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Gun Button to Fire: A Hurricane Pilot's Dramatic Story of the Battle of Britain Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

The best book on the Battle of Britain. --Sir John Grandy, Marshal of the RAF

About the Author

Tom Neil joined 249 Squadron flying Hurricanes just before the start of the Battle of Britain. His first victory was an Me109, followed in quick succession by 12 others. Tom was awarded a Bar to his DFC in November 1940. Later he served in Malta where he gained another victory. His other books include Fighter In My Sights, From the Cockpit: Spitfire, Questions of Guilt: The Stories of Wing Commander Tom Neil and Onward To Malta: Memoirs of a Hurricane Pilot in Malta 1941 (which has sold over 10,000 copies). He lives with his wife near Bungay in Suffolk and has three sons, two of which carry on the tradition of flying.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6583 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (15 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007L5HH1W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I lived for most of my formative years within cycling distance of North Weald aerodrome. Therefore I was so pleased when I heard that this book was about to be re-issued(I missed the original publication and could not afford a first edition)as the author served at that station during the Battle of Britain. If anyone should want to know what that battle was like then they should read this book. It HAS to be placed on the shelves alongside those other classics of wartime flying and we are so lucky that such books are available to us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's not many of 'The Few' left now, bless them. Tom Neil tells how the Battle of Britain was for him.
He was young, very young but he quickly learnt how to deal with the hun. His book is truly outstanding and I enjoyed it so much. Thanks so much Tom for your brave efforts during WWII and this wonderful book, Tally-ho!.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the memior, written nearly 50 years after the fact, of Tom Neil's role as a Hurricane pilot in the Battle of Britain. Based on old diaries and letters, it was updated in for this 2010 edition by the addition of a "whatever happened to" style appendix setting out the post-Battle (and in some cases post-War) lives of the characters who stride through the pages.

Neil writes well, but the stream of consciousness style can be hard to follow: you go from patrol flight to a night at the pub without anything much in between, if there was nothing to report: often it appears there was a lot of pointless lonely flying around, even with literally hundreds of aeroplanes in the skies over southern England every day. Perhaps this is a deliberate choice, to show the blur that was both an incredible life on earth, full of youthful escapades, and within minutes of that hopping into a plane and fighting for your life. Quite a day for a bunch of 20 year olds.

Neil tells the story of shooting down planes and bailing out: and for all that he was one of the more successful allied pilots in the Battle, he notes on occasion that he never saw the German planes that shot down a wingman. Like a lot of other fighter pilots, he notes the incredible ability of a dogfight to go from a confused mass of planes to a seemingly empty sky in seconds. He notes the frustration with the Hurricane's lack of speed, but interestingly is wishing for a Mark II Hurri rather than a Spitfire.

All up, this is very good stuff: honest and forthright, but not quite gripping. There is always a level of detachment, something the more mature Neil notes that he deliberately preserved, and that he regrets the almost-callousness of his young self. Mr Neil is now 91 as I write this; one of the last of the Few. He has written something here to help us all remember and understand the darkest days of 1940.
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Format: Hardcover
Tom Neil is still a bright well spoken chap as evidenced by his September Battle of Britain TV appearances. His book is interesting and very readable and if you like this sort of thing it is up there with the best.
Great men who risked all for us all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I was a small boy, individuals like Tom Neil were considered heroes and I, and my chums, emulated them by running around the local playing fields with a stick held high (which was my Hurricane)impersonating the noise of a Merlin engine as my stick did battle with imaginary enemy planes . (We didn't need, or have anything electrical in those days).

Fast forward to the present day and I can say Tom Neil and his colleagues are still shining examples of heroes and his book reveals the horrors they had to endure alongside some rare flamboyant times. When reading, I was behind the Hurricane's control stick struggling to see through an oil stained canopy. I was in that aircraft in 1940, and could feel the cold at 22,000 feet.An Awesome read.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and especially the included photos. I recommend looking up Tom Neil on youtube and watching his after dinner speaking at a the grand age of 90+ . A true gentleman and a fascinating person.
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By Robbo on 24 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An unusual book, written about a time when the flower of Britain's youth were again relied upon during the heat of war & discarded shortly after. The author paints a self-effacing picture of tedium & incompetence as much by himself as those who led 'the Few'. Yet the short moments of terror & apparent acceptance of fate show through all too briefly. His memories are to be treasured by those that were there & are lessons to learn for those that follow. Awesome book.
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Format: Hardcover
Tells it how it really was from the Hurricane pilot's perspective including the boring bits as well as all of the action. A really good, informative yet entertaining read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fantastic read and those men who most were no more than boys really were real heroes,we owe them so much
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