Wings Hardcover – 1 Oct 2012
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A soaring, blazing sortie through a century of RAF aerial warfare told with the precision of a Spitfire turning into the attack, and etched with prose as clear as contrails in azure blue skies. --Jonathan Glancey
In this superb, pacy, often moving portrait of brave young men and women maintaining their sang-froid against hopeless odds, Patrick Bishop has done full justice to this subject, and confirmed himself as one of our finest popular military historians. --Mail on Sunday
Magisterial sweep and range are combined with succinct and lucid analysis, all in prose as crisp as fresh lettuce. --Daily Express
About the Author
Patrick Bishop has been a foreign correspondent since 1982, covering numerous wars and conflicts around the world and he has reported from the front line of almost every major war of our era. In the last six years he has emerged as a military historian of the first order with his top-ten bestsellers Fighter Boys and Bomber Boys, which cast new light on the men who fought in the Battle of Britain and the Strategic Air Campaign against Germany. He is also the author of the much-praised Battle of Britain and 3 Para.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's difficult for the post-war drama to live up to previous chapters but there are plenty of engaging testimonies from pilots of the more modern period. There's also an added layer of interest in that the author was a reporter during the Falkland's, Gulf and Afghan Wars.
I would have perhaps liked some more comment on drones and the future of aerial warfare and the RAF, but otherwise this is a great one volume history.
The chapters on the Second World War run over familiar ground, but there's no harm in being reminded about Dowding, Bomber Harris and the spirit of the pilots in the RAF. Bishop is perhaps our greatest historian on the myths and heroics of our finest hour.
I learned a lot from the chapters on the post war story of flight and the RAF, although the drama and characters fail a little to live up to the earlier material.
Bishop often returns to themes of mavericks in the RAF and how pilots are a breed apart to give Wings an overall cohesiveness.
I blame the editors for the irritation I experienced in the first few chapters which was caused by their disorganised nature with, for example, the same 'tales' popping up more than once. The early chapters needed editing to make them flow.
The middle chapters were a reheated meal from other of Patrick's WWII books and the end chapters included bits from '3 para' which drove the point home of this being constructed from old ingredients. Iraq; the Gulf; and Kosovo etc were names sprinkled in to 'tick-the-boxes' to show that more recent events had been noted - bur there was no 'meat'. What is there has appeared in the newspapers.
Someone has commented how this book was like an essay and I agee with that view except for the WWII bits which were taken from Patrick's previous works and were good - when read the first time.
Unlike his other works, I will not be keeping this book. I would not read it again and I feel it has nothing in it to which I may wish to refer. Disappointing from an author whose work I have previously enjoyed.
Wings takes a similar approach with the telling of the general history interspersed with anecdotes from real life individuals, which nicely adds a human touch to the book.
I felt the book perhaps spent a little longer than I’d have expected on the war years – undoubtedly the author’s main area of interest – with much less information post WWII given that period is fifty years of the one hundred in total covered by the book.
That small criticism aside, in my opinion this is a well written, easy to read and informative history of not only the aircraft but the people behind them.
Consequently although there was an essential need for Bishop to refer to significant personalities, whose names must inevitably recur in any history covering the (predominantly RAF) air war during these periods, and also to highlight key events, there is also ample material covering new observations, references and analysis.
It was also fascinating to see a much wider range of RAF war activity being encompassed within the fabric of the book, thus putting the whole cycle of RAF action into a relevant overall perspective.
The book focuses mainly on the two world wars and the interwar period which shaped much of the RAF's structure. As a result the last few chapters feel as though they rather gallop through events post-1945.
That aside this is an entertaining, informative and at times quite moving read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
0nce again the author has excelled himself in an excellent book would recommend reading to anyonePublished 13 months ago by Zabian
Mostly good at the politics and personalities but somewhat sketchy at times. Obviously the Battle of Britain is covered but somehow Bishop fails to mention Leigh-Mallory. Read morePublished 19 months ago by M. Steele
This a book where in time of war how men gave their lives in the battle to succeed was in the hands of pilots from varying backgrounsPublished on 2 Jun. 2014 by Brian
I found Patrick Bishop's book very useful because it clarified a lot of the ideas I had about all aspects of the part the RAF played in the second world war. Read morePublished on 19 Dec. 2013 by FirstLord
Unfortunately Amazon requires a wordy review regardless of the item purchased. No issues encountered otherwise it would not get the stars attribute to the itemPublished on 9 Dec. 2013 by S. Couzens