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on 14 April 2015
I was born near to London at the start of WW2 and many of my adult relatives were involved in one capacity or other - the Armed Forces, Hospital Nursing or voluntary organisations. I feel I was in it from the start! At grammar school I was in the (compulsory) Cadet Force. I have been interested in the courses life took for everyone as a result of war and have read quite a few books on peoples' experiences at the time and ever since.

'Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer' is a superb account, co-written by members of a family, of the actual experience of one of its senior members. It tells, in very clear expression, of what was, what is and what might have been.

I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in human interaction; and the effects of both conflict between nations and the love and support shown by people for each other in the unexpected chapters of life.
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on 11 April 2015
One of the most stimulating, exciting, inspirational books that I have ever read. If the author considers himself a failure, heaven help the rest of us. This is the retrospective diary of a pilot in the RAF during the battle of France in 1940 during World War II. The Blenheim in the title is a slow flying bomber that is used mainly for photographing enemy positions during the war in France. The author was the pilot who due to the plane's lack of speed was vulnerable to attack by enemy aircraft. Shot down four times this amazing man was eventually taken POW. The feel that this is happening to him as you read is amazing. Stand up and salute this man, his colleagues, and the men and women who served Britain so well between 1939 and 1945. We shall not see their like again.
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on 27 November 2014
This is a great memoir, whose prose and style tells us as much about the moral qualities of the writer as does his narrative. The approach is honest and understated, but pulls no punches. Told without sensationalism, these are nevertheless dramatic and sensational events. Alastair Panton's attention to detail and engagement with his feelings at that time bring the reader right into his story, evoking the fragile sense of that summer in France before and during the German invasion. The Battle of France is a story of defeat, but includes great heroism and, of course, the Dunkirk evacuation, which turned that defeat into a new beginning. Alastair Panton's involvement in all of this was intense, and gives a real flavour of what was happening at the time. An interesting slant is that Panton was a reconnaissance pilot, so he therefore saw the German build-up and advance westward with his own eyes before almost everyone else. Alastair Panton's granddaughter has done a beautiful job of editing. Her introduction is touching and so, I am sure you will find, is this book. Highly recommended.
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on 27 May 2018
A quick read but no worse for that. Aa a personal memoir of a particular period of the war this very well conveys the chaos of the fall of France and the author's role in air reconnoissance when aircraft were basic. I think the saddest part is the loss of so many people who the author trained and flew with, it also leaves one wondering what happened during his years of captivity after being shot down? There is so much "more" in personal accounts than in drier histories of the war.
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on 28 February 2018
Reading a book like this makes one feel humble. The author, a pilot, recorded his memories of 6 weeks of very dangerous operations in a somewhat outmoded aeroplane in France. His Grand-daughter decided his account should be published and she took the trouble to add a little which embellishes the original account. Absolutely excellent all round. Thank you.
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on 3 June 2018
A very good read and one of the few books that I didn't want to end..Although a slim book it's a remarkable account of what went on in France immediately after Dunkirk. I've already recommended this book to several friends. It would in many ways make a good film. A good story well told.
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on 2 June 2018
I bought this book as soon as I saw it was available. I was not at all disappointed. A beautifully clear and graphic account of May and early June 1940 from the point of view of an RAF pilot. Highly recommended.
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on 27 May 2018
Probably the best concise war story I've read. This contains more information about the RAF position early in world war two than many other books. Short, but full of details. Great read.
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on 18 October 2014
This is a fascinating book about a very interesting time. The author has a good, amusing style so that it is an entertaining read. His grand-daughter has done very well to pull it all together from his diaries so that we can all benefit from a first hand, personal account of a wartime period that still fascinates so many of us.
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on 19 August 2014
Great reading and very moving. and once or twice a subversive sense of humour.shines through.
My Father was a P.O.W in Stalag Luft 3 1942-1945- Frank Day . I think he would have
enjoyed every page. The book is written with an informative simplicity and controlled emotion.
Not unlike H.E.Bates.
3 people found this helpful
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