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4.4 out of 5 stars
Almost a Boffin
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It is difficult to imagine life between the wars and at the outbreak of the second world war. If you can think of the huge loss of life from the first world war and the massive sacrifices that the population suffered afterwards, then it is just possible to believe that no Englishman would ever betray his country. Rather like we used to perhaps think that no BBC personality would use their position to molest a child, let alone on a grand scale. So it sounds naive that known communists were put in positions of military power, but perhaps it was less so at the time. According to the author they were and they probably did enormous damage by leaking secrets to the Germans and frustrating our own war efforts. I found the book very credible and he leaves open the question of could it still be happening today. Indeed my own father, before he passed away, said that after leaving his employment he suddenly realised that a particular person had probably been deliberately obstructing his own work by failing inspection tests when things were actually ok. At times the book does read like a cross between Biggles and James Bond, but I actually believe that every word, though incredible, is true. As far as the 'style' is concerned well it was perfectly acceptable in a previous era so I feel that critics should bear that in mind before wading in with their own ignorant comments. I would say that this book is one of those life changing books since for me, 'the establishment' will never be the same again. I do now wonder about the wisdom of having people who know very little about medicine being put in charge of running the NHS, for example. I am very glad that the author was able to get it published whilst he is still alive and that he did not succumb to the grief of losing his wife.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2014
Tubby Vielle's life story is amazing, test pilot, navigator, inventor, author, investor and a lifetime of incredible "coincidences" and good luck. If it was fiction it would be totally unbelievable. Well worth reading for anyone interested in flying but also of interest to historians of the twentieth century. The material about the influence of communists on technical developments in aviation during and after the war is fascinating. A unique autobiography by an incredible character who played a major but previously unheard of role in the development of aviation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2014
This is a wonderful biography by Tubby Vielle, full of the adventures of flying by the seat of his pants! It is also a love story, and a strong and credible criticism of buffoons in authority. Tubby Vielle is almost a living Biggles. His stories retain the magic of the early flying years, from the Bulldog to the more deadly and serious Cold War flying in jets. He tells his life story modestly and with humour. Anyone joining the RAF should read this and be inspired. The top brass should also read it and feel ashamed on behalf of WW2's senior boffins ignoring Tubby's excellent work on radar, which would have saved many lives had it been implemented before the Russians joined the war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2013
This is a fascinating read and I couldn't put it down. Not many people have flown so many aircraft from old first war biplanes to the magnificent Canberra and lived to tell the tale after such an extraordinary crash in a Meteor jet. The cancellation of the TSR2 related "Red Cheeks" seems scandalous particularly as the author points out that it became the Cruise Missile in America. A truly interesting and unusual story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
Both interesting and fun, amazing insight into this fascinating life of a 100 year old. Highly amusing parts for children as well, which my 9 year old loved (mainly the first few chapters). If you want a bit of espionage and insight into the workings of the war office without another boring WWII recount, this book gives it, along with a story of a life which adapts and changes over the years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2013
I read this most interesting book in a couple of days - which is a recommendation in itself. The author's life experiences make compelling reading, particularly life in the armed services and technological developments associated with air warfare. There is much humour and wise reflection - a great combination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2013
Very interesting account of life in the RAF and more, Lucidly written and a fairly easy read.illustrating an interesting, varied life and quite remarkable life. Will be very interested to read his sequel! Perhaps a few more inventions to come!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
Just finished this intriguing book. Very well written by someone who is not afraid to say it as it is. Covering one hundred years of experiences kept the pages turning expecting another episode and I was not disappointed. There are touching childhood stories which lead to those of the Great Depression. The many flying stories are exciting and his brush with the communists is enlightening. Nothing changes! Anyone who questions things has to be considered a trouble maker! Loved the story about the search for the Rommel Treasure and have just ordered a secondhand copy of the Golden Oyster! Do hope this gentleman manages to conclude his next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2013
This is a wonderful book full of tales from the centenarian author's vivid recollections of his lifetime of experiences and his views on how, but for a group of antagonists, World War II could have been avoided. Memories of his childhood immediately transport one back to the Edwardian era and life's much slower pace. It is a surprisingly easy-to-read book considering its quite technical content as one progresses through it and I would not hesitate to recommend it to both the younger and older reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2014
I look forward to reading this book - it is not every day that you discover that your father was one of three men (not including Hitler) responsible for the whole 2nd World War.
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