They Hosed Them Out

John Bede Cusack (edited by Robert Brokenmouth), softcover, 358 pages, Wakefield Press, Mile End, South Australia, 2012 (reprinted 2016 - original edition published 1965).

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They Hosed Them Out

John Bede Cusack (edited by Robert Brokenmouth), softcover, 358 pages, Wakefield Press, Mile End, South Australia, 2012 (reprinted 2016 - original edition published 1965).

Described by many critics as a classic Australian war novel, They Hosed Them Out was originally published in 1965. The author, John Bede Cusack, was an RAAF air gunner who served with the RAF in Britain during 1942-44. The book represents a quasi-memoir of his experiences which include Bomber Command night operations in Wellingtons and Second Tactical Air Force day missions in Venturas, Bostons and Mitchells.
Written in 42 short and highly readable chapters, They Hosed They Out is an exceptionally valuable piece of RAAF history. As well as thrilling operational aspects, Cusack ably describes day-to-day relations within his own crew and also with other airmen of different ranks and different levels of experience. All of this is portrayed against the vivid background of a young man's life in wartime England - one where death is always around the corner.
This recent Wakefield Press edition features very useful footnotes by editor Robert Brokenmouth. Some of the extensive critical praise for the book is listed below:
'A shocking, authentic little masterpiece of men at war.' - Australian Book Review
'One of three outstanding books about the air war that have been written by Australians.' - Ross Campbell, Daily Telegraph
'In language and content this book of an Australian airgunner's war is strong meat. But it bears on every page the stamp of authenticity and can be thoroughly recommended for the graphic, unblinkered insights it gives into the author's three years' experience in RAF bombers ... this vivid, often brutal book ... is vastly entertaining, with many humorous passages - and some sultry ones, too, on the amatory side of life in wartime England.' - Leslie Jillett, Sydney Morning Herald
'The author is a natural writer with a flair for belly-jolting realism ... He is a real image Aussie, tough, ribald, amused by discipline, a colossal womaniser and a mighty man for the grog and all this comes over hot and salty ... It brings the almost ignored sacrifice of the airgunners before the reading public with a savage poignancy.' - Derek Whitelock
'... it proves vividly what I think it sets out to prove - that war is degradation. That this is achieved not from the viewpoint of a pacifist but from the viewpoint of a man who despised the philosophy of his enemy, adds to its stature.' - Ivan Southall
'A riveting read. ... a well-written account of wartime exploits which many in Australia know little about.' - Michael Roser, The Chronicle, Toowoomba
'This book, in its passion, interest and truthfulness, stands at least, alongside Come in Spinner on the very top shelf. ... An absorbing account of one man's European air war. ... Immensely personal, with nothing held back.' - Michael McKernan, Canberra Times
'They Hosed Them Out is fiction but not like anything you have experienced before.' - Andy Wright, Aircrew Book Review
'A well-written account of wartime exploits which many in Australia know little about ... A riveting read.' - Michael Roser, Sunshine Coast Daily
'A sobering story that reminded me how much we owe to the airmen of WW2.' - Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers
'This book really is a treasure ... a very good adventure story ... bold and fearless.' - Ian Lipke, M/C Reviews
'This is an outstanding book about the air war and even if you are not that interested in Australia's military history, you will find this powerful story engaging. There's adventure, empathy, humour, emotion, fear and plenty of adrenalin rushes.' - Michelle Thomspn, ReadPlus

 

 

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