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Michael Gill is widely regarded as being one of the finest documentary film-makers of the twentieth century. Working as a junior reporter, he experienced the Second World War at first hand when he and his family were bombed out of their Canterbury home in June 1942. In August that year Michael joined the RAF and swiftly encountered the incomprehensible pettiness and rule-bound incongruities of service life. Later commissioned into the RAF Intelligence Branch, he was attached to a tactical bomber squadron in the build-up to D-Day and flew as an observer on operations over the devastated Normandy countryside. As the war moved towards its awful conclusion, Michael journeyed to Holland and on into Germany with his unit, witnessing the final days of the war and its pathetic aftermath for ordinary Germans. This beautifully observed memoir of the Second World War is head and shoulders above the many other accounts by those who did not fight the war 'at the sharp end', by virtue of Michael Gill's skilfully crafted narrative and believable characterisation of the people that inhabit its pages.

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