And Some Fell on Stony Ground (Paperback)
A Day in the Life of an RAF Bomber Pilot
Leslie Mann Richard Overy
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A unique glimpse of the deadliest profession of the Second World War.
In June 1941, Flight Sergeant Leslie Mann, a tail gunner in a British bomber, was shot down over Düsseldorf and taken into captivity. After the war, wanting to record the experiences of the RAF’s ‘Bomber Boys’, he gave voice to his private thoughts and feelings in a short novella, uncovered only after his death.
Visceral, shocking and unglamorous, this compelling story transmits as rarely before the horrors of aerial warfare, the corrosive effects of fear, and the psychological torment of the young men involved. The sights, sounds, smells, and above all the emotional strain are intensely evoked with a novelist’s skill.
And Some Fell on Stony Ground is introduced by historian Richard Overy, author of the acclaimed book, The Bombing War (2013).
Leslie Mann was born in Penang in 1914, the son of a police inspector. The family later moved to the UK, and Leslie started work as a sound engineer at Elstree Studios. He enlisted in the RAF in 1938, and married in 1939. As a rear gunner and wireless operator with 51 Squadron at Dishforth, Yorkshire, he flew in Whitley bombers. He was shot down on a raid over Düsseldorf on 20 June 1941: all five crew were captured. Repatriated by the Red Cross in 1943, he worked for Pathé News and later became a correspondent in the Korean War and a cameraman in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising. He then moved to the BBC, for whom he worked as a senior news executive until retirement. He died in 1989.
Richard Overy is an award-winning historian. His book, The Bombing War, was described by Richard J. Evans in the Guardian as ‘the most important book published on the history of the second world war this century’.|Richard Overy is an award-winning historian best known for his remarkable books on the Second World War and the wider disasters of the twentieth century. His most recent book, The Bombing War, was described by Richard J Evans in the Guardian as 'Magnificent … must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war … It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century'
He is Professor of History at the University of Exeter and lives in London.