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Vulcan 607 [Paperback]

Rowland White
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 April 2007

It was to be one of the most ambitious operations since 617 Squadron bounced their revolutionary bombs into the dams of the Ruhr Valley in 1943 . . .

April 1982. Argentine forces had invaded the Falkland Islands. Britain needed an answer. And fast.

The idea was simple: to destroy the vital landing strip at Port Stanley. The reality was more complicated. The only aircraft that could possibly do the job was three months from being scrapped, and the distance it had to travel was four thousand miles beyond its maximum range. It would take fifteen Victor tankers and seventeen separate in-flight refuellings to get one Avro Vulcan B2 over the target, and give its crew any chance of coming back alive.

Yet less than a month later, a formation of elderly British jets launched from a remote island airbase to carry out the longest-range air attack in history. At its head was a single aircraft, six men, and twenty-one thousand-pound bombs, facing the hornet's nest of modern weaponry defending the Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands. There would be no second chances . . .


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Vulcan 607 + Phoenix Squadron: HMS Ark Royal, Britain's last Topguns and the untold story of their most dramatic mission + Storm Front
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; First Thus edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552152293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552152297
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Exciting and breathtakingly pacy...This is exactly how modern history should be written" (Andy McNab)

"Gripping, endlessly fascinating detail. I read the book in one sitting: it is an utterly compelling war story, brilliantly written" (Simon Winchester)

"A masterwork of narrative history. Brilliantly described, the story of an impossible British mission is a compelling one; it's telling long overdue" (Clive Cussler)

"Big heavy bombers. Proper old-fashioned heroism. And triumph of ingenuity over limited funding. So far as I'm concerned, it has the lot and to cap it all it reads like fiction when it's actually fact. I more than enjoyed it, it could have been written specially for me" (Jeremy Clarkson)

"Exceptional...Written like the very best thriller, it draws the reader into the exclusive world of the combat crew in a unique and truly gripping way" (John Nichol)

Book Description

The dramatic account of the last British bomber raid - the long-range attack on Stanley airfield that opened the Falklands War.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dambuster Spirit 4 Aug 2006
Format:Hardcover
This is a rattling good read, as history and as a Boys' Own adventure story. Rowland White manages to draw together the big picture of the Falklands War and the personal experiences of the crews into a coherent, compelling whole. You will not regret time spent with this book.

Hitting back after the Falklands invasion by the Argentinians in 1982 was always going to be a tricky business, but this book explains just how tricky - and how damned dangerous too. As world events unfold the book sets out the RAF idea to bomb the airfield at Stanley to stop any Argentine fighters using it during any campaign to recapture the islands. The problem is that attacking the Falklands means flying an insane distance in 20-year-old Vulcan bombers that were not designed to drop conventional bombs, refuel several times on the journey, penetrate modern NATO-style air defences in a bomber that has very old electronics designed to counter Warsaw Pact AA weapons, hit a small target without having adequate maps or intelligence - and a dodgy navigation system - and then get home again. Easy. Not.

The run-up and the mission itself have all the elements of a techno-thriller. The Red Flag exercises in the US set the scene by showing that the RAF's antiquated best can give even the highest of hi-tech air forces a run for its money. The crisis erupts, and suitable Vulcans have to be found with the right mix of avionics, engines and airframe - not easy, given that each plane was virtually hand built and bits from one don't necessarily fit on another. When the right planes are found, they have to be improved from spares, scrap and museum displays.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of "daring do"... 4 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
The reviewer who stated that they missed the runway may like to read the book again!

This is a great story and describes the RAF's "minor" contribution to the Falklands war in gripping detail. Of course many people state that these raids would have been better launched using the Sea Harriers much closer to home, but as the book only slightly elludes to, the whole point was to make the Argentinians sit up and realise that even though the UK was thousands of miles away, they could still be hit. It must have scared them silly.

Overall the book is well written, but I find some the authors descriptions of people a little twee. They all come across as rather perfect "good eggs", and I think less sycophancy in this area would have made a smoother read (for me at least). It also seems to skirt certain issues in terms of RAF involvement and how the Navy might have felt and the overall effect of bombing the runaway on the Argies. It was all covered, but I felt these areas were a little light in places.

