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Barney Greatrex : From Bomber Command to the French Resistance - the stirring story of an Australian hero - Michael Veitch

Barney Greatrex

From Bomber Command to the French Resistance - the stirring story of an Australian hero

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The incredible untold World War II story of Australian hero Barney Greatrex - from Bomber Command to French Resistance fighter.

A high school and university cadet in Sydney, Barney Greatrex signed up for Bomber Command in 1941, keen to get straight into the very centre of the Allied counterattack. The RAF's strategic bombing missions faced the deadliest and most dangerous fighting imaginable as they attempted to break the will of the German people and destroy its industrial might. Bombing Germany night after night, they faced continual enemy fighter attacks and anti-aircraft fire - death or capture by the Nazis loomed large. Very few survived more than 20 missions, and it was on his 20th mission, in 1944, that Barney's luck finally ran out: he was shot down over occupied France.

But Greatrex's war was far from over. Rescued by the French Resistance, he seized the opportunity to carry on fighting and joined his local Maquis. Alongside the men and women of the Vosges, he took part in the often savage and always dangerous operations against the occupying German forces to assist the Allies in the liberation of France.

Barney was awarded the French Legion of Honour after the war, and his unique World War II story, surviving two of its most dangerous and diverse battlefronts, is told here for the first time by acclaimed bestselling author Michael Veitch.

About the Author

Michael Veitch is well known as an author, actor, comedian and former ABC television and radio presenter. His books include the critically acclaimed accounts of Australian pilots in World War II, 44 Days, Heroes Of The Skies, Fly, Flak and the forthcoming Barney Greatrex. He lives in the Yarra Valley, outside Melbourne.


A family connection...


I rarely read wartime history but as this is very much my father's story I was fascinated by it and found the feeling of time and place all consuming. Barney's story was worth telling. A boy sent to war who survived after flying more than the average number of missions with bomber command is unusual in itself! But his experiences after being shot down over Germany just add to his lucky tale. The story is told in a low emotion matter of fact style that is so typical of the boys who went to WW2 and came back as men who rarely told even their families about their experiences!



Purchased for my husband


I purchased this for my husband, and he loved it, thank you.

Gordonvale Qld


A good gift choice


Hopefully a popular choice as a gift.


Great book about a great man


Enjoyed this book so much that I also purchased "For School and Country", a set of DVDs made by Alex Lloyd and Angus Horden of Thistle Productions. These DVDs star Barney and other WW11 veterans all of whom were educated at Knox Grammar School.




4.8 4


fascinating . . . Veitch brings the story vividly to life. - Sydney Morning Herald - Pick of the Week

an extraordinary story - GOLD COAST BULLETIN

Brilliantly researched and sympathetically told, 44 DAYS is more than just a fitting tribute to brave but overlooked heroes. It's also a top read. - DAILY TELEGRAPH on Michael Veitch's 44 DAYS

should be part of Australian military folklore. - ADELAIDE ADVERTISER on Michael Veitch's 44 DAYS

compelling - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD on Michael Veitch's HEROES OF THE SKIES

Michael Veitch, as in his brilliant 44 Days, weaves Barney's narrative with adroit segues into the wider war. - Adelaide Advertiser

An entertaining and comprehensive tour . . . Few readers will remain unmoved. - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD on Michael Veitch's THE FORGOTTEN ISLANDS

A rich and enjoyable island-hopping journey. - SUNDAY HERALD SUN on Michael Veitch's THE FORGOTTEN ISLANDS

ISBN: 9780733637230
ISBN-10: 073363723X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 26th September 2017
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1