Related to: 'A Crowd Is Not Company'

Robert Kee

Robert Kee was born in 1919, has an Oxford degree and has been writing ever since he left the RAF, in which he was a bomber pilot, in 1946. He has worked for Picture Post, the Observer, and the Sunday Times, and has been a literary editor of the Spectator. He is considered one of the great broadcasters of his generation, appearing for many years on both the BBC and ITV as reporter, interviewer and presenter. He has taken part in current affairs programmes and documentaries for the BBC and ITV. Most recently he has written on Britain during the Second World War, 1939: The World We Left Behind and 1945: The World We Fought For; and Trial and Error about the Guildford Pub bombings. He was awarded the BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award in 1976.

An Interview

Catrin Collier

Catrin Collier discusses how she gained inspiration from her mother's shocking real-life Nazi experiences for her novel ONE LAST SUMMER.

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Wings on My Sleeve

Eric Brown
Kate Mosse

Tour de France; A Short Story

Click below to read Kate Mosse's short story on the Tour de France.

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The Pianist

Wladyslaw Szpilman
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Journey's End

Kevin Wilson

The final, climactic volume of Wilson's acclaimed bomber war trilogy. In February 1945, British and American bombers rained down thousands of tons of incendiaries on the city of Dresden, creating one of the greatest firestorms in history. Their bombs killed an estimated 25,000 people, and wiped one of the most beautiful cities in Europe from the map. The controversy that erupted shortly afterwards, and which continues to this day, has long overshadowed the other events of the bomber war, and blighted the memory of the young men who gave their lives to fight in the skies over Germany. This book neither condemns the bombing of Dresden, nor excuses it, but simply puts it in its proper context as a devastating set of raids in a much larger campaign. To the crews who flew over Germany night after night there were other much more pressing worries: the V2 rockets that threatened their loved ones at home, the brand new German jet fighters that could strike them at speeds of over 600mph, the deadly flak over the cities of the Ruhr Valley. The bomber war had entered its final unforgiving months, and no quarter was given on either side. Kevin Wilson has interviewed over a hundred people for this book, some of whom flew on the Dresden raids, and many more who experienced other aspects of bombing, both in the air and on the ground. JOURNEY'S END chronicles the brutal endgame of a conflict that caused devastation and tragedy on both sides.

Orion

617

Tim Bouquet
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Backroom Boys

Edward Smithies

Nostalgic and moving stories from the RAF staff who kept Britain's aircraft flying and fighting during the Second World War. When we remember the Second World War in the air, we think of fighter pilots and bomber crews. But what was it like for the men and women working as ground crew and in the aircraft factories who also played a crucial role in defeating Hitler? What was it like making history? What sense did these individuals have of what they were doing, either at the time or later? Did they feel they were caught up in the tide of great events? Or were they simply doing their demanding and often dangerous duty?

Orion

A Thousand Suns

Alex Scarrow

On 29 April 1945 the Allies secretly surrendered unconditionally to Nazi Germany. Four hours later, that surrender was withdrawn. The world never knew - until now... It is early April of 1945. The Nazi regime is being slowly throttled by the oncoming Russian and Allied armies and Hitler rages uselessly in his Berlin bunker. But the high command have one more throw of the dice to make... An audacious plan is hatched to save the Fatherland and beat off the approaching apocalypse. All it will take is a hodge-podge squadron of escort fighters, a captured US bomber and one suicidally brave pilot to fly it over the Atlantic into the beating heart of America. Half a century later, a rusting plane is discovered, sunk with its crew, off the coast of New York - a relic from a bygone age. Chris Roland, a brilliant young photographer, is sent to take photos of this time capsule. But it is only when he discovers the fragments of Nazi uniforms on the decaying corpses that he realises he has come across a secret so terrible that even fifty years later it could still kill him...

