3.5 stars I enjoyed this book very much It was interesting an eyewitness account of the early times of war aviation Weird to think they had no radios and had to communicate visually with basic hand signals. Biggles is involved in 13 different action packed incidents in Biggles of the Fighter Squadron It is towards the end of World War I and he has to be at his best to devise some outrageous, cunning and desperate schemes to down some German ace pilots, to rescue some of his pals or simply to stay alive to fight another day.For instance he teaches a cocky young pilot, Henry Watkins fresh out of flying training, how to attack the Germans and return safely Watkins, who does shoot down a German flyer, ignores Biggles advice and fails to return from a sortie so Biggles has to fly out to find him, shoot down a few Germans on the way, and escort Watkins safely home he then gives him a dressing down and stresses that he must follow orders in the future Watkins is suitably chastised.Biggles also gets entangled in a German squadron s flight and has to cleverly work his way out of it before he is spotted by the other German flyers or shot down by anti aircraft fire by his own side as he flies over British lines He manages to perform a miracle by disappearing in cloud and then finding his way safely back home.He also encounters an eccentric old man who has designed and manufactured from bits of all sorts of metal his own aircraft, complete with a special bomb that he reckoned would undoubtedly end the war if the government would sanction it Biggles flies the plane, drops the bomb but with disastrous consequences However, once , this time bedraggled, he eventually finds his way safely back to base.In a bizarre way he also befriends an ace German flyer when meeting in combat Biggles aircraft develops a fault and, sportingly, the German escorts him safely home rather than shoot him down Biggles later comes across the same flyer in a mass dog fight and he returns the favour by not finishing the German off when his plane develops problems all very gentlemanly Whilst the stories are all relatively exciting and action packed I prefer Biggles when he is involved in a full length adventure where the action is continuous throughout and the reader wonders what is going to happen next The stories are so short in Biggles of the Fighter Squadron , the full thrill of the read is disseminated every dozen or so pages when one short story ends, sometimes abruptly, and another begins. PRE ISBNNo Date Of Publication StatedFictional Based On Fact Stories Of Experiment, Trial, And Error In The Royal Flying Corps, In World Wat The Great War CONTENTS ForwardHow Biggles Was BornGlossary Of Terms UsedThe ProfessorThe Joy Ride The Bridge PartyThe Bottle PartyThe TrapThe FunkThe Professor Comes BackThe Great ArenaThe Dragon S LairBiggles S Day OffScotland For Ever Old School adventure done properly jolly good show Easy to mock, hard to copy, simple but technically meticulous stories give a fascinating insight into early flying seen from a very particular perspective.Also, very much darker than the jolly japes image might suggest Death, loss, grief and the futility of war are not far from the surface Well worth a read. I want to be 12 again Few characters span so much time so well, and I remember how much I loved this book having read some of the WWII adventures and detective books before it If like me you have not read the earlier books first, pick this up this is not a prequel it s a birth of a hero 1956 hardback edition This is the third Biggles book that I ve read and my favourite so far Unlike the other two, this is a collection of 11 short stories and an interesting foreword The stories are about as varied as a collection of stories starring a WW1 pilot could possibly be and surprisingly educational and action packed for something written so long ago About 3 4 of the way through this 215 page book come The Funk, The Professor Comes Back and The Great Arena, which I enjoyed the most W.E Johns writing of the action scenes actually has my pulse racing on occasions which is something very few writers ever manage to pull off, especially as dogfights are a chaotic affair that are difficult to describe well If you can t find the Biggles books in order, this would be a good one to start with 4.25 5 This is a collection of World War One English Flying pilots that is attributed to the fictus pilot Biggles In WWI they started by dropping rocks on the german trench s as they flew over them, and moved up to 20 pound bombs loaded on the bottom of the wings There were no rules or guidelines, so it was any thing goes, and try any thing This is a fun read and shows the development of aerial warfare in the modern world Fun read, and a must for any one interested in History. I have happily returned to the world of Biggles This one, unlike my last review, did not disappoint It was much like the first two I read Biggles, a fearless pilot, is still fighting the Germans during the First World War.At first I thought this one would have the same things happen again like the others, but a few new characters were introduced gotta love the Professor and Hartcourt and the chapter when Biggles crashes at the British lines during a fierce battle was epic and unique A war book that will certainly appeal to 12 13 year olds boys, and to those who enjoy a good airplane story A couple uses of deuce, blinking, blamed, and confounded. Thanks to Capt W.E John s first hand knowlege, his text is highly evocative, both in the detail of strategy, machinery, logistics, and above all in the language he uses Though he portrays war in the air as an adventure remember this is a childrens book , he does describe moments of sickening uncertainty he does not trivialise war His young reader is left older and wiser By comparison, many childrens books published today seem thoroughly childish and lifeless.
Invariably known as Captain W.E Johns, William Earl Johns was born in Bengeo, Hertfordshire, England He was the son of Richard Eastman Johns, a tailor, and Elizabeth Johns n e Earl , the daughter of a master butcher He had a younger brother, Russell Ernest Johns, who was born on 24 October 1895 He went to Hertford Grammar School where he was no great scholar but he did develop into a crack sh
- 182 pages
- Biggles of the Camel Squadron
- W.E. Johns
- 22 March 2019 W.E. Johns