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Vulcan 607 Paperback – 2 Apr 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; Revised edition edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552152293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552152297
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Exciting and breathtakingly pacy...This is exactly how modern history should be written" (Andy McNab)

"Gripping, endlessly fascinating detail. I read the book in one sitting: it is an utterly compelling war story, brilliantly written" (Simon Winchester)

"A masterwork of narrative history. Brilliantly described, the story of an impossible British mission is a compelling one; it's telling long overdue" (Clive Cussler)

"Big heavy bombers. Proper old-fashioned heroism. And triumph of ingenuity over limited funding. So far as I'm concerned, it has the lot and to cap it all it reads like fiction when it's actually fact. I more than enjoyed it, it could have been written specially for me" (Jeremy Clarkson)

"Exceptional...Written like the very best thriller, it draws the reader into the exclusive world of the combat crew in a unique and truly gripping way" (John Nichol)

Book Description

The dramatic account of the last British bomber raid - the long-range attack on Stanley airfield that opened the Falklands War.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a rattling good read, as history and as a Boys' Own adventure story. Rowland White manages to draw together the big picture of the Falklands War and the personal experiences of the crews into a coherent, compelling whole. You will not regret time spent with this book.

Hitting back after the Falklands invasion by the Argentinians in 1982 was always going to be a tricky business, but this book explains just how tricky - and how damned dangerous too. As world events unfold the book sets out the RAF idea to bomb the airfield at Stanley to stop any Argentine fighters using it during any campaign to recapture the islands. The problem is that attacking the Falklands means flying an insane distance in 20-year-old Vulcan bombers that were not designed to drop conventional bombs, refuel several times on the journey, penetrate modern NATO-style air defences in a bomber that has very old electronics designed to counter Warsaw Pact AA weapons, hit a small target without having adequate maps or intelligence - and a dodgy navigation system - and then get home again. Easy. Not.

The run-up and the mission itself have all the elements of a techno-thriller. The Red Flag exercises in the US set the scene by showing that the RAF's antiquated best can give even the highest of hi-tech air forces a run for its money. The crisis erupts, and suitable Vulcans have to be found with the right mix of avionics, engines and airframe - not easy, given that each plane was virtually hand built and bits from one don't necessarily fit on another. When the right planes are found, they have to be improved from spares, scrap and museum displays.
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Format: Paperback
The reviewer who stated that they missed the runway may like to read the book again!

This is a great story and describes the RAF's "minor" contribution to the Falklands war in gripping detail. Of course many people state that these raids would have been better launched using the Sea Harriers much closer to home, but as the book only slightly elludes to, the whole point was to make the Argentinians sit up and realise that even though the UK was thousands of miles away, they could still be hit. It must have scared them silly.

Overall the book is well written, but I find some the authors descriptions of people a little twee. They all come across as rather perfect "good eggs", and I think less sycophancy in this area would have made a smoother read (for me at least). It also seems to skirt certain issues in terms of RAF involvement and how the Navy might have felt and the overall effect of bombing the runaway on the Argies. It was all covered, but I felt these areas were a little light in places.

For anyone interested in history, aircraft, the RAF or the Falklands War, this is a great read and will leave you amazed that a team of men, trained to drop a nuclear bomb can in a matter of weeks retrain to drop convential weapons using an aircraft that was so old it was a wonder it would still fly with technology that came essentially from WWII. No matter that only one bomb hit the runway, it had a dramatic effect, not least the surprise that they got there and back AND hit anything at all! And that does not even consider the Victor pilots and the problems they had....

Personally I am glad that there are people who will do this type of thing so that I can sleep soundly at night!
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Format: Paperback
I ripped through this tome in a soingle transatlantic flight last week, and enjoyed every page of it. The daring do leapt off the page, and you could allmst smell the jet fuel as the refueling runs went in. If there is a problem with it, it's that with such a complex story there is always going to be a large cast of characters- litterally hundreds of people were involved in this tale- and it's all too easy to loose track of who the narrative is really about. It's also tricky to follow the mission in the air- diagrams of the complicated (and almost disasterous) refueling plan help, but don't quite make things crystal clear.

Also, the book perhaps over states the ultimate impact of the raids- the strategic acheivements claimed are tenuous to say the least.

None the less this books reads brilliantly well, and as an inflight book it's probably the best thing available today. Certainly made economy plus feel downright luxurious compared to what those chaps endured!
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Format: Paperback
While I am not disputing the fact that this is an extremely well written , exciting read with fantastic detail I feel I must dispell the myth once for all that the Vulcan B2 was guilty of being " antiquated " , "flying apart" , "not designed for this role" or any of the other inncorrect negative accusations made about it. XM607 was only 19 tears old not over 20 years old , it was delivered to the RAF in December 1963. For a large aircraft like the Vulcan of such a robust construction it was barely run in! just because the RAF was shortsighted enough to prematurely retire the majority of the fleet in 1982 doesn't mean it was obsolete. The youngest American B52 by comparison is now 50 years and slated to be in service until 2040!Yes the avionics and radar did have lineage dating back to world war 2 but they were still very effective, accurate and reliable and were perfectly adequate for the job in hand, as for the bombing capability of the aircraft it was designed from the outset to carry 21 1000lb bombs and only required having it,s bomb racks re-installed which was an easy , routine task.It was the fact that RAF had already started disposing of the aircraft and it's associated support equipment and spares holdings ,plus the fact that the crews weren't trained to perform such a mission that gave the operation such a bodged "ramshackle" image. We musn't forget that it was the RAF that let the inflight refuelling systems deteriorate on the aircraft too. The Vulcan was and still is an excellent very capable aircraft ( it's avionics could easily be updated ) that was designed as a long range bomber and performed it's final, successful, famous mission as A Long Range Bomber.
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