Gollancz

The Adjacent

Christopher Priest

Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled to Britain from Anatolia where his wife Melanie has been killed by insurgent militia. IRGB is a nation living in the aftermath of a bizarre and terrifying terrorist atrocity - hundreds of thousands were wiped out when a vast triangle of west London was instantly annihilated. The authorities think the terrorist attack and the death of Tarent's wife are somehow connected. A century earlier, a stage magician is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy. On his journey to the trenches he meets the visionary who believes that this will be the war to end all wars. In 1943, a woman pilot from Poland tells a young RAF technician of her escape from the Nazis, and her desperate need to return home. In the present day, a theoretical physicist stands in his English garden and creates the first adjacency. THE ADJACENT is a novel where nothing is quite as it seems. Where fiction and history intersect, where every version of reality is suspect, where truth and falsehood lie closely adjacent to one another. It shows why Christopher Priest is one of our greatest writers.

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War In A Stringbag

Charles Lamb

Eric Brown

Eric Brown lives in Haworth. He lived in Australia until he was fourteen and has travelled extensively in the Far East. He writes full time and is a regular contributor to Interzone. Eric Brown is in the Guiness Book of Records for having flown more different aircraft than any other man. His record is unlikely to be broken, ever. Now 88, Captain Brown MBE, OBE, CBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA became a test pilot during the Second World War and played a key role in the design of an entire generation of aircraft. No other man alive today can claim to have interviewed the top Nazis, flown their jet aircraft or tested so many experimental machines. Today he remains a consultant for the Royal Navy's latest aircraft carrier design.

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Letters from Oxford

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The Labyrinth Makers

Anthony Price

No secret remains buried for ever... The award-winning first book from the author of OTHER PATHS TO GLORY. When an RAF Dakota, presumed lost at sea in 1945, is discovered in a drained lake in Lincolnshire, together with its pilot and a cargo of worthless rubble, it falls to David Audley of the MOD to puzzle out just why the Russians are so interested, and what the plane was carrying that is important enough to kill for.

Gateway

How the World Was One

Arthur C. Clarke
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Bomber Boys

Kevin Wilson
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Valkyrie

Philipp von Boeselager

The last member of Operation Valkyrie - the daring July 20 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler - tells his remarkable story. 'It was not the question of an isolated assassination, but rather of beginning a complete overthrow of the regime' July 20 1944. A fearless group of German officers attempted to act against the horrors of Nazism and put an end to the war by killing Adolf Hitler. But Operation Valkyrie failed, and one by one the plotters were found out, tortured and executed. Philipp von Boeselager - who supplied the explosives that would rip through the Führer's bunker - miraculously escaped death. In this unique memoir Philipp tells his extraordinary life story and the part he played in this, and three other dramatic attempts on Hitler's life. He recounts how a small band of resisters dared to stop evil and prevent profound loss of lives. Ultimately they failed but the legacy of their courage endures.

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Last Flight of the Luftwaffe

Adrian Weir

The account of one of the most extraordinary stories to come from the closing days of the Second World War. Desperate times drive determined men to desperate measures. In April 1945, their cause already clearly lost, an ill-assorted, ill-equipped group of Luftwaffe crew decided on one final 'death or glory' kamikaze mission - their trage an incoming USAAF Eighth Air Force bomber formation, their only weapons their aircraft. Adrian Weir has researched this remarkable flight to retell it minute by minute: a hopeless gesture of immense courage, thrilling as the reader flies in the cockpit with the German pilots towards the unstoppable aircarft of the Mighty Eighth. Including accounts from the survivors of the mission, this is one of the most extraordinary stories to come from the closing days of the Second World War.

SECOND WORLD WAR SURVEY REVEALS WORRYING GAPS IN OUR BASIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE CONFLICT

Just How Much Do We Know Our History?

A survey carried out by YouGov, to find out how many facts about the Second World War we actually know, has revealed some worrying gaps in our basic knowledge about the conflict. The survey was done online, in association with Antony Beevor, the international bestselling author of The Second World War, and the Orion Publishing Group.

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Nazi Germany And the Jews: The Years Of Extermination

Saul Friedlander