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"Fighter by Lein Deighton" Topic

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1,124 hits since 22 Oct 2012
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Tango0122 Oct 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

A review of possible interest.



Anybody had read this book?
If the answer is yes, comments?


PS: Sorry, by mistake I wrote Lein instead of Len Deighton.

Thorfin11 Inactive Member22 Oct 2012 1:01 p.m. PST

Yes, read it a long time ago and really enjoyed it – it gave me a great insight into, and understanding of, the Battle of Britain.

Thoroughly recommended.

taskforce5822 Oct 2012 1:26 p.m. PST

I second the recommendation.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 Oct 2012 1:31 p.m. PST


Frankss22 Oct 2012 1:51 p.m. PST

I read it also in the 70's and it was okay on the Battle of Britain, a historical account. But I read his book Bomber also which I really liked, it was fictional about one bomber raid on a fictional 31 June. What I remember was him telling of a strafing run by a german fighter and telling how one round hit a certain bolt that held a part of the fuselage together and how the aircraft then came apart. Nice attention to detail and i still remember this from the 70's. I read a lot of his books back then.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2012 2:05 p.m. PST

I read his book Bomber also which I really liked, it was fictional about one bomber raid on a fictional 31 June. What I remember was him telling of a strafing run by a german fighter and telling how one round hit a certain bolt that held a part of the fuselage together and how the aircraft then came apart.

The BBC did 'Bomber' as a radio drama a while back. The mention of it brought back to me the memory of some of the particularly chilling screams in it from dying crewmen…

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2012 2:28 p.m. PST

Bomber on the BBC (Radio) – the first time they broadcast it was excellent, because it was done in real time. One had to keep tuning in every couple of hours for the update on the mission. Superb idea.

When they released it on cassette tape they cut a huge amount – but I think they put it all back in for a later CD release.

Wargaminginmaine Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2012 3:00 p.m. PST

Fighter is a great read, which provides a nice overview of the Battle of Britain.

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2012 3:01 p.m. PST

and this is a good followup


Bandolier22 Oct 2012 4:04 p.m. PST

Yes, good book for anyone interested in Dubya Dubya Two. Easy to read – no boring bits.

John Leahy22 Oct 2012 4:25 p.m. PST

I like most of his books and have read this one.



Kaoschallenged Inactive Member22 Oct 2012 6:22 p.m. PST

Yes I have when I was younger and have a copy still. Robert

Oberst Radl Inactive Member22 Oct 2012 6:56 p.m. PST

Fighter is a good book. Bomber and Goodbye Mickey Mouse, which are fiction, are also very good. Deighton's spy stories are good too (if you like Cold War spy stories).

@20thmaine -- anywhere to listen to that BBC drama?

Tango0122 Oct 2012 10:11 p.m. PST

Many thanks for your guidance boys!


BattlerBritain23 Oct 2012 5:26 a.m. PST

This is one of the worst books on the Battle of Britain I've ever read. Anybody who says that the Me-109 could out turn a Spitfire is just wrong. And Deighton's main line of work is in writing fiction, so I suppose this is to be expected.

A much better book on the Battle is 'A Most Dangerous Enemy' by Stephen Bungay.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2012 6:16 a.m. PST

Bomber is on CD : link

The only place I can think of where it might pop up for free is on BBC Radio4 Extra

wrgmr123 Oct 2012 1:31 p.m. PST

I've always liked "Duel of Eagles" by Peter Townsend.

Oberst Radl Inactive Member23 Oct 2012 6:49 p.m. PST

@20thmaine -- many, many thanks.

PilGrim24 Oct 2012 2:16 p.m. PST

I liked it. He has a very different view on the Battle than most of the other authors.

tuscaloosa28 Oct 2012 8:51 a.m. PST

Derek Robinson's fiction ("A Piece of Cake") is one of the best, no the best, novel on WW2 RAF I've read.

Rocketeer Inactive Member30 Oct 2012 6:54 a.m. PST

Deighton's Fighter is worthwhile reading. He explains the air war through examining the personalities, equipment and supporting systems.

For example, there can't be a Battle over Britain unless the interceptors can engage the bombers in a timely manner. Fighter covers the British development of radar and its exploitation into an effective system.

The capabilities of the combat aircraft are explored and compared. Regarding BattlerBritian's disbelief of turning circles, Fighter explains that the 109 *could* outturn the British fighters and *why* this capability wasn't really used in practice (think 'weak wings').

The book is organized in sections, covering personalities, equipment, organization and battle history. It also covers the "big wings" controversy. It is illustrated with color drawings and notable photographs.

If you can get a copy, snap it up!


I'm also fond of Deighton's Blood, Tears and Folly. This is his analysis of the first years of WW2, with an emphasis on management decisions. It has a lot of observations on small things.

One thing that stands out is the discussion on pilot training. Foreseeing a near war, the USA begins founding pilot training programs all over the place. By the time its war participation begins, the US has the infrastructure to provide pilots for all of those aircraft it's building.

This, too, is a worthwhile book, if only to examine business/management aspects of warmaking.

Tango0130 Oct 2012 11:53 a.m. PST

Many thanks for your guidance Rocketeer!.


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