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Wings: The RAF at War, 1912-2012 Paperback – 6 Jun 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Wings: The RAF at War, 1912-2012 + Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warship + Fighter Boys: Saving Britain 1940
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Reprint edition (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848878931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848878938
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Bishop has been a foreign correspondent for over twenty years, reporting from conflicts all over the world. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling 'Fighter Boys', 'Bomber Boys' and '3 Para'.

Product Description

Review

A soaring, blazing sortie through a century of RAF aerial warfare told with the precision of a Spitfire turning into the attack, and etched with prose as clear as contrails in azure blue skies. --Jonathan Glancey

In this superb, pacy, often moving portrait of brave young men and women maintaining their sang-froid against hopeless odds, Patrick Bishop has done full justice to this subject, and confirmed himself as one of our finest popular military historians. --Mail on Sunday

Magisterial sweep and range are combined with succinct and lucid analysis, all in prose as crisp as fresh lettuce. --Daily Express

About the Author

Patrick Bishop has been a foreign correspondent since 1982, covering numerous wars and conflicts around the world and he has reported from the front line of almost every major war of our era. In the last six years he has emerged as a military historian of the first order with his top-ten bestsellers Fighter Boys and Bomber Boys, which cast new light on the men who fought in the Battle of Britain and the Strategic Air Campaign against Germany. He is also the author of the much-praised Battle of Britain and 3 Para.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Norwood on 1 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wings is a well-researched and well-written romp through aviation history. Bishop is naturally strong on WWII, but there's plenty of colour and to be found in the material on WWI too. Bishop conveys that the story of the RAF was as much driven by personalities as technical innovation. Egos and eccentrics alike were responsible for the triumph of the Battle of Britain and Dambuster's raid.
It's difficult for the post-war drama to live up to previous chapters but there are plenty of engaging testimonies from pilots of the more modern period. There's also an added layer of interest in that the author was a reporter during the Falkland's, Gulf and Afghan Wars.
I would have perhaps liked some more comment on drones and the future of aerial warfare and the RAF, but otherwise this is a great one volume history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on 2 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book starts off almost with a list of those magnificent men in their flying machines, but then soon gets to grip with the military applications of flight. There is a healthy sense of a lack of a health and safety culture among pre war and WWI pioneers.
The chapters on the Second World War run over familiar ground, but there's no harm in being reminded about Dowding, Bomber Harris and the spirit of the pilots in the RAF. Bishop is perhaps our greatest historian on the myths and heroics of our finest hour.
I learned a lot from the chapters on the post war story of flight and the RAF, although the drama and characters fail a little to live up to the earlier material.
Bishop often returns to themes of mavericks in the RAF and how pilots are a breed apart to give Wings an overall cohesiveness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gers on 13 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a Patrick Bishop fan but this book will not be added to my collection of his other books. The most descriptive passages rely on material which has appeared in some of his other books.

I blame the editors for the irritation I experienced in the first few chapters which was caused by their disorganised nature with, for example, the same 'tales' popping up more than once. The early chapters needed editing to make them flow.

The middle chapters were a reheated meal from other of Patrick's WWII books and the end chapters included bits from '3 para' which drove the point home of this being constructed from old ingredients. Iraq; the Gulf; and Kosovo etc were names sprinkled in to 'tick-the-boxes' to show that more recent events had been noted - bur there was no 'meat'. What is there has appeared in the newspapers.

Someone has commented how this book was like an essay and I agee with that view except for the WWII bits which were taken from Patrick's previous works and were good - when read the first time.

Unlike his other works, I will not be keeping this book. I would not read it again and I feel it has nothing in it to which I may wish to refer. Disappointing from an author whose work I have previously enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. Paton on 13 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I felt initially like a bit of a plane-spotter when I started out reading this but that nerdiness rapidly disappeared. In fact this is an excellent history of people as well as planes and of great events, perfectly described from the perspective of the air forces. The book is wonderfully informative and superbly researched.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By StuRossEdwards on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a short and readable account. While it purports to be a complete history of all aspects of British air power, it quickly becomes a history of the RAF instead. There's little controversy in this book, but like all Patrick's work its engaging and clear. The chapters up to 1939 are a good summary, but the whole text is necessarily at a very general level as it's scope is so wide. A solid introduction to its subject.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent short history. Being short does not mean that it isn't comprehensive, he spans the evolution of the RAF from the very earliest military aviation through to the current day, but it does mean that it isn't hugely detailed. As gentle holiday reading, this was just what I wanted and what many readers will enjoy. However, if you're looking for a heavyweight detailed history, look elsewhere. Bishop has a very easy style, and he intertwines personal stories, action sequences, technical information, strategic and tactical considerations and political machinations, to give a balanced and readily understandable overview of an extraordinary century of flight. Provided you have the right expectation for this book, it won't disappoint.
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By H. T. I. Anson on 7 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not quite what I was hoping for with this book, perhaps this is because this subject makes for a potentially very long book !
However people familiar with Patrick Bishop's work will find this a light easy to read book, outlining the key aspects of the air combat from the british perspective. One plus point is that the book does not "wander off" but remains very much with the subject and so keeps the reader interested. However does lack some detail in the opinion of this reader.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Nattrass on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well worn material with, surprisingly, several glaring inaccuracies, for example the location of RAF Coltishall. Rather too boys' own and it rather loses direction and thrust towards the end. Definitely bottom shelf.
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