Wings Over Iraq

Wings Over Iraq

4.58 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 8-11 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


This is Iraq in the turbulent 1920s--a cauldron of intrigue, violence and death in a new country created from disparate parts of the old Ottoman Empire after WWI. The British are attempting to establish a puppet monarchy and protect the vital flow of oil using obsolete bombers. Lawless, rebellious Arab tribes roam the vast deserts, preying on anything that moves on the ground or in the air.

Allan Chadwick is a slightly gauche, newly qualified RAF pilot posted to a bomber squadron near Baghdad. He is soon initiated into the brutality of war and the pleasures of romantic liaisons. Although they rarely meet, he has an accidental but profound influence on the life of Dr. Kurt Scharf, a respectable professor of archaeology. Scharf is a reluctant partner of German military intelligence, which funds his dig at Ur as a front for anti-British espionage.

Their stories play out against the historical background of Middle Eastern conflict, the rise of fascism in Europe and the slow build-up to another world war.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 292 pages
  • 133 x 203 x 15mm | 304g
  • English
  • Illustrations
  • 0578652994
  • 9780578652993
  • 2,381,003

Review quote

"Forsyth's debut novel ... provides important historical context for bitter feuds in the Middle East and a vivid portrait of a world careening toward another terrible war." Excerpted from Kirkus Reviews, April 2020

"Forsyth's Wings Over Iraq is a novel of tactics, procedures, and lightly suspenseful travel writing. [His] prose is precise, unflashy, and scrupulously clear. He excels at distilling complex political or tactical situations down to their essence, as occurs in the novel's many scenes of briefings and meetings. Forsyth has selected a rich and resonant milieu for his story, and his briefings of the region's history and the machinations of European governments there are informative and revealing. Scenes of Chadwick's intimate encounters are more familiar but presented in a winning comic register. Forsyth's extensive knowledge of aircraft results in fresh, inspired passages about flying, engines, and innovations." Publishers Weekly's Booklife, April 2020

"Arresting first novel. A well-informed imagination enables the author to recreate conditions of service in Iraq during the 1920s. Despite its wealth in content Wings Over Iraq is clear and precise in organisation. It is a novel I recommend." - Charles Winder, The Bugle

"This is a gripping tale of RAF air warfare in Iraq in 1931. You are in the air over Iraq in the 1930's, enmeshed in flying adventures, and terror, Intrigue, violence and death. The book is impossible to put down and I had to finish the 278 pages in one sitting." - Anonymous Amazon Reviewer

I found the time setting extremely interesting and the plot compelling. I would never have considered Iraq to be a low intensity conflict battlefield in the late 1920's and early 1930's, and who would have thought the British were still using Vimy Bi-Plane Bombers from World War I in an age of full metal monoplanes. Forsyth leads his protagonist Allan Chadwick through the painstaking process of being a young flying officer checking into a new unit, getting quarters, being checked out in a new (to him) aircraft. This will lead into plenty of action in the air on the ground and at sea. Read this to get a feel of Post-Great War military aviation under primitive conditions (with a healthy dose of contemporary British Colonial attitude.) I thoroughly enjoyed it. - Thomas Lenneck on Goodreads

show more

Rating details

12 ratings
4.58 out of 5 stars
5 67% (8)
4 25% (3)
3 8% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X