In 1918 Stanley Woolley, commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron, indoctrinates his pilots with a savage code - shoot the enemy in the back before he knows that you are there. But despite his best efforts to train them, Woolley believes that in three months the squadron will be dead.
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.
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Derek Robinson read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.
Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson
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