For anyone interested in history, aircraft, the RAF or the Falklands War, this is a great read and will leave you amazed that a team of men, trained to drop a nuclear bomb can in a matter of weeks retrain to drop convential weapons using an aircraft that was so old it was a wonder it would still fly with technology that came essentially from WWII. No matter that only one bomb hit the runway, it had a dramatic effect, not least the surprise that they got there and back AND hit anything at all! And that does not even consider the Victor pilots and the problems they had....

Personally I am glad that there are people who will do this type of thing so that I can sleep soundly at night!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn well told 23 April 2007
Format:Paperback
I ripped through this tome in a soingle transatlantic flight last week, and enjoyed every page of it. The daring do leapt off the page, and you could allmst smell the jet fuel as the refueling runs went in. If there is a problem with it, it's that with such a complex story there is always going to be a large cast of characters- litterally hundreds of people were involved in this tale- and it's all too easy to loose track of who the narrative is really about. It's also tricky to follow the mission in the air- diagrams of the complicated (and almost disasterous) refueling plan help, but don't quite make things crystal clear.

Also, the book perhaps over states the ultimate impact of the raids- the strategic acheivements claimed are tenuous to say the least.

None the less this books reads brilliantly well, and as an inflight book it's probably the best thing available today. Certainly made economy plus feel downright luxurious compared to what those chaps endured!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 6 Sep 2006
Format:Hardcover
This is an epic and hugely gripping adventure story, told with terrific pace, style, and crucially, that all-important page-turning factor that makes you want to gulp your way through it in one sitting. I read a lot of history books and have noticed that those who are most adept at research are often far less good as writers, while the better writers are often sloppy researchers. What is so good about Vulcan 607 is that the research cannot be faulted, while the writing is of a very high class indeed. The reader feels as though he is right there in the cramped cockpit of the mighty Vulcan, (or Victor for that matter), sharing the tension, anxiety, and frequent setbacks that rocked the crews of this incredible mission. Popular history does not get much better than this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vulcan's epic journey to war
As an ex Vulcan Pilot, who knew all of the personalities involved, I cannot believe how accurately Rowlad White has painted this picture of the crews and the mission dynamics in... Read more
Published 22 days ago by tribludog
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing story
Buy it, read it, believe it.
It's an amazing true story, extremely well told.
Highly recommended. A modern day legend.
Published 1 month ago by GrandpaRoddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic advertisement for the bravery and ingenuity of the British...
Love this book. Read it on my Kindle. Very dramatic and fills you with a sense of awe as to what was achieved by these planes, pilots and crew.
Published 1 month ago by J. Cockrill
5.0 out of 5 stars Geat read
Very interesting read factual as well being able to relate to the Fauklands and the Vulcan Bomber. Very good book.
Published 1 month ago by Foxydriver
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping reconstruction of an amazing feat.
The story details events leading up to and following operation Black Buck. As events occur simultaneously the author has you darting from one part of the world to another. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Guthrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal present
This was 50th birthday present for my brother and he really loved the read. Will be looking to read more of the same author
Published 2 months ago by c.c. ball
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Clear and gripping. A well researched and excellent book which tells the story of and amazing challenge. Seat of the pants stuff!
Published 3 months ago by Martin C Casey
5.0 out of 5 stars NO1 BOOK OF 2013 I READ A MUST READ
THIS BOOK I COULD NOT PUT DOWN MOST ENJOYABLE WOULD REKONMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERY ONE YOUNG & OLD
GREAT HISTORY
Published 3 months ago by Darryl jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Falklands
A fascinating incite into the Falklands war. The complex set of operations that were needed in order to get 1 plane to the target, amazing.
Published 3 months ago by Paul Chamberlain
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
A real Boy's Own adventure. I couldn't put it down. The planning and ingenuity, to say nothing of the bravery of those involved in the actual mission itself was awe inspiring. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Gow
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