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Dambuster: The Life of Guy Gibson VC Paperback – 3 Sep 2007
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About the Author
Susan Ottaway is an author and historian.
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In 1994 two biographies of Gibson appeared: Richard Morris’s ‘Guy Gibson’ and Susan Ottaway’s ‘Dambuster. The Life of Guy Gibson VC’. The latter has now been reprinted in a new updated and revised edition, with a new Introduction. Amongst other things, using her contacts with the Gibson family, Ottaway seeks to set the record straight regarding what Morris wrote about the nature of the young Gibson’s dysfunctional family.
Ottaway’s book is a labour of love, arising out of her childhood reading of Gibson’s ‘Enemy Coast Ahead’ but her Bibliography suggests some surprising omissions in those labours (unless the books have been consulted but not recorded) as there’s no reference to Max Arthur’s ‘Dambusters’, Helmuth Euler’s ‘The Dambuster Raid’ or ‘Guy Gibson’ by Geoff Simpson, let alone to the more general works on the strategic bombing offensive by Noble Frankland, Sir Charles Webster and R. J. Overy.
Ottaway’s book, although thoughtful and making particularly good use of Evelyn Gibson’s unpublished manuscript about her husband, is simply not an academic book, as it lacks the scholarly apparatus of footnotes. This undoubtedly helps to make it a more readable study of Gibson’s character but severely constrains its value as an historical work.
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