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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2017
The job of apache pilot is uniquely demanding so to do that while being the first woman and coming up against discrimination that some don't even bother to try to hide is admirable.
She talks not only of the job, which is extraordinary, but the feelings that come alongside killing as they must.
It's also particularly interesting to read the experiences of one of the apache pilots involved in the truly extraordinary and courageous recovery of the body of Mathew Ford the idea of leaving him to the Taliban is just unthinkable and if it wasn't for apache pilots more deaths may have occurred trying to recover him particularly because they didn't know if he was dead or just injured.
We like to pretend that in the 21st century we have gender equality but we simply don't and it's special people who pave the way and take us closer and any men reading this who dismiss me ask yourself if you are free to express your feelings and have a good cry.
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on 17 December 2012
Some people have grumbled that this book is too 'girly'. It is an honest tale written by a girl who is perfectly normal in herself, albeit totally exceptional in ability, and it is fascinating to learn about the female take in situations that are male dominated. Charlotte Madison (CM) is a well sorted young lady who fitted into the male environment of helicopter fighter pilots (HFP) seamlessly. She deals cleverly with stupid men who cannot get their heads round a female HFP being in charge of an operation by being far better at it than they are. She recounts this in matter of fact style without histrionics. She is a safe pair of hands on operations and give the reader some fascinating insights about heli warfare. The quality of life in British Forces bases large and small is well documented and the crucial support for ground troops provided by HFP comes over vividly. The Apache gunship is an amazing piece of equipment with the ability to seek out and lock onto targets with pinpoint accuracy so fine that individual faces can be seen in the weapon sights. The courage of the HFP flying in the face of notoriously accurate sniper fire is understated by CM. Time and time again she flies her heli in close support of the fight on the ground whilst airburst enemy fire is popping all around her machine. People get VC's for that sort of thing but for an HCP it is daily routine in Afghanistan and goes largely unrecognised. I think she is a star and I am grateful to her for her professional input to the war in Afghanistan. I found one tiny frustration in that some initials did not appear in the glossary.
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on 6 June 2017
I really liked this one - so informative, a different side to the military and written from a different perspective too. Loved it.
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on 30 March 2017
fantastic read
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on 7 May 2017
What an amazing and brave lady. This book should read by everybody as it really increase the understanding of what our brave men and women go through for all of us in this country. Thank you for writing it.
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on 7 August 2017
Fantastic book could not put it down 10/10
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on 6 July 2017
Great for bins.
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on 16 December 2010
Ed Macy had mentioned a beautiful blonde female Apache pilot in his book 'Apache', the first female Apache pilot in the AAC. So I got some what excited when I found Dressed to Kill by Charlotte Madison. I read it in a few afternoon's and wasn't disappointed. While it isn't as good as Macy's 'Apache' it does cover the same periods of time and characters from an altogether different perspective. Namely, from that of a woman. The book goes through a lot, from Charlotte's beginnings with the Army to training with the AAC and following the Apache conversion course, before moving through her numerous tours, and its one hell of a ride. It was strange but welcoming to follow a girls account through this male dominated theatre of war and mixed in with the flying, the fighting, the briefings and usual army humour are dirty finger nails, men's smelly feet and wedding planning! The only reason I didn't give it that 5th star is because there were one too many detailed accounts of the struggles of going to the toilet as a woman while in Afghanistan. My missus would say the same about the toilets in the local clubs so felt it unnecessary. But then again, for the first time ever, the other half wants to read a book that interests me, and it probably helps other women relate so i'm sure she'll enjoy the book as much as I did, while complaining about the one too many accounts of shout-outs and battles. Altogether, an excellently written and exciting read that differs from the usual modern warfare account and will hopefully interest both sexes.
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on 26 December 2010
I had heard Charlotte Madison interviewed on Radio 4 at some point, I think it was Front Row.
She seemed intriguing, but at the time I could not afford the book in hardback.
I'm glad I waited to read it in paperback as my views would be independent of the radio programme.
The book gives an insight into the emotions of a soldier, the female part is relevant regarding sexism but irrelevant as it shows a side that the males cannot.
In many ways I felt saddened by her demise, her relationship with her husband, that she did not wish to 'share' her experiences with him. Perhaps when he read her book he may have felt the same.
The action sequences I found exciting and whilst the book is not a literary masterpiece, I would buy any future books she might write.
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on 9 September 2010
She is clearly exceptionally capable, operating what is arguably the most difficult aircraft in current use-at least among Western allies. The writing is open and talks about bad breath, latrine smells smelly feet, boy friends, weddings, and embarrassments. Where I was disappointed was not in the writing, which is very well done,but in her apparent lack of deeper thought beyond her immediate experience, and the egregious waste of a major investment when she leaves the military at the end of her third tour of Afghanistan.
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