The story of the legendary Lancaster bomber and its brave pilots'The epic story of an iconic aircraft and the breathtaking courage of those who flew her' Andy McNab, bestselling author of Bravo Two Zero
'Compelling, thrilling and rooted in quite extraordinary human drama' James Holland, author of Normandy 44
From John Nichol, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Spitfire, comes a passionate and profoundly moving tribute to the Lancaster bomber, its heroic crews and the men and women who kept her airborne during the country's greatest hour of need.
'The Avro Lancaster is an aviation icon; revered, romanticised, loved. Without her, and the bravery of those who flew her, the freedom we enjoy today would not exist
.'Sir Arthur Harris
, the controversial chief of Royal Air Force Bomber Command
, described the Lancaster as his 'shining sword' and the 'greatest single factor in winning the war'. RAF bomber squadrons carried out offensive operations from the first day of the Second World War until the very last, more than five and a half years later. They flew nearly 300,000 sorties
and dropped around a million tons of explosives
, as well as life-saving supplies. Over 10,000 of their aircraft never returned. Of the 7,377 Lancasters built during the conflict, more than half were lost to enemy action
or training accidents.The human cost was staggering
. Of the 125,000 men who served in Bomber Command, over 55,000 were killed
and another 8,400 were wounded. Some 10,000 survived being shot down, only to become prisoners of war. In simple, brutal terms, Harris's aircrew had only a 40 per cent chance of surviving the war unscathed
.Former RAF Tornado Navigator, Gulf War veteran and bestselling author John Nichol now tells the inspiring and moving story of this legendary aircraft that took the fight deep into the heart of Nazi Germany.
About the Author
John Nichol served in the Royal Air Force for fifteen years. On active duty during the first Gulf War in 1991, his Tornado bomber was shot down during a mission over Iraq. Captured, tortured and held as a prisoner of war, John was paraded on television, provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the most enduring images of the conflict. John is the bestselling co-author of Tornado Down and author of many highly acclaimed Second World War epics including Return of the Dambusters, Tail-End Charlies and Spitfire. He has made a number of TV documentaries with Second World War veterans, written for national newspapers and magazines, and is a widely quoted commentator on military affairs.