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Enemy Coast Ahead [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Guy Gibson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

First published in 1944, Guy Gibson's Enemy Coast Ahead quickly became regarded as the classic Bomber Command book, following Gibson's RAF career from flying the Hampden and Manchester at the beginning of WWII to the triumphant return home of the Lancasters from the famous 1943 Dambuster raid which Gibson led and for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Enemy Coast Ahead is also the inside story of life in Bomber Command throughout the first five years of WW2, culminating in breath-holding drama as the RAF planned, practiced and strove towards breaching the dams on that famous night in May 1943.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books; Lrg edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753197901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753197905
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 16 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,419,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


`I dedicate this book to the boys who have not been so lucky...'
If this book doesn't stir the senses and inspire patriotism, nothing will, being Wing Commander Guy Gibson, VC's own personal account of his wartime flying, including the attack on the Ruhr dams which earned him the Victoria Cross...
`The smell of burnt cordite. The cold sweat beneath my oxygen mask. The closeness of the dam wall... We saw the tremendous earthquake which shook the base of the dam, and then, as if a gigantic hand had punched a hole through cardboard, the whole thing collapsed.'
--Best of British Magazine - December 2011 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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THE moon was full; everywhere its pleasant, watery haze spread over the peaceful English countryside, rendering it colourless. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw Courage 5 Jun 2005
As an avid reader of first hand combat accounts I have to place this book at the very top of the pile. Gibson's book is simply stunning.
The immense power of this book lies in the story of unbelievable courage shown by the men of bomber command. Gibson takes us through the early days of the war, the tragic waste of the skilled aircrews thrown away in obsolete planes and flawed tactics, the tremendous spirit shown by these young men in the face of almost inevitable death and the deep sadness of seeing their comrades lost with such regularity.
After defying the odds and completing one tour of duty, Gibson transfers to night fighters rather than resting, before going back for another tour on 'heavies' and eventually forming and leading the elite 617 squadron on the famous Dams raid.
Yes it is jingoistic, yes it is bullish, what else could it be from a warrior and leader of this nature? Indeed, it is these traits that give us great insight into the prevailing feelings and attitudes of the men involved that make first hand accounts so valuable in our assessment of history. We should be thankful that this document encapsulating the spirit of the aircrew was written by one of their greatest leaders before he too gave his life to the cause.
Technical details are necessarily censored from a book written at the height of the hostilities but this in no way detracts. Those interested can easily fill in the blanks through reading books such as Max Hastings' 'Bomber Command' or Paul Brickhill's 'Dam Busters'.
After reading this book maybe a dozen times over the last 35 years, I recommend it unreservedly to all.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory Reading 4 April 2000
By A Customer
The book, although written in 1944 and therefore a bit bullish, nonetheless gives a sobering account of bomber command from the first day of the war - when the pilots didn't even know if the planes would get off the ground with a full bomb load - to the Dambusters raid.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I think Gibson gives a very interesting view of what it was like to be a pilot in bomber command. He is best known as the leader of operation chastise: the dambusters. Although the content is clearly edited and censored for sensitive material and secret weapons (radar) I found it a gripping tale and the jargon and WWII expressions add to the atmosphere of the book. The memory of these brave men is well served by this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I read this book years ago,possibly when I was still at school. I thouroughly enjoyed it then and want to read it again. The story is cencored due to the fact it was written in war time, so some information is not readily available. However, this is a book worth reading. It gives you an insight into the perils and dangers experienced by men in the RAF. It's worth a read...have a go. You'll enjoy it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I think the title of this review says it all. Guy Gibson is my great uncle, on my mother's side of the family. I am very proud to have such a man in my blood-line and have read this book many times. I am glad people have found this book interesting, but am saddened when speaking to so many people who have never heard of the name "Guy Gibson" and what he, and so many others, did for our country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars untarnished truth 2 Dec 2009
This is one of the most important books about the Second World War because it was written during the war and so is not a sanitised version written with hindsight, and attempts to paper over the cracks in the aftermath.
The author describes the life in Bomber Command as it was, where men were not heroes, just men doing their 'jobs', which were among the most important 'jobs' of all time.
He is modest about his extraordinary exploits of which only some are described here.
I am awed by the quality of the men he describes who journeyed with him into danger and death, with their outstanding bonds of comradeship and honour.
The author died in the later part of the war in a Pathfinder Mosquito which crashed because the fuel selection controls were mis-rigged, so in the end the enemy never got him.
People said of him that he would never have settled into peacetime, but I have flown with many ex Bomber Command pilots and I am convinced that Guy Gibson would have made the transition, if he had been given the chance.
Of course I have undying gratitude to Wing Commander Gibson and his crews because I have the privilege of writing this review in English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enemy Coast Ahead - Guy Gibson 3 Sep 2010
I first read this book in the 60's and always considered it to be one of the best to come out of world-war 2. A few months ago I decided to buy this reprint and must say with regret that I have never before read a book with so many printing errors and mistakes. Apart from the many incorrect spellings, the grammatical mistakes sometimes needed two or three readings of the same sentence before the sense became clear. Mistakes in some technical words and phrases would make them incomprehensible for anyone not already well versed, as I am, in aircraft handling. I can't imagine what sort of person did the proof reading. If you want to buy Enemy Coast Ahead, don't buy this version of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Review 7 Nov 2009
Everything was perfect.
I received the book in time. The quality is very good.
Thank you.
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