Author(s): Leslie Mann
In June 1941, Flight Sergeant Leslie Mann, a tail gunner in a British bomber, was shot down over Germany and taken into captivity. After the war, wanting to record the experiences of the RAF's 'Bomber Boys', he wrote down his inner thoughts and feelings as a fictional narrative, recently brought to the attention of Imperial War Museums. Visceral, shocking and unglamorous, it transmits as rarely before the horrors of aerial warfare, the corrosive effects of fear, and the psychological torment of the young men involved. Although presented as fiction, the book's solid basis in lived experience makes it ring true - the sights, sounds, smells, and above all the emotional strain are intensely evoked with a novelist's skill. Providing a unique glimpse into a deadly profession and a traumatic time, And Some Fell on Stony Ground is a fascinating historical artefact in its own right. This compelling story is introduced and placed in context by historian Richard Overy, author of the acclaimed book, The Bombing War (Allen Lane, 2013).
Richard Overy is an award-winning historian best known for his remarkable books on the Second World War and the wider disasters of the twentieth century. His most recent book, The Bombing War, was described by Richard J Evans in the Guardian as 'Magnificent ... must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war ... It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century' He is Professor of History at the University of Exeter and lives in London.