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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal account of WWII in the air by a man who was there, 16 Feb 2005
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K. Lowe (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Chequer-Board of Nights (Paperback)
This is a gripping personal account of flying bombers for the RAF in the Second World War. The author has a vivid memory, and writes about the various raids he took part in as if they happened yesterday. It's not a long book, and easy to read in one or two sittings. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone who's interested in what it was like to fly during World War Two. I was particularly interested in the sections on the Hamburg raids, but the book as a whole gives a real flavour of the atmosphere around those fateful days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chequer-Board of Nights, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: A Chequer-Board of Nights (Paperback)
I know the author personally and will be attending his 100th birthday within the next fortnight. I felt I should be aware of as much as possible about his experiences as I may be asked to propose a toast to him. I was a lad during WW2 so it was very much a part of my life at that time and is still remembered vividly as my uncle and his family were caught in London for the duration of the war. I found the book fascinating in which little was left to the imagination. Descriptions of situations produced pictures in my mind which were quite vivid. Then there was the belated opening last year of the Bomber Command Memorial in London to which the Author, Bill McRae flew with his companion. An appropriate book at an appropriate time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By a Lancaster Pilot, 21 Feb 2012
This review is from: A Chequer-Board of Nights (Paperback)
This book, which must be one of the very few written personally by a bomber pilot, looks like a genuine autobiography. There are none of the embellishments and hyperbole of the ghost writer; the author's descriptions of the dangers faced by his crew are stark and compelling. The word "courage" appears only once, in the citation for his D.F.C., yet it is the theme that is ever present throughout the entire book. The title is superb. The author gives a new meaning to the "Chequer -Board of Nights" of Omar Khayyam: a night during training when his life depended on his instructor's choice, nights when searchlights, flak, German fighters - and even the weather - looked like ending his participation in the war. In striking contrast, a long night enjoyed with "one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen" and even one spent drying out in a labourer's cottage after his motor-cycle had finished up in a Lincolnshire dyke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lancaster from a Vulcan, 29 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: A Chequer-Board of Nights (Paperback)
This is a great read for anyone interested in personal accounts
of World War 11 and,in particular, the crews of the Lancaster bomber. The front cover is outstanding. The book itself is extremely well written and is therefore a pleasure to read. It is exciting, amusing and at times sad. Do buy a copy, it is worth every penny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So good we're making the Film - a great read, 13 Mar 2014
This review is from: A Chequer-Board of Nights (Paperback)
A fantastic read that puts you right there, from the pensive wait between briefing and take of to the terror of attack. With many personal asides. You can tell this band of brothers would go to hell and back together and did. Chapter six A sitting duck is soon to be made into a short film entitled A chequer Board of Nights - The story of a Lancaster Bomber crew Chapter VI, with a few to the full feature film, If that is not testament to what a good read this is I don't know what is. Please buy this book you won't regret it.
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A Chequer-Board of Nights
A Chequer-Board of Nights by Bill McCrea (Paperback - 4 July 2003)
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