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on 21 July 2014
Night Fighter over Germany – Flying Beaufighters and Mosquitos in World War 2 – Graham White Completed 19 July 14
Some of the comments on Amazon regarding this book are critical as the Title does not reflect the content. This is a valid criticism as the book hardly touched on the Author’s 30+ operations flying as a Night Escort towards the end of the 2nd world war. Instead the book covers the life of an operational NCO pilot from his enlistment in 1941 to demob in 1950. The fact that the Author continued to fly after the war is a testament to his skill as a pilot so it is a shame that operational missions over Germany are not covered.
Nevertheless, the Author’s story is an interesting one. Sent to the USA for initial training he returned to the UK to find that unlike the rest of his course he did not go to a Bomber OTU (which likely saved his life) but to fly as a Staff pilot flying trainee Navigators in Avro Ansons in Northumberland. This sidetrack then took him to Night Fighter training which was carried out in Beaufighters before eventually arriving on a Mosquito squadron in 1944. As already mentioned there is little in here about operational sorties but there is a wealth of stories about the daily escapades of squadron aircrews during the war. These stories were at times laugh out loud and reminders of Service Humour including the fatalistic black humour still common today in the armed forces. At other times there are poignant reminders about just how dangerous even non-operational wartime flying was – stories Mosquitoes crashing during formation flying practice or Bomber Affiliation sorties or of Target towing aircraft simply vanishing over the North Sea.
If you want an action packed tale of Night Intruder work then this is not the book for you. If you want a great read and a good laugh then get yourself a copy.
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on 6 November 2015
This book attracted some criticism because it did not dwell on the actual combat flying of the author. However, I thought it was this very aspect that made the book so enjoyable for me. There is a cornucopia of books about the cut and thrust of aerial combat, but none of them so delightfully and comprehensively covers the day to day lives of the pilots between sorties - their liaisons with the local lasses, the pranks they played, the characters they worked with, the Del Boy schemes some of them got up to, the clapped out old cars they had, the crash landings they had for really crazy reasons, their experiences in hospital, and much more. The war was a way of life, not 6 years of 24/7 hands on the trigger, as so many people would like to believe. The author has a great sense of whimsy and a light-hearted writing style that I particularly enjoyed. The stories in this book ring true for me in many ways because my father was radio/radar groundcrew on SAAF Mosquitos in Africa and Italy. His favourite story was about having to abandon his workshop after an overladen USAAF Mustang P51B decided to fly right through it on a poorly judged takeoff - fortunately nobody was hurt, but the workshop was demolished. This book is full of stories of similar ilk.
Night Fighter over Germany is a book that should appeal to readers of both genders and a wide range of ages.
Heartily recommended as an enjoyable and chuckle-rich read!
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on 20 May 2014
This is a very amusing book, written in a light hearted style, but whilst it tells us a lot about what the author did on the ground during his years of service in the RAF, there is little written about his experiences as a "Night Fighter Over Germany" at all. He briefly mentions at one point " getting into a dogfight", but that's all the detail we are given about that incident. Its an interesting window into the lives of ordinary Aircrew who served in the RAF during and after the war. Not many of them were aces like Bader or Johnson, in fact whilst the author did 35 trips over the Reich, he doesn't seem to have shot anything down, but that's not unusual, because as he says. "its a damned big sky".

Still glad I bought the book on Kindle, but if you want to know bout the nitty gritty of night fighting, look for Alfred Price's Instruments of Darkness a fascinating story of the development of airborne electronic warfare.
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on 1 May 2014
Initially it is a very interesting subject and the book starts well with a description of the training. However when the action starts the author skips over it, like either he wasn't there or he still thinks it is all secret. The result is he runs out of war to write about by half way through the book. So the second half is really appendix chapters tacked on the end to fill up the space.
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on 3 May 2016
At first I thought I didn't like the authors writing style, it seemed flippant and like he was trying to be "over-funny". There seemed little information about night flying a night fighter and I couldn't get a handle on the book. However, I persevered and I'm glad I did! It began to dawn on me that this was EXACTLY like the people who did this job. They took it, the job, very professionally and seriously, or they died. But they took life itself as a light hearted escapade to be enjoyed for what it was, a beak from imminent death.

In the end I found I had more respect and admiration for all who go into combat. They really do deserve our thoughts and prayers. I gave it 5 stars because of this and because I did find it a good read, once I'd discovered the initial misconceptions were mine and not the fault of the book. If you want a more scholarly account with facts and figures look elsewhere, but if you want to find about about the people who did these things, read on!
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on 19 October 2017
I've given this book one star because of the misleading title. In itself it's a tolerably well written anecdotal account of one mans war. Unless he is exceptionally modest I don't think he was a prominent airman but I haven't marked it the book down for that.
I bought it, in a bit of a rush, because I had become curious about why Beaufighters had a rather "dodgy" reputation and I was looking for something insightful, preferably written by someone who had survived their worst. All I got from Mr. White was a sigh of relief when he managed to avoid having to fly one...
I agree - I could, nay should have shopped with more care. All the same, I do think titles should help rather than misdirect. One star.
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on 9 May 2016
I cannot avoid the thought that the title is misleading. Yes, Graham White did fly Beaufighters and Mosquitoes during WW2, but much of the content discusses what life was like when not flying on operations. This conclusion is not a criticism, for what is said is told with much humour, though that humour is of the sort that appeals more to those of the older generation. I really enjoyed it as I am closer in attitudes to those times, sharing with the author some pithy reflections of modern times. A really good read, especially if you wondered how those who lived at the time managed to extract what they could out of life while they had the chance.
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on 13 January 2016
This is a largely unknown story of the specialist mosquito crews in the war - a tale embargoed for many years after the war was finished. The author is clearly not a professional writer but he has a story to tell. His style is very RAF - I know from 20 years of living on RAF camps. It is a bit of an acquired taste and some of the attitudes that come through are, to put this kindly, dated. Even so, the book is atmospheric, capturing a time in history that is astonishing. Ordinary men taken out of context and put to do heroic work. Some failed but many just dug deep and got on with it. Read it for that atmosphere and better understanding what the war meant to the common man. This is not self serving war stories from an Algernon or Bertie full of "whizz bang tally ho" nonsense. This is the real thing.
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on 19 March 2018
This is a marvellous mixture of humour and reality. It describes the writer's flying career from training in 1942 right through night flying in the war to the aftermath. In spite of the frequent deaths and injuries he maintains outrageous humour and to him it was all great fun. Like all real life, the truth is far more complicated than any fiction. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 1 February 2016
Written as both a factual, personal history, and with a view for enthusiasts, this book was well written by the author, and certainly well read by my husband, who is the history buff in the house. If he says a book is good and he actually learned some things he didn't know, then it means it was GOOD. The author tells his own story of his time flying Beaufighters over Germany. So, while you lean the historical data from the pilots view, you also get the little stories that make it personal. It kept hubby reading it for ages. Thank you Mr White for keeping him out of my hair with your book!
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