Desert Flyer - The Log and Journal of F/O William Marsh by Martyn R. Ford-Jones

Discussion in 'Books and Films' started by Antipodean Andy, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    As posted above in the "What are you reading" thread, having completed the book, I am of the same opinion but the impact of the errors/lack of research/treating the reader a little like an idiot are lessened by a bit of sentimentality (if I am completely honest). Sure, the issues I have with this book continued to the end - a classic example being a pilot recorded in the text as having pranged his Spitfire was referred to in the end notes as having pranged his Hurricane and the caption of the relevant pic also said Hurri - but, as I read about Marsh's time with 71 OTU at Ismailia, I realised I would miss this pilot whose life had been laid out in front of me over 300+ pages. His loss, as with all losses in our readings, was sobering and sad and I felt a sense of loss as well. So, despite the frustrations that are clearly evident, I would recommend this book. Sure, it's light on for detailed research and the there are all manner of things that you'll pick up as wrong etc but it is an insight into "one of the many" - the fighter pilots who were not aces but were bloody good at their jobs and who should have had the chance to live a longer life.

    As I've said above, you could also buy this book for its photos alone. They are superb.

    Edit: the book in the bibliography mentioned above as not having any relevance to the text was the author's publication on 15 Sqn (XV). Marsh's correspondence with his brother Gil, a Stirling pilot with XV, is detailed as are some details of Gil's service and injuries so reference to this book certainly would have been made!

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