FEW IN MY TIME.
Books … and on a range of topics. Mostly I drift away from ‘Gung ho!’ warfare books but only because I was brought up to admire quiet achievers.
SO WHEN THE SPOUSE
came home with an aviation book by an American I accepted with good grace (and a few inward groans).
I really really really should get my cynicism adjusted: the book (which I’ve now almost finished and shall reread soonest) is much more better than just good.
It starts with the dawn of aviation and takes us from one Roland Garros not knocking the propellor off his string-bag (when firing a machine-gun through it) … to modern jet fighters.
The author’s justifiable pride in US achievements is there but hardly noticeable. He gives credit where due and when judgement is called for gives it without rubbing it in. (In fact, for my taste he understates the sheer stupidity, often, of British leadership and its eternal arrogant unpreparedness.*)
Hell—I’m not even finished the damn’ book yet, I’m only up to the bit where a crashed Nazi fighter ace asks to speak to the Russian man who just shot him down and is gob-smacked to be shown a rather pretty young lady …
Hardly … I also read somewhere else that the famous stuka (dive-bomber) ace Hans Rudel was a real arrogant Nazi … prick … but his score and story is very impressive; apparently he ‘knocked out’ over five hundred tanks, sank a battleship, a cruiser and quite a few other sundries. (You’d have to bone up on him if you want comprehensive totals.)
IN THE MEANTIME
I recommend Dan Hampton’s work—
—to/for anyone who wants comprehensive, gripping, and (dammit) inspiring. And now, thank heavens this post is over and I can get back to reading the book … don’t wait up.
* Hee hoo time again: hee hoo sticks head in sand leaves butt sticking up, invites good swift kick—any modern Brit reading this should ponder Santayana’s famous comment about the lessons of history.