Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this is Derek Robinson’s masterly novel of the war in the air over the Western Front in 1918.
The Booker-shortlisted Royal Flying Corps classic, reissued for the 50th Anniversary of its first publication
With an Introduction by James Holland and an Afterword by Mike Petty
"Robinson is probably the best novelist ever to write about fighter combat: surprising, hyper-realistic and very, very dark" Spectator
World War One pilots were the knights of the sky, and the press and public idolised them as gallant young heroes.
At just twenty-three, Major Stanley Woolley is the old man and commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron. He abhors any notion of chivalry in the clouds and is determined to obliterate the decent, gentlemanly outlook of his young, public school-educated pilots - for their own good.
But as the war goes on he is forced to throw greener and greener pilots into the meat grinder. Goshawk Squadron finds its gallows humour and black camaraderie no defence against a Spandau bullet to the back of the head.