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Pursuit Through Darkened Skies: An Ace Night-fighter Crew in World War II [Hardcover]

Michael Allen
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 July 1999
Relating the strong bonds of wartime comradeship and revealing the bravery and resolutions of WW2 nightfighter pilots, this is a very detailed account of Operation Serrate, a human story backed up with unusually sophisticated technical information, written by one of the navigators.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd; First Edition edition (28 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840370831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840370836
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I am the author's youngest son and was the first of his children to read the book - not to mention anyone else!My father wrote on his typewriter but the publisher needed it as a computer document for editing. I was priviledged to be able to do this conversion for him. When I started, I had no idea what I would find - but I found more than I had could have imagined. My father writes openly, directly and with candour. Some stories I had heard as a child but it was interesting to read them for the first time. Countless others were new to me. Although I had heard of many of the events in which he was involved, it was fascinating to discover their proper chronology and follow my father through his journey. His criticism of some aspects of war strategy are not written with hindsight but were fearsome truths known at the time. It isn't possible for us that were not in the war to know how it was. But my father found a way to tell us about some of the success and the humour. Some of the failure and the fear. For those that experienced war inside the RAF, perhaps this book tells a little of their story too. For his children, it is a document to be treasured.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second World War book that will appeal to all 24 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A wonderful read..for those who were around during those years it will trigger so many memories ..for those who came after it paints a vivid picture of war fought by 18-23 year old "test pilots" dealing with emerging technology. It writes of great courage and companionship, of coping with "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". You will laugh, cry and marvel...
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very detailed and informative book a tour de force about a Radar Operator and his Pilot who became an ace nightfighter team - one of the best we had. The book goes all the way from the early days right to the end of the War it covers the long hard apprenticeship they endured to become masters of their craft. They experienced many close shaves during their flying tours defending this Island and during the later air warfare increasingly challenging battles they conducted over Germany at night intercepting German radar equipped night fighters to protect the fleets of bombers. Some story ... a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read 30 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Michael Allen is an excellent writer who has a tendency to ramble and jump back and forth chronologically, something you soon learn to treat with the respect due to a wise man who has too many interesting stories to tell. I've read John Braham's, Robert Wright's and Roderick Chisholm's books and Michael Allen's is up there with them all and in some ways actually better. Using the squadron history, his and his pilots log book notes, and his own memories, he brings everything together into a superb story. I've learn't an awful lot from this book. It is packed with interesting stuff.

Kicked out of 29 squadron by Guy Gibson, the inimitable team of Harry White and Michael Allen were forced to learn their trade as a ferry crew delivering aircraft to operational squadrons abroad. Itching for combat they were finally transferred to 141 squadron, then under the command of the one and only John Braham, where they went on to notch up a very respectable score and receive DFC's with 2 bars. The story though, starts pre-war and ends, quite sadly, post-war and demob. Michael Allen was an AI operator and together with his trusty pilot flew many Serrate intruder missions, first in Beaufighters and then Mosquitoes deep into Germany in search of their opposite numbers. They also went on to carry out low level attacks on German airfields using cannons and napalm. All fascinating stuff.

If you've got as far as reading this review then buy the book, you won't regret it. I for one will be placing it in the book shelf with the rest of my favourite reads.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mallen
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've always had an interest in the night fighter war and this seemed an ideal book. In many ways it it. It gives a good idea of the organised chaos that Britain faced at the time and some of the futile efforts to try and at first deter intruders over the UK and then in taking the war to the German forces that were making being a bomber crew member almost a suicide mission (over time)

The book and its descriptions are great. I took some (personal) objections to the odd outburst by the author which may reflect the difference in our ages but I suspect the difference in our politics. The outburst included against the post war Labour Govt was out of place as were some of the other comments made here and their. It did (for me) detract a little from the historical story - mainly well told

That aside - I would recommend a read.
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