21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Good book but it doesn't really add to what we already know.,
This review is from: Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943 (Kindle Edition)Firstly let me say that this is a very readable, in depth look at the famous dambuster raid. It has a generous section on Barnes Wallis and his invention of the bouncing bomb, and also looks at the lives of the many protagonists who took part. It has quite a bit on the technicalities of the equipment and the raid itself so all in all it is quite a complete package. However it does seem to suggest overkill on this subject. It is yet another BBC tie in so between the various other TV documentaries, books and articles on the subject, anyone with an interest will find little in here that is new.
I suppose this is a bit like a new recording of a Mozart symphony. The notes are still the same but a new conductor and orchestra can bring something new to the piece. Mr Holland just about does this I suppose but my frustration is perhaps that his considerable talents could have been put to better use on a lesser known aspect of the war rather than something that has been done many times before.
Having said all that if you aren't familiar with the dambusters this book comes highly recommended
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Initial post: 18 Jan 2013 21:15:51 GMT
I appreciate that Mr Holland must have put in a lot of research effort in the writing of this book, but unfortunately I find his style rather irritating - it reminds me of essays I wrote when I was in the Fifth Form. His grammar is sometimes poor, and his syntax unimaginative. Additionally, he does not seem to have much of a grasp of technical matters - for example, he uses "wide" where he means "diameter", and "height" when he should say "altitude". Also, in WW2, the "Graf Zeppelin" was an aircraft-carrier, and not an "airship". And a .303 calibre bullet most certainly weighed more than the 'just over a gram' that he states. These may be small points, but are irritating to anyone with a technical background. On the plus side, he does blow away a few of the hoary myths concerning key characters such as Gibson and Wallis - Harris too, for that matter. The Paul Brickhill book was more accurate, technically, but annoying due to its (now outdated) gung-ho Biggles British-ness. A few more photos would have been appreciated by this reviewer, but one can't have everything, I suppose. All in all, not a bad effort, certainly, but probably not quite up to John Sweetman's book.
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