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Ralph Barker - Author

About the Author

Ralph Barker was born in Middlesex in 1917. He joined the editorial staff of Sporting Life in 1934 and later went into banking. He had some early success as a writer, and several of his sketches were performed at the Windmill Theatre. In 1940 he joined the RAF as a wireless operator and air gunner. After completing his training, he served with torpedo bomber squadrons, taking part in dangerous missions to attack ships bringing supplies to German forces. He left the RAF in 1946 to return to banking, but rejoined two years later. He went on to broadcast with the British Forces Network and work for the Air Ministry. Barker began to establish himself as a serious author on RAF subjects and his first book, Down in the Drink, was published in 1955. This was followed in 1957 by The Ship-Busters, inspired by his wartime experiences. He was subsequently invited to write The Last Blue Mountain, which was first published in 1959. He retired as a flight lieutenant in 1961 and became a full-time writer. Cricket was Barker's lifelong passion, and he played for the RAF and various Surrey clubs. His first cricket book, Ten Great Innings, was published in 1964, followed in 1967 by Ten Great Bowlers. Barker continued to write non-fiction titles on mainly aviation, survival and cricketing themes, including a compendium of England-Australia Test matches and authoritative histories of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. His final book, Men of the Bombers, was published in 2005. He died in 2011.

Featured books by Ralph Barker

Other books by Ralph Barker

The Hurricats

The Hurricats

Author: Ralph Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/05/2019

The Schneider Trophy Races

The Schneider Trophy Races

Author: Ralph Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/05/2019

Ship-Busters

Ship-Busters

Author: Ralph Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2010

Low-level strikes by British torpedo-bombers against enemy naval vessels ranked among the most dangerous aerial tactics developed during World War II. But the risks frequently paid off, whether in the attack by a single bomber on the German battleship Lutzow, the torpedoing of the Gneisenau, or the crippling blows against Rommel's supply lines to Africa. Colorful in its depiction of aircrew life and stirring in its descriptions of torpedo-bombers in combat, Ship-Busters is a classic account of World War II in the air.

Down in the Drink

Down in the Drink

Author: Ralph Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/09/2008

Among those who fought in the ferocious battles for the skies during the Second World War, some - shot down, or forced to ditch - had to confront an exceptionally pitiless enemy: the sea. DOWN IN THE DRINK tells the astonishing stories of nine aircrews who suffered this horrifying plight, from the captured Beaufort crew being flown to prison in Italy, who wrested control of the plane and set a new course for freedom while dangerously low on fuel, to the Mosquito fighter-bomber pilot adrift off Burma on the sinking wreckage of his plane, concussed, his bones broken, with only a flask of whisky to keep himself going. These are tales of bravery and resilience, loyalty and friendship. They give stirring proof that there is no limit to human courage.

A Brief History of the Royal Flying Corps in World War One

A Brief History of the Royal Flying Corps in World War One

Author: Ralph Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2002

This accessible text covers the all of the major First World War battles, from Bloody April 1917, when the squadrons suffered enormous casualties, through Third Ypres and Passchendaele to the chaotic retreat from Ludendorff's offensive. Drawing extensively from letters and diaries of the men who took part, Ralph Barker creates a bird's eye view of the battleground from the menacing skies above France and brings fresh off the page the exhiliration of combat, the debility of the shakes , the grit of observers and gunners, the strain of low-level flying, the bonding of pilot and ground mechanic, and the awareness of tragedy as brave men gave their lives.

The Hurricats

The Hurricats

Author: Ralph Barker Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/07/2000

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