29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautifully written and compulsive reading., 3 July 2001
This book provides a present day reader with a very privileged view into what life must have been like for the crews of these heavy bombers. It is beautifully written and makes for compulsive reading with a good mix of aviation and operational information but also great human content, something I have found lacking in other publications. Harry Yates conveys the close relationship between the crew and paints a graphic picture of their highs and lows. Readers will find themselves carried along with each operation, feeling relief when the wheels touch down at Mepal. Luck and a Lancaster is described by Harry Yates as a way to fix the 'remembrance of something important', it most certainly does that and far more. It will enable those born many years later to image what it was like when thousands of these huge machines flew in our skies. He sums up the Lancaster thus 'These were not mere bombers, crude forms of steel and oil. They were guiding beacons of the spirit. With them flew our pride, our hope, our purpose'. (p172) The book also contains a unique photographic record of the members of the crew; their aircraft and superb photographs taken by the cameras after the bombs had been dropped. Yates does not sensationalise but writes about his role factually explaining how crews carried out their orders in a duty bound process. He ends the story by describing his return to Mepal on an impulse, many years later. This return visit is a moving and thought provoking close to a well-written and highly readable factual account.