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Lancaster Men: The Aussie Heroes of Bomber Command Paperback – 1 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741752078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741752076
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 924,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Rees was a journalist for more than forty years, working as federal political correspondent for the Melbourne Sun, the West Australian and the Sunday Telegraph. He is the author of The Boy from Boree Creek: The Tim Fischer Story (2001), Tim Fischer's Outback Heroes (2002), Killing Juanita: a true story of murder and corruption (2004), and The Other Anzacs: The Extraordinary story of our World War I Nurses (2008 and 2009) and Desert Boys: Australians at War from Beersheba to Tobruk to El Alamein (2011 and 2012). He is currently working on a biography of Charles Bean to be published in 2015.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the cold light of day war is about statistics. Lose a smaller percentage of your force than your opponent over a period of time and odds are you’ll emerge victorious. It’s a numbers game. Strongest, fastest, heaviest … deadliest. Deadliest. That’s what it really comes down to. The best machine is nothing without the people who operate it. It is the people who make the sacrifice. It is the people who make the stories and the history. It is the people who make the numbers.

The percentages of Bomber Command are well known yet they will never lose their impact. Generally, of 125,000 aircrew, 46 percent were killed and 14 percent survived being shot down. Sixty percent, therefore, did not return home as they left (a clumsy way of putting it considering those wounded but you know what I mean). These are figures we expect to see in relation to the trenches of WW1.

Many of the sons of those who served in the trenches would spend their wartime career flying over the same hallowed ground in machines that could hardly have been dreamt of 25 years earlier. This ‘new’ form of warfare, though, exacted the same terrible toll. Like those in the trenches, the men of Bomber Command came from almost every corner of the world. When the war ended, the survivors – such as they were as not one remained unaffected – returned home to countries trying to rebuild and a public that, largely, would never understand the job they had to do and the camaraderie, the brotherhood, the family, that was a bomber crew.

The stories of these crews are seemingly endless, happily (after all there’s at least 120,000-plus out there!), and the market is certainly well-populated (again, happily) with books by or about the men of Bomber Command.
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By Graham Wallace on 22 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A superbly written book taken from the men or their families, true life and puts into perspective the life they led and the sacrifices they gave.
As an BOMBER COMMAND researcher the book was for me an eye opener in the fact of what these airmen put up with, the final chapter covers there return home, they were seen by the greater AUSTRALIAN public as JAP DODGERS, some even received white feathers!.
As volunteers they never asked to be sent to europe, they in fact had greater losses than if they had served in the pacific theatre.
Very good book, if there is a follow up volume which he is thinking about then i will have no hesitation in buying it, very enjoyable reading.
Highly recommend it to anybody with an interest in Bomber Command ww2 history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Page on 4 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book well written, I couldn't put it down.
I young cousin of mine flew in one of these now I know just what he and his crew went through.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Understanding the past 23 April 2013
By John Davies (Dr) - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book touched a personal nerve as my father had some involvement. He never spoke of the experience except when we saw a TV programme on the bombing of Dresden. Through a veil of tears, he just muttered "We didn't know."
Rees's very readable book helped fill in many gaps.
Highly recommended.
GREAT READING 26 Jan. 2014
By Bill Taylor - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having heard the author interviewed on radio the book sounded quite interesting. How wrong I was - it is EXTREMELY interesting! The author paints a terrific picture of the lives of the Aussies who crewed on Lancasters during WWII. It is not just a picture of their missions but a very much wider view of their lives as well. The bravery, the tragedy, the near misses, the hits, their fears, their lives away from their aircraft, their desire to return home safely are all told easily and fluently.
This is not just a book for those already interested in WWII it will please many other readers as well. Peter has obviously covered a great deal of territory in his research, interviewing the participants who still survive, working with relatives of those who are no longer with us and researching many volumes devoted to the topic to build almost a novel rather than a reference. The reader becomes involved with the participants, feeling their pain, rejoicing in their safety and grieving over their demise.
I thoroughly commend this book to all readers.
Brilliant book about Courageous Young Men 17 Nov. 2014
By Pauline L. Cairns - Published on
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book tremendously. There was so much to read of the lives of these brave young men, many little more than boys.
I was a child on the English south coast during this era, in close proximity to airfields, and remember clearly counting the aircraft going out and then again on return, nearly always a lesser number. There was additional interest in learning about the part played by the Australians, both the hierarchy and the air and ground crews. This book is one to be read by young and old. It serves as a reminder of what was owed to so many who lost their lives before they had hardly begun and to those who survived to tell their tales.
I highly recommend this as a book one cannot put down, and I for one, will be reading it again.
Lancaster Men---------a great read!!! 31 Jan. 2014
By Greg Danvers - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being Aussie and of the baby-boomer generation------I had great interest in the quite specific narrative by Peter Rees-----when he mentioned pilots by name--their hometown and associates I was moved---this book filled in many 'gaps' in my understanding of the Lancaster Men and bomber command---------historical and informative---great.
Lancaster Men - simply brilliant 30 Dec. 2013
By Peter Kennewell - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Peter Rees takes a subject near and dear to the heart of all the children of WWII Bomber command veterans, of which I am one.. and makes it incredibly real. You feel you are on each mission with the very young men, thrown into the breach and the only ones able to take the fight to the Nazi homeland itself for many years.

Peter does not sensationalise or fictionalise anything, yet for the very first time I realised through his account rather than the flowery and grandiose stories like the movies portray, just exactly what these young men faced... almost certain death...and almost had white knuckles reading about... like I was with these guys as they took off. I now understand the bravery my father showed and how lucky I was he only got there at the very end, otherwise I wouldn't exist... Unfortunately my father died over 30 years ago and I didn't have the maturity to understand just what he faced including the backlash when he got home about not facing the Japanese threat. Well done Peter and thank you for having the guts to portray it like it really was. God bless you.
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