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Phoenix Squadron Hardcover – International Edition, May 19, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Aircraft carriers, jet fighters and a crisis on the other side of the world. Who could ask for more? It takes an obscure corner of British military history and weaves a story as gripping as any Tom Clancy thriller. It's completely riveting."
-- Jeremy Clarkson

"From the cockpit of a fighter jet to the violently pitching deck of an aircraft carrier at night, Rowland White combines pulse-pounding tension with riveting detail. If only all military history was written like this."
--Andy McNab, author of Brave Two Zero

About the Author

ROWLAND WHITE lives in London with his wife and two children, and works in publishing.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; Third impression edition (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593054504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593054505
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this book you'll find some non-sensical and inconsistent capitalisation, misspelled place names, and some unnecessary italics. Rowland also occassionally sneaks "the" in front of ship names - though he's better than most at refraining from that bad habit. (The cities of London and New York aren't referred to as "the London" and "the New York"; ship names are proper nouns, too.) However, most annoying is how often he starts sentences with "And".

The distractions aside, this book is an extremely detailed and informative account of a little-known footnote in the history of the British Empire, in which the incomparable HMS Ark Royal and her embarked air wing played a starring role. Though the actual flight over Belize was flown by Buccaneers of 809 squadron, all the ship's aircraft are profiled in the lead-up to the dramatic long-range mission flown from the Atlantic to the Yucatan peninsula and back. I was particularly impressed with the richness of description of life aboard Ark, which I found very different yet comfortingly similar to life aboard the present-day American carrier I'm assigned to. The maps, cutaway drawings of the Buccaneer and the Phantom, a load of well-captioned pictures, a useful glossary, and an extensive bibliography round out the book to very nice effect.

The pesky nits missed by the editor notwithstanding, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in carrier aviation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a marvel of a work of popular history. The author takes an obscure incident of relative little importance and writes a massive book. The book is probably 10 times longer than it needs to be...but I wish it had been twice as long! I just can't say enough good things about the work. It is a simple joy to read. The people, places, times, and equipment come to life. Whether on board the Ark Royal at sea, in a Buccaneer at 39,000 feet, or on the ground in British Honduras!

I recommend this work to anyone interested in: Post-WW II British military actions & policies, the RN & RAF, aircraft carriers, strike/attack aircraft, British Honduras, and more. There is something for everyone here.

But keep in mind that is a NON-academic work. Thus there are no footnotes or endnotes. There is a rewarding glossary that prevents one from military acronyms/lingo overload.

Yet, the author appears to get his facts and data accurate. He has done his homework. The mistakes are few and far between. For example, on p. 184 the big telephone pole-like Soviet SAM used extensively in Vietnam is the SA-2 not the SA-3. The Florida Panhandle on pgs. 287 & 319 is NOT the southern tip of Florida but the NW extension that extends to Alabama. And the author fails to adequately discuss the A-37 in American versus Guatemalan nomenclature (see the Index on p. 395 with separate entries for Cessna A-37 Alpha versus A-37B Dragongflies, when they are one-in-the-same aircraft.

This work is neither too heavy nor too light. It can appeal to the very knowledgeable as well as to those with little knowledge of the subject matter. He is sufficiently detailed without being pedantic, but he ensure you know what you need to know in a way that makes sure you do know it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an ex-brother-in-law to one of the 892 Squadron consultants to this author and an airline airport manager in Brmuda at the time of the operation I can attest to its accuracy. Perhaps I found it more interesting than most because of my connections,but it is a damn good read and he tells a good story.
J.McGill
Dumfries,Scotland.
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Format: Hardcover
This must be the most long winded book ever written.If its 407 pages were cut to half that number it would still make it too long.
The book deals with HMS Ark Royal an aircraft carriedr of 36,000 tons that operated between 1955-1978.
The particular operation discussed is the dispatch of the vessel and its planes in January 1972 to British Honduras to thwart the possible invasion of the territory by Guatemala.The real heroes of the book are the Buccaneer pilots who had to fly endless miles,be refueled and fly over the the main cities to act as a deterrant which was very sucessful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A engaging read with lots of anecdotal insights into UK carrier ops. While the actual incident is little known the author brings lots of action into the story. Great backgroud on the Ark Royal and Fleet Air Arm. Well recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I read the Vulcan story and so went for this. I love historical works such as this and liked the novel style feel of the book. I was a little disappointed to find the content a bit thin. There seemed to be a lot of padding and the big sell from the publisher was a bit over the top. However having said that it was still an intriguing look at a little known part of British Naval history. davidm.
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