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A Thousand Shall Fall by Murray Peden - perhaps the best Bomber Command book ever.


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#1 Fred Wilson

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:45 AM

A Thousand Shall Fall by Murray Peden
By far and away, still the best book on any topic area I have read.
The only book I have ever read back to back three times in a row without stopping.
There are two subsequent editions released after the 1979 edition (and its 1981 reprint) that I own, I have ordered both. (The latest with "Official Secrecy Act" release updates.)

Update November 26th:
I have just received the first of the two later revisions that I've ordered (the book is that good.)

Much to my delight, the book which arrived was the intervening one published in 1988.
The book contains a handful of minor corrections when re-published in the soft cover version.
Secondly, two USAAF heavyweights stepped in and requested permission to submit forwards to the new edition.
a) General Robert Dixon, commanding general for five years of Tactical Air Command; and
B) Lt. General Ira C. Eaker, Commander of the U.S. Eighth Air Force from October 1942 to January 1944.

Setting aside that so many US aircrew trained in Canada, the book so well describes the universal experience of crew training and operational duties everywhere that they wanted to take the opportunity to express their appreciation of the book.

It carries the highest recommendation of all:
"I consider it not only the best and most true to life 'war' book I've read about this war, but the best about all the wars of my lifetime."
- Marshall of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur Harris

High accolades indeed.

More here on the forum. http://www.ww2f.com/...er-command.html

I opened it up to look into the revisions and had completed well over a chapter before I could put it down again. Damn, what a magnificent book.

I can not begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to reading the latest revision.
I intend to have both books out side by side watching the wording of every single sentence.

I have donated the original (which is full of notes by my dad and uncle who knew many, many of the people mentioned personally) to a new library I have donated at the Vernon BC Legion. Drop in sometime when you are here in Canada and enjoy!

After months and months of no luck, the book is finally out in sufficient numbers again to be sold on Amazon. New and used are up for sale right now. Grab them quick. Trust me, its worth it, and please like me, donate it to your favorite local library when done.

The 1988 version has been almost entirely released on Google Books. Enjoy!
You will find about 75% of it there... but trust me, this is one you want to own and read in its entirety. It is worth every last penny and then some.

Edited by Fred Wilson, 27 November 2010 - 07:39 PM.

Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#2 Martin Bull

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:11 PM

Absolutely agreed - Murray Peden's book is one of the literary classics of WWII. I say 'literary' because it's just so well written ; the author is qualified in the Arts and his book 'reads' so well.

Unusual, too, in that Peden served in some of Bomber Command's less glamourous areas ; firstly on Stirlings and then, with the very 'hush-hush' 100 Group, on RAF B-17s. Truly a 'must-read'.....
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#3 Fred Wilson

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 07:20 PM

"Wrapping A Thousand Shall Fall in brown paper would not matter a damn – it is truly the mother of all classic war memoirs."
Aircrew Book Review: A Thousand Shall Fall - Murray Peden

http://3.bp.blogspot...Peden cover.JPG

Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#4 Fred Wilson

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:19 AM

See also Murray Peden - A Thousand Shall Fall

Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#5 Ardent Escaper

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:33 PM

Agreed; without question, this is a GREAT book.

And I've had the great pleasure to speak and correspond with Mr. Peden over the past 6 months. He is a true gentleman, and one of my personal heroes.

Marc
Ardent Escaper
Toronto, Canada
Author of 'Escape, Evasion and Revenge', and son of one of the war's most active escapers, a German-Jewish RAF bomber pilot/POW who won the Military Cross, without protection from the Geneva Convention. More info at: www.marchstevens.com

#6 Skipper

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:57 PM

Thanks for letting me know this could be another present on my future Christmas list.

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#7 TacticalTank

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:41 AM

Good work it seems..... I'll check it out
"Hey Sarge, who was there? You, or us?" - Tully Pettigrew
Troy - "Tully what were you doing!?" Tully- "Was just going to turn on the light and then-" Troy - "THE LIGHT!"
"Alright let's shake it." Cheers, TT

#8 Fred Wilson

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 07:30 PM

Good Stirling Bomber footage ‪Bombing of the Renault Motor Works, Paris, March 3/4 1942‬‏ - YouTube

A good video of the Short Stirling Production, flying and the Official "MacRoberts Reply" speech and presentation.
‪Short Stirling Bomber (better quality footage)‬‏ - YouTube

Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#9 John(txic)

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 08:16 AM

I have had a copy of this book since it was first published here in England.

Can you give me an idea of what is contained within the expanded versions you mention? I might just have to buy one if there's enough new material in it....


John

#10 Fred Wilson

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:31 AM

If you want to compare, I suggest inter-library loan. Wonderful book, but not worth purchasing a newer edition.

The second version just corrected a dozen or so typo's or minor facts.

The last edition just had a couple of items / pages appended at the end - this after the latest official secrecy act release.

The memorable one was a statement released by Sir Arthur Harris regarding friendly fire bombing of Allied Troops after D-Day.
The ground troops had been specifically ordered NOT to throw smoke for any reason on that day.
Unfortunately one group not only threw smoke but inadvertently threw the identical smoke colors selected by the Pathfinders that day, drawing the main force of the allied bombing directly on themselves.

NB:
Most likely the incident attributed to Bradly / Patton's forces on July 24 / 25th during Operation Cobra.

Published History had attributed the incident to a combination of:
a) Allied Daylight Bomber Command's order to keep friendly troops at least 3,000 yards from the bomb line; Bradley compromised on a minimal distance of 1,200 yards; and
B) the Allied Bombers were directed to fly parallel to the front line, but some flew perpendicular, thus the two front lines were separated by only 15 seconds on the bombing run.

The articles I have come across attribute this incident to USAAF Bombers, so keeping the facts secret must have been meant to avoid further traumatizing the victims families. / Reopening old wounds.

Edited by Fred Wilson, 31 July 2011 - 09:51 AM.
typo

Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#11 Fred Wilson

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:04 PM


Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#12 Fred Wilson

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:09 PM


Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#13 Fred Wilson

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:43 AM

Ron Minchin talks about his days in WW11 piloting this heavy bomber.

The Stirling was designed to ferry bombs into the Ruhr but as the war progressed it was used to tow gliders in the Arnhem offensive and on D-Day.

Ron is a survivor and tells a remarkable tale of difficult times.

 

 

The Stirling On Parade

 


Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#14 Fred Wilson

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:48 AM

Good Stirling Bomber Footage

 

 

Newsreel Introducing the Short Stirling Bomber

 


Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#15 Fred Wilson

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:26 AM

Stirling Gills Animation Close up

 

 

 

Animation of the Stirling Bomber rear undercarriage screw drive operation

 


Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.


#16 Fred Wilson

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:43 AM

Short Stirling - Start Up, Taxi, and Take Off Drill Manual.

 

 

Stirling Undercarriage Retraction Animation.

 


Stepson of Arthur Ellison Sovereign:
RCAF Navigator: Lancasters and Wellingtons,
Bomber Command, WW2
http://www.members.s...ereign/Art.html

Named after Fred Sutherland of the Dambusters.

 

"Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

A little quip from the nicest person I have ever known: My Dad.





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