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617: Going to War with Today's Dambusters Hardcover – 27 Dec 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (27 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409144151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409144151
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A gripping and revealing account of how the modern generation of Dambusters uphold the traditions of courage and sacrifice of their World War II brethren. One cannot fail to be impressed by the bravery, dedication and professionalism displayed by this new breed of aviator. (John Nichol)

The legendary Dambuster squadron is still in safe hands. 617 offers a rare and privileged insight into the modern RAF. (Rowland White, bestselling author of VULCAN 607)

The 617 Squadron of 2011 might not have bombed targets on a daily basis, nor found itself under constant enemy attack, but this book is no less fascinating for that. As a detailed picture of how a modern fast-leg squadron operates and functions, it is utterly compelling. (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Bouquet's clear, informative writing places us alongside these brave professionals and will open up reader's eyes to life in the theatre of war. (LINCOLNSHIRE LIFE)

Book Description

The inside story of today's Dambusters at war in Afghanistan.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seventy years ago this May, Squadron Leader Guy Gibson led 617 Squadron RAF on what became known as the Dambusters raid and entered British history as indelibly as 1066 and the Battle of Waterloo.

Others will no doubt address the details of the Squadron's journey from Lancasters, via Vulcan Bombers to today's Tornados. With 617 - Going to War with Today's Dambusters - Tim Bouquet has brought to life a day in the office for the Squadron's men and women today - or to be precise, a three month tour in Afghanistan in 2011.

From preparation in Lossiemouth to deployment in Kandahar Airfield, the author lets the ground crew, engineers, pilots and navigators tell the story of a modern fighting force. Before leaving Scotland, there is the required viewing of Band of Brothers, the simulated rocket attacks leading to loss of limbs - supported by amputee actors - and the edginess because 70% of the squadron had never deployed operationally anywhere, let alone in Afghanistan.

Having arrived in theatre, the picture emerges of a force coming swiftly to grips with the real thing - a diet of support for and liaison with ground forces more than massive deployment of munitions. It captures the realities of living in the Kandahar Airfield bubble, of flying and refueling in crowded Afghan airspace, of titanic and constant engineering effort to keep the Tornados flying in hostile dusty conditions and of a "war of waiting as much as waging".

Against a backdrop of possible MOD cuts, which could have threatened the Squadron's existence, Tim Bouquet summons from the squadron's personnel a picture of professionalism beyond all measure. He also succeeds in showing how an iconic British squadron has moved with the times to become as relevant today as when Gibson bombed Germany's hydroelectric plants in the Ruhr 70 years ago.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Insightful and well-written look into the life of a modern-day RAF fast-jet squadron. Though a bit disconcerting: targeting onto single Taliban soldiers multi-million pound weapons systems designed to defeat heavily armoured vehicles. Is this what our Tornado crews are up to these days? Just shows how disproportionate that war in Afghanistan is: we're using sledgehammers to crack nuts and it's still not going well for us. No disrespect to those brave crews who are there, and those who work tirelessly to support them. It's the people who make decisions about deploying them who should be reading this.
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Format: Hardcover
With over 100 books about the WW2 exploits of 617 Squadron, it makes an interesting change to read about the squadron of today. This book demonstrates the success of the Dambusters' mission in Afghanistan, and the care taken to minimise civilian casualties - much to the frustration of the crews at times. Tim Bouquet lives and breathes the atmosphere of the RAF's most famous squadron during its pre-deployment training, its operations in-theatre and return to its home base of Lossiemouth. I found it hard to put down; the author not only covers the role of the aircrew but the extraordinary demands placed on the groundcrew. If you want to learn about the fast-jet operations of the RAF today and the people at the coal-face, this is the book to read.
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By S. P. Long TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The conflict in Afghanistan has produced some brilliant writing - Ed Macy's "Apache" is probably the standout; not only one of the best-written stories of aerial combat in the country, but probably one of the most gripping and involving books I have ever read. Going back 15 or 20 years, John Peters and John Nichol wrote two superb books ("Tornado Down" and "Team Tornado") about their experiences flying the Tornado in the Gulf and elsewhere. So I had very high hopes about a book describing the deployment of the famous "Dambusters" squadron to Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the most exciting thing about this book is the picture on the cover... The trouble is that it slowly becomes apparent that 617 Squadron saw very little actual combat while in-country - they dropped no bombs, fired no guns - occasionally they used a £150,000 missile to kill a single enemy soldier (which seems, to say the least, somewhat wasteful) and every now and then they had to fly low over a village to scare the natives. But that's it - fundamentally, this is a book in which nothing really happens. Even the most exciting bits of flying in it are described in less detail (and are shorter) than the bits describing the squadron engineers going to breakfast. As Peters and Nichol demonstrated in "Team Tornado", descriptions of day-to-day life on a Tornado squadron, even in peace-time, can be thoroughly involving - so there's no excuse for a book like this which seems to spend most of its time discussing people having meetings.

This is not to denigrate the men and women of 617 squadron, who were clearly doing a demanding job under difficult and dangerous conditions - but this description of it does them no justice at all, I fear.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book for Christmas and it's a great read! Definately a most insightful and gripping account of the Royal Air Force at war.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good take on a modern force doing a modern job, with the aircraft and crews of today, and how it related to the job done by its forerunners.
Enjoyed it greatly. Dont buy this book if you are expecting mighty tales of daring do, there arn't many.
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