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Gun Button to Fire: A Hurricane Pilot's Dramatic Story of the Battle of Britain Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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!.
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.
Great men who risked all for us all.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tom Neil is one of 'The Few', the RAF pilots who defended Britain in the intense Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. Read morePublished 21 days ago by David James Sulman
OK but a bit repetitive.As with all Battle of Britain pilots a brave manPublished 2 months ago by Jonno
A first class record of the battle. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.Published 8 months ago by ray leach
Downloaded this to my kindle whilst on holiday and devoured it in two days. What an honest account of the Battle of Britain, with a very easy but still graphic style. Wonderful.Published 17 months ago by Matthew Peck
Brilliantly written - a frank and fascinating story of a dedicated man's approach to life and war. Thank God there were men like he when the need arose.Published 18 months ago by Alan C
An excellent book, I saw Tom Neil being interviewed on TV for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. It was great to read his complete story.Published on 18 Oct. 2013 by Bob
This is a well written and humbly written book that describes this period of the second world war very well indeed. Read morePublished on 9 July 2013 by JC
Excellent story of the pilots and planes of the Battle of Britain. The author describes in detail the day to day life of the RAF and in particular his squadron. Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2013 by Richard
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