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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dambuster Spirit
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...
Published on 4 Aug. 2006 by M. Brunton

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Competent
Logistically, it would have been easier to build a hotel on Jupiter. Politically, failure of this mission would be suicidal. Tactically, it could have been left to the Sea Harriers stationed 200 miles away on HMS Invincible to destroy Stanleys Airstrip. Frankly, this mission sounded as daft as the Dambusters raids nearly 40 years previous, but just like those -...
Published on 24 Dec. 2007 by R. Elsdon


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dambuster Spirit, 4 Aug. 2006
By 
M. Brunton (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (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. There's more than a touch of the Star Trek-style "I canna change the laws of physics" in the way the ground crews make-do-and-mend-with-Araldite to get the planes in the air with the right gear. Meanwhile, the bomber crews have to learn how to do air-to-air refueling in the dark at high speed and with only a couple of weeks' practice. The Victor tanker crews have to do the same, because they are used to refueling small aircraft - they also have to practice Victor-to-Victor refueling as well, because the misson profile calls for tankers to be used for the tankers which in turn refuel a tanker for the final bomber run in, otherwise everyone's mission will become horribly one-way.

The heroes are the RAF crews, air and ground alike. The heroine is the V-bomber itself - an old warhorse, finally used in anger just before it is due to be scrapped. And as you might expect, this kind of thing is now beyond UK defence capabilities.

At the end of it all, you're left with a sense of gratitude that people will set off on missions like this, and then press as things go wrong. I wonder if the movie rights have been sold yet...
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of "daring do"..., 4 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An great RAFachievement against all the odds, 29 Mar. 2009
By 
I. Hiley "Ex RN" (Warwickshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (Paperback)
An absorbing and exciting account of the monumental effort the RAF needed to bomb the airstip in the Falkland Islands during the six week war. At first sight it seemed an impossible task to reach the target 8,000 miles from base with the only aircraft remotely capable which were themselves headed within days for the scrap heap. That it was achieved, against all the odds, is a testiment to the dedication, ingenuity and courage of a large team of aircrew, servicemen and civilians who made a difference to the outcome of the struggle.
Ian P Hiley Commander RN(Rtd)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 Jan. 2013
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Having as a small boy gazed up at a white Vulcan, and then as an adult clambered around inside the one at Wellesbourne and, later, landed and taken off from both Ascension and Stanley (and seen the repaired craters) this book was a must. White's way of describing the action is engaging and convincing. The numerous 'could only happen in Britain/RAF' stories adds to the entertainment. The interspersed details of how the invasion affected the islanders brings home that this was a necessary conflict against a dictatorship. I bought the paperback when it came out, but this edition was just as interesting to read and has more photographs, and the added limited edition nature, and signatures of the main characters make it literally something to hold. A really good read and not just for those seriously into aircraft. It would make such a great film, but no US producer would wish to touch it ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe everything you read and hear!, 26 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (Paperback)
While I am not disputing the fact that this is an extremely well written , exciting read with fantastic detail I feel I must dispell the myth once for all that the Vulcan B2 was guilty of being " antiquated " , "flying apart" , "not designed for this role" or any of the other inncorrect negative accusations made about it. XM607 was only 19 tears old not over 20 years old , it was delivered to the RAF in December 1963. For a large aircraft like the Vulcan of such a robust construction it was barely run in! just because the RAF was shortsighted enough to prematurely retire the majority of the fleet in 1982 doesn't mean it was obsolete. The youngest American B52 by comparison is now 50 years and slated to be in service until 2040!Yes the avionics and radar did have lineage dating back to world war 2 but they were still very effective, accurate and reliable and were perfectly adequate for the job in hand, as for the bombing capability of the aircraft it was designed from the outset to carry 21 1000lb bombs and only required having it,s bomb racks re-installed which was an easy , routine task.It was the fact that RAF had already started disposing of the aircraft and it's associated support equipment and spares holdings ,plus the fact that the crews weren't trained to perform such a mission that gave the operation such a bodged "ramshackle" image. We musn't forget that it was the RAF that let the inflight refuelling systems deteriorate on the aircraft too. The Vulcan was and still is an excellent very capable aircraft ( it's avionics could easily be updated ) that was designed as a long range bomber and performed it's final, successful, famous mission as A Long Range Bomber.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn well told, 23 April 2007
By 
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking insite into the reality of modern warfare, 13 April 2007
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (Paperback)
This book is written with the style and pace of a modern thriller; however the subject matter is completely factual, you are kept riveted to the main theme of performing a Herculean task against all number of seemingly insurmountable odds.The outcome gained a much needed advantage in the armed forces attempt to reclaim the Falkland Islands, the biggest surprise is that they attempted the mission in the 1st place, this is the stuff that makes Britain Great.

A magnificent read! Highly recommended!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 6 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring men, risking all for the mission, 24 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (Paperback)
I considered buying this book, but was somewhat put off by the few poor reviews, despite the overwhelming number of positive reviews. Then someone who had the book gave me their copy to read. Wow, what a story!

It's easy to imagine that tales of derring-do are confined to the second world war and really in he modern world it's all down to pushing some red buttons and looking at satellite information, but this book shows that brave men are still serving in our forces and their job is far from easy. You need some nerve to complete these missions - you can be just as dead from running out of fuel as having a missile fired at you.

The book gripped me from start to finish. I'm quite interested in technical detail, but it's the story of the people and the problems they faced that makes this book worth reading. I could hardly put it down.

Did their efforts really change things? I'm sure they did, even if we can argue about how much. It's quite amazing how people sat in their comfy armchairs writing one or two star reviews can belittle the team involved in the Falkland raids.

I absolutely applaude the servicemen (and women) that made the Vulcan raids on the Falklands possible and they have much to be proud of. I don't care if the runway was smashed to smithereens or not, but I do appreciate what everyone did to try and make things happen. Thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mind blowing read, 1 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (Paperback)
This book is so exciting that you can really imagine being sat next to the pilot during this daring exploit.
The training, the flight all the way to the Falklands in an aircraft that wasn't meant for such long haul, the tension, stress and sheer daring and determination.
The crew must have been on the edge from start to finish, the in flight refuelling at night when you can't see what you are doing all adding to the tension.
As if that wasn't enough after all that then there was bombing the runway at Port Stanley. not knowing for twenty four hours whether you had actually hit your target or not.
Then the flight home, how did the mind tolerate such pressure and they did it all just as a matter of fact.
You have to take your hat off to these boys, I really wonder if the same situation could have been achieved nowadays.
What an amazing book, one that everyone should read to appreciate just what these boys did for us.
Benjamin J. West, author of The Eight of Spades: A Law unto Themselves[[ASIN:1608603040
(Eight of Spades Trilogy)]]
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Vulcan 607
Vulcan 607 by Rowland White
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