Winged Warriors, The Cold War From The Cockpit

B1772

This book provides a very valuable insight into a period of history that has still to be adequately discovered in print. With the WWII aircrew rapidly fading into history, it should be a timely reminder that the Cold War Warriors are not growing any younger and their perspectives need to be recorded in print before it is too late. Some of the early years of the Cold War are already beyond adequate first hand accounts. The scale of war was as great as that of WWII and continued for a much longer period.

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NAME: Winged Warriors, The Cold War From The Cockpit
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1772
DATE: 011112
AUTHOR: Paul McDonald
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 234
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: 1945-1990, Cold War, air war. technology, tactics, Russia, NATO, jet age.
ISBN: 978-1-84884-748-3
IMAGE: B1772.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ceg85d9
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author provides a very open and honest account of one man’s perceptions and fears during a long war that has failed to encourage the amount of print dedicated to World War Two. The absence of the exchange of bullets and bombs for much of the period probably explains why far too few books have yet been published on the conflict that periodically did move into hot war but maintained peace in Europe and much of the world.
The author began his flying career in the 1970s, when many RAF aircraft dated back to World War Two. The first generation Meteor and Vampire jet fighters were still in operation and the superlative first generation jet bomber, the Canberra was still performing many important roles. Even the Lightning fighter, capable of exceeding twice the speed of sound, had started out on the drawing boards before WWII ended. Included in the authors experience was instructing on the Jet Provost that began life as the piston engine Provost trainer. The author then moved on to the Tornado and served in the 90/91 Gulf War and on retiring from the RAF in 2005, with the rank of Group Captain, became an Air Cadet Gliding Instructor.
This book provides a very valuable insight into a period of history that has still to be adequately discovered in print. With the WWII aircrew rapidly fading into history, it should be a timely reminder that the Cold War Warriors are not growing any younger and their perspectives need to be recorded in print before it is too late. Some of the early years of the Cold War are already beyond adequate first hand accounts. The scale of war was as great as that of WWII and continued for a much longer period. The threats were equally as great and the technology even more terrible. Had the Cold War not been conducted so effectively by NATO personnel, and brought to conclusion politically by Thatcher and Reagan, the scale of devastation would have come very close to extinguishing human life and would have turned back the evolutionary clock to pre-history.
The author has achieved a very readable account that has warmth and human interest, providing not just a military perspective but a flavour of the social changes over the period covered. For a professional military pilot it is very easy to attempt a book based on personal experiences and achieve some sound technical description that is hard for any but similar professionals to follow and understand. This book has not fallen into that trap. The book has to be read from cover to cover to fully appreciate the warmth and humour that combines with the necessary detail. Highly recommended.

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