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on 1 July 2013
Having read and studied a lot of material concerning the Luftwaffe and its pilots this is a most interesting, and to say the least illuminating book. It has obviously been well researched and is extremely well written. It is quite intriguing to read the first hand stories of a number of the well known named "Aces" and to realise that the Nazi heirarchy was as much despised by the more enlightened members of the German forces as they were by the Allies.
Of particular interest is the "audience" with Hitler himself, where on his return the pilot declared "The man is a raving lunatic!"
I can thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in WW II history and flying in particular.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2014
I know words like that get bandied about all too often but this really is as good as stated. It stumbles a little to get going but once it reaches Franz's experiences in North Africa and beyond you simply won't want to stop reading. A truly fascinating insight into the "enemy" and the reality of life in the Luftwaffe written with frankness and self deprecation. Although the book centres around the meeting of Franz and Charlie both above Germany, and later in life, it's really mainly Franz's story. And I don't mind admitting to welling up a bit at the end. Two extraordinary men in a book full of extraordinary men. Will change your Hollywood inspired black and white view of the War In Europe and give some appreciation of the Luftwaffe pilots. Brave men, unfortunately led by madmen and psychopaths.
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on 25 February 2013
I purchased this book after reading about the heartwarming incident between the two opposing pilots, this is the scene depicted on the cover.
I was expecting it to be a documentation of the incident, and then the details of how the two men met up again.
Not so. The book is that and far more. It's is actually a biography of Franz Stigler.
The mid air meeting of Franz and charlie is a small slither of the story.
What you get is a tale of a man who found himself caught up in a frought political situation, torn between loyalty to his war ravaged country, and a hatred of the brutal Nazi dictatorship.
I have read that much of the Luftwaffe were not Nazis, and this story shows this to be very true. It's an insight in to the experiences of a brave, talented and compassionate fighter pilot.
The writing is, for the most part, in a screenplay/novel type format, which draws you in to the unfolding story, and it reads like a novelaization tailor made for a movie, right down to the German airbase keeping a friendly pet bear, rescued from the zoo, and taken swimming with the locals.
The second half of the book, kept me particularly gripped, and I read this in one sitting.
It superbly describes the last ditch attempt to save Berlin from destruction with the new wonder weapon, jet powered me 262 fighters, but all in vane.
A brief detour in to the political events surrounding the animosity between the monstrous Goering and the Luftaffe, serves to put events in context, before moving back to the human story of Franz Stigler.
I'm so glad Franz and charlie survived, they deserved to live on and tell the world how war is so much more complex than good vs bad.
It would, as I have said, make an amazing film, but considering it shows a portion of the German military in a compassionate light, it would be deemed too contravercial to film. Which is a shame as this story has much to teach the world about human nature.
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on 4 June 2017
Amazing, thought provoking, opinion changing book. I couldn't put it down! Highly recommend to anyone it totally changed my views on Nazi's and World War Two. A totally true story coming from the mouths of the actual people who were there, a story of survival before, during and after WW2 you really will enjoy it. Our book club rated it our second highest scored book in our 3 year history and still rave about it now, and Adam Makos is a lovely writer :)
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on 24 July 2016
Really good book. One of the best books I have had the fortune to read. It really is, as the cover states, an incredible true story.
If you don`t read this you are missing out on a very heartwarming story.
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on 31 May 2017
A present for my husband and he really enjoyed it. Recommended
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on 17 April 2017
A very emotional book to read about the insanity of War.
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on 20 July 2017
An excellent read. What some of these young men went through is astonishing. Even at the end flying jets over Germany no more than 4 or 5 of them against enemy formations consisting of hundreds of bombers and fighters.
A must read, I couldn't put it down.
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on 15 March 2017
very good thanks
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on 26 June 2017
Compelling
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