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Bomb Disposal in World War Two

Bomb Disposal in World War Two

Chris Ranstead
ARRSE Rating
1 Mushroom Head
If only for the sake of those whose story this book aspires to tell, I really, really, really wanted to like it. Having read the book, I believe that the author, Chris Ranstead really, really, really wanted to dig deep and unearth the stories of unsung and nameless heroes who saved uncounted lives. However, having read the book, I believe that Mr Ranstead has been seriously let down by the editorial team at Pen and Sword which, given the outstanding and sustained contribution of that publishing house to the study of military history, particularly, bringing to life the more arcane aspects of military achievement that would otherwise have subsided into an historical backwater to be forever forgotten, this reviewer finds this whole enterprise somewhat mystifying.

By rights, this story, with its constant underpinning narrative of British bomb disposers in a constant battle of wits with Nazi bomb-makers, should have created a tale at least as compelling as the battle of the beams by which the worst effects of Nazi air attack were blunted by technical wizardry, but that potential never materialises. Instead of some understanding of how the inevitable measure/counter-measure war of wits was waged, the book opens up with a factual litany of bombs, counter-measures and final outcome. There may be First World War memoirs somewhere which manage to achieve similar levels of dispassionate assessment of the acts of brave men but, happily, they've avoided my bookshelves.

This was not an easy read and I didn't enjoy a moment of reading it. If your interest is in EOD, I have to say in fairness that you will find authoritative material of interest herein but, for the general reader, and at £25, it's a no no for me.

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