The dam busters

They took a lot of flak: the lives of the Lancaster bombers

Those of us who write occasionally about military aviation can only admire the compelling personal experience that John Nichol brings to his work. A heroic RAF navigator, he was shot down, captured and tortured by the Iraqis during the first Gulf War before his release at the end of the conflict. Since his retirement from the air force, he has become a successful author, writing five novels as well as an acclaimed, best-selling study of the Spitfire fighter. Now he turns his attention to a very different, but equally iconic, British plane: the Avro Lancaster bomber. Where the Spitfire was a dashing rapier, the Lancaster was a mighty broadsword. The