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"Broken Wing" by Divine -- is it any good?


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  • TheyJammedKenny! changed the title to "Broken Wing" by Divine -- is it any good?

It's very outdated and written without the benefit of access to any official documentation, even that pertaining to the First World War. There are a fair few statements of 'fact' which are just plain wrong - the classic is his claim that the RFC didn't practice artillery spotting prior to 1914 - even when there were sources available which might have suggested otherwise. The book is often mentioned in histories of the First World War relating to air power, but is really only worth reading in conjunction with other, more recent work (e.g. Syd Wise's Canadian Airmen and the First World War despite the title, is almost a demi-official history of the RFC, RNAS and RAF, even it it is part of the RCAF's Official History series).


I think it gets a bit better when it moves on (thanks to more readily available material, albeit still not official records) but it is designed as a critique and has a slightly polemical air about it. 


If it's only a couple of quid, I'd get it - part of the value in some ways lies in the book being part of a particular 'school' of critiques. Anything approaching a tenner and I'd wrinkle my nose a bit and think of the Eduard Spitfire dual combos the money might otherwise go towards. It's not that it isn't a reasonable book, just that it's a product of its time and falls into  a variety of Pooh-traps that the Bear of that name would've been proud of setting for passing heffalumps, woozles and historians (with apologies to those who either don't have kids or who've not been reading their offspring the Pooh books seemingly every night for the last God-Knows-How-Long).

Edited by XV107
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