617: Going to War with Today's Dambusters

617: Going to War with Today's Dambusters

Hardback

By (author) Tim Bouquet

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  • Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 38mm | 640g
  • Publication date: 27 December 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1409144151
  • ISBN 13: 9781409144151
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 345,239

Product description

In May 1943, 617 Squadron RAF executed one of the most daring operations in military history. Flying barely 50 feet above black marble waters, Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his bombers mounted a raid against hydro-electric dams in Germany. Bold, courageous and precise - 617 Squadron became a World War II legend. Nearly seventy years later in April 2011, a new generation of elite flyers followed their Dambuster heroes into the theatre of war. Now flying supersonic Tornado GR4 bombers, 617 Squadron was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan - their mission, to provide close air support to troops engaged in brutal conflict on the ground. Commanding 617 is new boss Keith Taylor. An operational veteran with seven tours over Iraq, he knew that even with the latest cutting-edge weapons and sensors, only rigorous flying standards and watertight tactics would keep his young pilots safe. A full-throttle account of daring feats in modern fast attack jets, this is also a very personal story of a closely-knit band of men and women working under immense pressure, where every decision could affect the lives of NATO troops and an entire country's hopes for a better future. Tim Bouquet was given unprecedented access to 617's pre-deployment training at RAF Lossiemouth and blistering tour in Afghanistan. From dramatic air strikes to the life-and-death search for IEDs and low-flying shows of force designed to spook and drive insurgents from civilian cover, he tracks every mission - and the skill, resilience, banter and exceptional airmanship that see 617 through. 617 is the richest, most insightful and gripping account of the Royal Air Force at war for a generation.

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Author information

Tim Bouquet is a journalist, writer, editor, broadcaster and traveller. He contributes to leading titles including the Telegraph Magazine and The Times Magazine.

Review quote

A gripping and revealing account of how the modern generation of Dambusters uphold the traditions of courage and sacrifice of their World War II brethren. One cannot fail to be impressed by the bravery, dedication and professionalism displayed by this new breed of aviator. -- John Nichol The legendary Dambuster squadron is still in safe hands. 617 offers a rare and privileged insight into the modern RAF. -- Rowland White, bestselling author of VULCAN 607 The 617 Squadron of 2011 might not have bombed targets on a daily basis, nor found itself under constant enemy attack, but this book is no less fascinating for that. As a detailed picture of how a modern fast-leg squadron operates and functions, it is utterly compelling. MAIL ON SUNDAY Bouquet's clear, informative writing places us alongside these brave professionals and will open up reader's eyes to life in the theatre of war. LINCOLNSHIRE LIFE

Back cover copy

Nobody feeling the ground begin to shake would have heard anything until the jet was above them. The suddenness of the screaming, churning, ear-splitting din would probably liquefy their bowels and make heart valves tap dance. Twenty-nine tonnes of Tornado about to rip the roof off was as terrifying as it was meant to be; terrifying beyond imagination.

Flap copy

In May 1943, 617 Squadron RAF executed one of the most daring operations in military history. Flying barely 50 feet above black marble waters, Wing Commander, Guy Gibson and his bombers mounted a raid against hydro-electric dams in Germany. Bold, courageous and precise - 617 Squadron became a World War II legend. Nearly seventy years later in April 2011, a new generation of elite flyers followed their Dambuster heroes into the theatre of war. Now flying supersonic Tornado GR4 bombers, 617 Squadron was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan - their mission, to provide close air support to troops engaged in brutal conflict on the ground. Commanding 617 is new boss Keith Taylor. An operational veteran with seven tours over Iraq, he knew that even with the latest cutting-edge weapons and sensors, only rigorous flying standards and watertight tactics would keep his young pilots safe. A full-throttle account of daring feats in modern fast attack jets, this is also a very personal story of a closely-knit band of men and women working under immense pressure, where every decision could affect the lives of NATO troops and an entire country's hopes for a better future. Tim Bouquet was given unprecedented access to 617's pre-deployment training at RAF Lossiemouth and blistering tour in Afghanistan. From dramatic air strikes to the life-and-death search for IEDs and low-flying shows of force designed to spook and drive insurgents from civilian cover, he tracks every mission - and the skill, resilience, banter and exceptional airmanship that see 617 through. 617 is the richest, most insightful and gripping account of the Royal Air Force at war for a generation.