The Archaeology of Airfields Paperback – 1 Dec 2007
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From the Publisher
This book follows on from Clarke's original work on the Cold War first published by Tempus in 2005. Four Minute Warning: Britain's Cold War.
About the Author
Bob Clarke is an archaeologist at Boscombe Down, Britain's main weapons testing establishment and the author of The Berlin Airlift and Four Minute Warning.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a boy I spent several weeks in hospital in what had been (apparently) the Sick Bay of RAF Monkmoor - a WW1 airfield that was partially reopened as an Aircraft Recovery Unit in WW2. I had also visited a family squatting in one of the huts there and that, together with the old hangars had given me the idea that it might be an old airfield, but the clincher was the small Meteorological site - Stevenson screen and rain-gauge. Nowhere in this book could I find any mention of the Met Office that formed a prominent part of many airfields. When I started work I was based at RAF Upavon and, for a while, billeted in a WW1 wooden hut attached to the Officers' Mess (replaced, I believe in the 1970s) - the sense of history was evident. But my recollection of this site was that it was originally chosen (as was Monkmoor)in part because it was already used as an exercising area by a local cavalry regiment. Upavon Gallops, next to the station, was occasionally used as a landing ground by transport aircraft to simulate landing conditions in the field).Read more ›
I particularly liked the book up to about 1945, it is astounding how many airfields were constructed during that period, how many still existed in 1945 and how many, or how few perhaps, exist now. It provides a good history of 20th century warfare set against a background of politics (or is it the other way round?!).
If the book had purely been about 'the archaeology of airfields' then it would have been a lot thinner, but it is padded out with the aforementioned history, although I didn't mind that other than it's not what I expected. There are lots of photos in this book, which is very nicely produced by the way, but many of them are not of airfields and when I saw pictures of Brezhnev, Yeltsin and May Day Parades I was left wondering 'why?' - padding again.
Where this book really falls down, and I couldn't wait to finish reading it because of this, is the atrocious proof reading and editing. The narrative jumps about in places and is repeated - minor irritation. However when you notice that there is a typo on almost every page I think that becomes a major irritation, well it did for me, I found myself waiting for the next one.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A comprehensive guide to airfields in Britain through all periods from WWI to the Cold War and beyond. Read morePublished on 11 Feb. 2011 by pallascat
Disappointed in this book as I had expected more detailed analysis of individual airfields. For example, although Lossiemouth is mentioned on the back cover there is very little... Read morePublished on 4 Nov. 2010 by Chuck Wilberry