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Fire By Night: The Dramatic Story of One Pathfinder Crew and Black Thursday, 16 December 1943 Paperback – 19 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street (19 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906502994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906502997
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 873,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Thanks to her a forgotten tragedy has been recalled and the courage of those who flew, and those who stood and waited for their return, recognised.A" Cambridge Evening News Her research is excellent - this is a very poignant and touching story - never has this human side of war been so graphically recounted.A" RAF Historical Society Journal This book most definitely maintains the publisher's enviable reputation for well-researched works that are difficult to put down. --Flypast

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By izzy on 7 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fire By Night is an imaginative reconstruction of a disastrous episode in Bomber Command's concentrated attack on Berlin. Bomber Harris believed that the war could be won from the air and persuaded Churchill this was possible. He pursued this goal relentlessly in the face of enormous losses, ignoring the evidence provided by the failure of the blitz on London which should have warned him that indiscriminate bombing of cities was ineffective and a terrible waste of limited manpower and aircraft. Jennie Gray gives a vivid account of the daily life of the young men called up to carry out this impossible task, contrasting the comradeship and good spirits at base on the air fields with their exhausting and terrifying long flights across the North Sea to strike at the heart of Europe, taking off with the certain knowledge that at the best their chance of survival was no more than 50%. She describes in telling detail the final madness that brought this ill-considered campaign to an end, with an exceptionally large force of about 500 planes taking off in spite of the adverse weather forecast. She follows the fate of one particular aircraft, its crash landing on return in fog, and the aftermath. The writing strikes an intelligent balance between sympathy for the men and the desperate situation of the nation at war, between the epic scale of the conflict and the frailty of human nature. It is a story worth the telling and remembering, not only for the sake of the dead and the survivors of that 60 year old battle, but also because recent events show that the same mistakes can be made again, and again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully developed true story of an RAF bomber crew, written through the eyes of the daughter of one of the few who survived the bombing campaign of 1943 and 1944. The fate of the crew is unravelled and brought to life, from their training through their now unbelievable experiences to the aftermath of the lives of those who knew them. I could not put it down, and could hear the bombers roaring overhead for long afterwards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb. 2001
Format: Hardcover
A harrowing tale of your parent's generation, and how they lived, fought, and died to win WWII. The true story of the author's father, the sole survivor of a Pathfinder crew of seven flying a Berlin raid in a Lancaster bomber, and his experiences leading up to and following Black Thursday, December 16/17, 1943. Exquisitely researched and related, this may be the closest many of us will get to understanding the meaning of sacrifice.
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