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Reach for the Sky: Story of Douglas Bader, D.S.O., D.F.C.

Reach for the Sky: Story of Douglas Bader, D.S.O., D.F.C.

Paperback Cassell Military Paperbacks

By (author) Paul Brickhill

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  • Publisher: Cassell Military
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 28mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 20 August 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0304356743
  • ISBN 13: 9780304356744
  • Edition statement: MMP Latest Reissue
  • Illustrations note: 8
  • Sales rank: 16,188

Product description

In 1931, at the age of 21, Douglas Bader was the golden boy of the RAF. Excelling in everything he did he represented the Royal Air Force in aerobatics displays, played rugby for Harlequins, and was tipped to be the next England fly half. But one afternoon in December all his ambitions came to an abrupt end when he crashed his plane doing a particularly difficult and illegal aerobatic trick. His injuries were so bad that surgeons were forced to amputate both his legs to save his life. Douglas Bader did not fly again until the outbreak of the Second World War, when his undoubted skill in the air was enough to convince a desperate air force to give him his own squadron. The rest of his story is the stuff of legend. Flying Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain he led his squadron to kill after kill, keeping them all going with his unstoppable banter. Shot down in occupied France, his German captors had to confiscate his tin legs in order to stop him trying to escape. Bader faced it all, disability, leadership and capture, with the same charm, charisma and determination that was an inspiration to all around him.

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Author information

During the war Paul Brickhill was shot down over German territory and sent to a prisoner of war camp. After the war he wrote about the numerous escape attempts in which he was involved in THE GREAT ESCAPE.

Editorial reviews

A "gut" book in which intestinal fortitude is the answer to a life without legs. Douglas Bader lost both of his in an airplane crash, nearly died in the operations following it, determined he would walk on his artificial legs without a cane - and did - and managed to return to the British Air Force. When the Air Ministry "retired" him, he made the best of civilian life but when World War II broke, Bader was back in a flash and quickly built himself a reputation which eventually carned him his own squadron. Flying, fighting, his example was an inspiration to all the men, his score of Me's mounted and when he was taken prisoner, his spare leg was flown over to him. He managed one escape, and with the war's end has continued his career in the clouds.....It's quite a story and it never forgets the amazing and sensitive support given by his wife, Thelma, whose understanding complemented his courage and determination. Something. (Kirkus Reviews)