Tim Heald

Courage In The Clouds

Tail-End Charlies: The Last Battles of the Bomber War 1944–45

By

Viking 470pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Bomber Crew: Taking on the Reich

By

Little, Brown 280pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

The mythology of the Second World War is dangerously determined by film-makers, authors and the personalities of the participants. Reach for the Sky (both the book and the subsequent film starring Kenneth More), about the legless fighter pilot and POW Douglas Bader, had a lot to do with the romanticising of the Battle of Britain and German prison camps; Nicholas Montserrat’s The Cruel Sea and the movie that followed performed a similar task for the Royal Naval escorts that fought the Battle of the Atlantic. Anything to do with Field Marshal Montgomery was smart, partly because the Field Marshal said so. I still remember the little man presenting the prizes at my school, waving his recently published memoirs at us and proclaiming loudly, ‘This is a vewwy good book. I know. I wote it.’ He believed it and so did almost everyone else.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,