Being the thoughts and writings of one Gustaf Erikson; father, homeowner, technologist.

This category contains capsule reviews of books I've read

Sunday, 2024-10-10

RAF vs USAAF: two views of aerial combat in WWII

Damn Good Show by Derek Robinson
Goodbye Mickey Mouse by Len Deighton

Two very different books about the same period of time: the bomber war against Germany in World War 2.

In Damn Good Show, Derek Robinson writes about bombers, having written about fighters in Goshawk Squadron and A Good Clean Fight.. He brings to the story his trademark humour and nihilism. This time though, he doesn’t kill off all his characters by the end, instead leaving a little ray of hope that some might come through the horrors of war and make a life on the other side.

Along the way, he debunks many myths about the wartime RAF, but doesn’t subtract anything from the extraordinary courage that it took to bomb an enemy country in pitch-black, freezing planes.

Deighton’s book is much more traditional view — the cold, squalor, and fear experienced by the American pilots protecting the bombers in P-51:s is present, but somehow he doesn’t convey as much realism as Robinson. The love story, although detailed, is banal. The characters are from central casting — the brainy, handsome Eastener, the brash uncultured guy from New Mexico, the beautiful English girl who loves them both. Deighton fleshes them out, but they still look and feel like cardboard.

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