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Paperback Winged Victory Book

ISBN: 1542497523

ISBN13: 9781542497527

Winged Victory

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Winged Victory is a 1934 novel by English World War I fighter pilot Victor Maslin Yeates that is widely regarded as a classic description of aerial combat and the futility of war. The novel concerns World War I, the existence pilots lead and the fear involved in flying early biplanes. Its protagonist, Tom Cundall, plans to leave the Royal Air Force when his service is up and live on a West Country farm with his friends. However, by the time he is...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings


By chance, I came across this book a few years ago, read it, and now treasure it among my favorites. The author gives an unvarnished account of a young RFC/RAF fighter pilot's experiences on the Western Front during the spring and summer of 1918. Despite the glamor often associated with the public image of the "dashing airman" of the First World War, he faced a variety of hazards, from anti-aircraft fire, collision in a dogfight, to the prospect of a fiery death from "the Hun in the sun". In "WINGED VICTORY", the reader is given access to the all the perils, fears, and frustrations faced by the young pilot Tom Cundall, who, each day he went off on patrol, gambled with his life and fought to keep his sanity, never knowing which friends wouldn't return to the aerodrome. Or whether he would survive or be maimed or crippled. Unlike their German counterparts (who had the "Hennecke" harness in the later stages of the war), the Allied airman was issued no parachute. "WINGED VICTORY" brings back the immediacy of what it was like to be a British fighter pilot on the Western Front in the last year of the First World War. Highly recommended. P.S. One minor note: Cundall flew a Sopwith Camel, not an S.E.5A as featured on the cover.

No Romance of the Air Pioneer.

Biplanes were (and still are) very cute. There is a mystique about them that transcends even steam trains. There is a mystique about the noble Knights of the Air of the Great War with which we love to associate ourselves and wish we could share in that Great Adventure. There are people who would give anything to be there.But being there, we would do anything to get out. You stayed because your comrades needed you, because your country called you, because they would shoot you if you ran away. But there was no mystique, no great adventure. Just constant fear, constant danger, thousands upon thousands of bullets fired at you till the risk of death or maiming became probability and then virtual certainty. Tearing your flesh, burning your living flesh, in agony. And to survive was to see friends die, waves of friends passing through while death missed you by inches, knowing how stupid it was to hope to escape till the end of your six months at the front.This is not a book about the grand and chivalrous knights of the air, jousting in single combat over the fields of France. It is a book about Fear, and the torture of Fear. It is a book about a War without purpose or reason prolonged by corruption and the genocidal stupidity of a generation of Generals and politicians, from which the only bright light was the courage of men. This is not a comfortable book at all. It was written by a man who was dying as he wrote it, with nothing to lose and a young family he knew that he would never see grow up, as he tried to leave behind something for them in a world already escalating towards another paroxysm of madness.I have been changed by reading this book. It is one of the best books I have read. I am very very glad I was not there in 1918. There is no glory in death.

Never Lend Your Copy To Anyone

This is THE book about war flying. Long out of print, if you are lucky enough to find a copy, keep it safe. Do not let your dog eat your other copy (that's what happened to me).

This book is always borrowed and never returned!

As a boy I learnt that copies of Winged Victory were changing hands between WW2 Bomber Pilots for £5 (or $20) a time - a considerable sum. Having read it I found out why - it contains some of the best descriptions of the sensations of flying in general - in particular the description of a flight near London remains in my memory - it also gives the feelings of a First War pilot before, during and after action. Every time I get a copy some one 'Borrows' it and it never returns. My next copy will be kept under lock and key - it's that good!
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