bomber a work of fiction, a damn good novel. Fighter a historical account very well written and researched.


Tom Sharp 217/04/2012 20:14:59
3512 forum posts
18 photos

I second what BEB says. Both are excellent books.

Richard Wood18/04/2012 09:52:37
1086 forum posts
164 photos

Another Deighton book of interest is 'Goodbye Mickey Mouse'.

Based on an American P51 squadron stationed in England in 1944.

Deighton spent six years researching this fictional work & it's evident

in the sheer detail & knowledge of the P51 he conveys in the book and

the very convincing evocation of an American WW2 air base in England

and life in Britain in 1944.

Deighton's 'Blitzkrieg' is interesting too - a fascinating factual account

of the German army in WW2.

Roger in Dubai09/05/2012 14:08:30
148 forum posts
13 photos

Gets the thumbs up from me. Very good book with lots of detail, so much so that you actually feel part of the crew on board the aircraft.

Edited By Roger in Dubai on 09/05/2012 14:10:10

Tom Sharp 209/05/2012 18:35:36
3512 forum posts
18 photos

Is it on Kindle?

Spice Cat09/05/2012 20:02:40
1304 forum posts
129 photos

Bomber was made into an audio book narrated by Tom Baker. I used to listen to it in the car and it was a very moving account narrated by an actor with a perfect voice for the job.

Richard Wood10/05/2012 07:39:32
1086 forum posts
164 photos

Yes, Bomber is available on Kindle from Amazon.

Mike Rolls10/05/2012 08:29:20
500 forum posts
22 photos

Bomber and Goodbye Micky Mouse I thoroughly enjoyed. Fighter was a decent historical analysis, but one thing I found odd - he claimed that the turning radiius of the Bf109 was superior to that of the Hurricane and Spitfire because of its smaller wingspan. Not so..


Mike Rolls10/05/2012 08:30:34
500 forum posts
22 photos

Oh, and in Goodbye Micky Mouse he inferred that the USAAF preferred the P-51 to the P-47because it was cheaper.


Richard Wood10/05/2012 10:55:40
1086 forum posts
164 photos

Apparently many pilots preferred the P47 to the P51 for quite a few reasons -

better armament, stronger construction etc ,but the P51 was a lot cheaper

& possibly had better range for bomber escort missions.

ERIC CLAPHAM17/10/2012 11:23:53
71 forum posts
5 photos

Dare I put Tom Clancy's " Fighter Wing " forward for yet another good read . Another very well researched book on the USAF fighter wing . His military books also include a nuclear sub. issue called -funnily enough- "Submarine " and another of the the Armoured Cavalry regiment - " Armoured Warfare." These books are not fiction. All three are good reads if you are of a military bent . E.C.

buster prop17/10/2012 14:32:21
464 forum posts
9 photos

I've read Bomber and Goodbye Mickey Mouse, both excellent. Another book which I recommend is 'First LIght' by Geoffrey Wellum. Wellum was a Spitfire pilot who joined the RAF just before WW2 broke out. His (autobiographical) book describes initial training, flying Tiger Moths then Harvards and going on to a Spitfire squadron. He flew in the Battle of Britain, patrols over France and later in the book, Malta. All well written and completely absorbing. It is on Kindle, that's where I read it.

John Cole17/10/2012 14:55:21
615 forum posts
24 photos
Posted by Mike Rolls on 10/05/2012 08:29:20:

Fighter was a decent historical analysis, but one thing I found odd - he claimed that the turning radiius of the Bf109 was superior to that of the Hurricane and Spitfire because of its smaller wingspan. Not so..


No he doesn't. He shows a diagram of the theoretical turning circle in a vertical bank at 300 mph and 10,000 feet for the 3 aircraft at half-fuel weight, and shows the Bf109E has a smaller radius than the Hurricane 1 and Spitfire 1. He adds "Note the way in which neither wingspan nor wing-loading is decisive in the matter of the tightest turning circle" .

It's worth noting that all 3 aircraft would be at 7 g or above in those conditions; not practical for an extended turn in those days with no G-suits. The 109 would be at 8.1 g, so its "advantage" is essentially theoretical.

Blitzkreig is another of his historical works, and there's Blood, Tears and Folly. He was co-author of Airshipwreck.

John Hickson17/10/2012 15:52:45
222 forum posts
1 photos

Nice one, downloading the audio book now

Simon Chaddock17/10/2012 16:39:59
5435 forum posts
2847 photos


None of those fighters could sustain such a high g turn for long as they would loose speed very rapidly.

The lower wing loading of both the Hurricane and Spifire would allow them to achieve a smaller turn radius than the Bf109 at a slower speed, particulalry close to the stall, and was indeed used as a means of escaping from a 'tail chase'.

John Cole17/10/2012 17:17:14
615 forum posts
24 photos

Simon: I was not really commenting on the performance of the 3 fighters. I was pointing out that Len Deighton had been mis-quoted. .And noting that his comparison was not of a sustainable comparison. With which you seem to agree.

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