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Visceral, affecting fictionalised report of a bombing mission, from a former tailgunner shot down over Germany. Introduced by Richard Overy.
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 Dusseldorf on 20 June 1941: all five crew were captured. Repatriated by the Red Cross in 1943, he worked for Pathe 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'.