Friday, November 28, 2014

Good Reads: Those Who Fall

Published by Pocket Books in 1988.  Cover art work by Al Freeman.

This is without a doubt one of the best-written war history books I have ever read.  Anyone who prefaces his chapters with quotes from A.E. Housman or Dylan Thomas deserves our respect. Muirhead himself was trained as a structural draftsman and as a marine engineer, but has the soul of a poet.

As part of the 301st Bomb Group, the author piloted a B-17 out of Italy on bombing raids against targets in Italy, Germany and other European countries.  In June 1944 he was shot down on his 30th mission over Ploesti and spent the remainder of the war in captivity in Bulgaria. 

This book is by no means a glorification of war, but rather one man's recollections of the experiences of what it was like to fight the war at 20,000 plus feet and to go out on mission after mission knowing each one might be your last.   Muirhead is a very gifted writer, and he uses his talents to terrific advantage. 

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