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Under an English Heaven

by Robert Radcliffe

Powerful descriptions of the horrors of war well contrasted with the peaceful English countryside. The author tries to cover it all - rationing, evacuees, missing soldiers, prisoners of war, the London blitz. There are also a lot of characters, and at times I found it difficult to remember who was who - the American names were not easy to grasp. The tensions among the aviation crews and the bonds between them were very well captured and the descriptions of the flying and the technical details were brilliantly done. You felt you were there. But the best thing about the book is the atmosphere.

Extract

The screaming went on and on. One of the boys was vomiting on to the concrete at his feet. The aeroplane was called Misbehavin Martha. Something liquid, dark and oily, was dripping from the underside of its cabin. Up on top, the inside of its flight-deckwindow was smeared red. Almost completely obliterated, as though painted out. But not quite. A figure was slumped against it. Heather could clearly see its shoulder pressing against the glass, and, above it, a purple pulpy stump where its head should be.

Parallels

Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson
Pearl Harbour - the film
 

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