I HAD a ROW WITH a GERMAN
A Battle of Britain Casualty
Signed by Group Captain Tom Gleave
With a card signed by Group Captain Tom Gleave
+ a first edition, first impression copy of the book from 1941
Air World Books new edition 2022. 167 pages and very well illustrated with photographs.
New hardback book and dustjacket. Mint condition. The card is not attached to the book. The first edition of the book was published by Macmillan in 1941 and is in VG condition with a smart quality reproduction of the very scarce dust jacket in a protective cover. On the rear end paper is a neatly written verse of the famous poem about RAF pilots by HE Bates, himself an RAF Squadron Leader.
Tom Gleave commanded 253 Squadron during the Battle of Britain and acquired fame for claiming five Messerschmitt BF109s in a single day. However, Tom is remembered more the misfortune which befell him on 31st August 1940 when he was shot down and badly burned. He was a founder member of ‘The Guinea Pig Club’ being its first and only Chief Guinea Pig until his death in 1993.
Whilst he was recovering, Gleave wrote a moving and graphic memoir published anonymously as ‘RAF Casualty’ in 1941 with the title ‘I Had a Row With a German‘. This new book contains not only the original memoir, but also tells the story of how the book came to published and gives much more biographical detail about Tom and his unique career. The historian, Dilip Sarkar, has added fascinating context and research supported by lots of photos of letters and documents from Tom’s personal archive, transcripts of his combat reports and even some contemporary reviews of the book from when it was first published.
Much more than a simple reissue of an old book, this beautifully illustrated volume gives a fresh and completely original perspective on an important wartime memoir and together with a copy of the original edition and a nicely signed card this package serves as an excellent tribute to a very brave man.