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Description - Group Captain John 'Joe' Collier DSO, DFC and Bar by Simon Gooch

Group Captain John 'Joe' Collier DSO, DFC and Bar was a key player during some of the most dynamic episodes of Second World War history. A quiet and humble man, he didn't experience much of a fanfare during his lifetime in response to his achievements. But the importance of his actions during the fraught and dangerous days of the Second World War cannot be overstated. From an illustrious flying career (during which Guy Gibson stated that he believed Collier's unit (97) to be the best in Bomber Command), he was to carve out an impressive niche in a behind-the-scenes capacity at the Directorate of Bomber Operations, fusing his practical knowledge with his formidable tactical intellect to impressive effect. In B Ops 1, John Collier was closely involved in planning the Dambuster Raid with Barnes Wallis, becoming great friends with him in the process. He also drafted the attack on Peenemunde's V-Weapons research station, and wrestled with the problem of how to prevent 'buzz-bombs' and rocket attacks on London. As target selector for the specialist 617 Squadron, he and Leonard Cheshire VC planned a series of daring raids using Wallis's Tallboy 'earthquake bomb'. These tasks were often linked to Collier's other role with SOE's 'Blackmail Committee' that gave French industrialists a stark choice: sabotage your own plant or we will bomb it flat. In late 1944, when the US Army was poised to attack the Siegfried Line, Collier spotted the danger from a previously unidentified dam that, if opened by the Germans, could have wreaked havoc. The American advance was abruptly halted and a disaster was averted. Collier's personal experience of the dangers of laying mines led to his invention of a high-level technique that also saved many lives. By the time he moved on to India in 1945 as Deputy Director of Combined Ops, John Collier had been involved in most of the major initiatives of the bomber war. His unpublished memoir of B Ops 1 and his own logbooks and letters home give direct authority to the first ever authorised biography of this remarkable flyer, one of the most significant - if unsung - young officers of the war. AUTHOR: Simon Gooch studied and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator until travel writing tempted him to stray. Many trips abroad followed, especially to Eastern Europe and the USSR. In recent years he has researched numerous family histories and privately published the definitive study of Holwood, 20 photographs

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781473827516
ISBN-10: 1473827515
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 0mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publish Date: 21-Jan-2015
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Simon Gooch

Simon Gooch studied and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator until travel writing tempted him to stray. Many trips abroad followed, especially to Eastern Europe and the USSR. In recent years he has researched numerous family histories and privately published the definitive study of Holwood, William Pitt the Younger's country estate in Kent.

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