We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
FLAK | [Michael Veitch]

FLAK

A collection of vivid, unforgettable stories from RAAF veterans about their experiences of combat in World War II. It is also an account of the strange, sometimes obsessive journey of the author himself, as he explores a passion held since childhood. From bomber pilots to fighter aces, from rear gunners to bomb aimers, from stories of death and fear to tales of humor and comradeship, Michael has helped unearth the extraordinary stories of ordinary men living and fighting in extraordinary times.
Regular Price:$24.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Michael Veitch delivers an engaging and passionate performance of his nonfiction book FLAK. Since childhood, he had an obsession with Second World War aircraft. He believed that the men who flew these machines had incredible stories to share, but many of these narratives had not yet been recorded. Over a year, he set off to interview former bomber pilots, fighter aces, rear gunners, and bomb aimers living in Australia. These veterans were in their 80s, but their stories remained as vivid and unforgettable as the day they happened.

Publisher's Summary

The inspiring true stories of combat and camaraderie, read by the author with foreword by Bud Tingwell.

Michael Veitch's life-long obsession with the aircraft of the Second World War led him to conclude that every single person who flew, or flew in them has at least one extraordinary story to tell. With most of these veterans in their 80s, he knew that it was a matter of urgency to find them now, before their personal stories disappear forever.

So, over the course of a year, Veitch interviewed over 50 former aircrew across Australia, many of whom had never spoken about their experiences before, even to their families. The result is FLAK - a collection of vivid, unforgettable stories from RAAF veterans about their experiences of combat in World War II. It is also an account of the strange, sometimes obsessive journey of the author himself, as he explores a passion held since childhood.

From bomber pilots to fighter aces, from rear gunners to bomb aimers, from stories of death and fear to tales of humor and comradeship, Michael has helped unearth the extraordinary stories of ordinary men living and fighting in extraordinary times.

©2006 Michael Veitch; (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (55 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.3 (14 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.5 (14 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Marcia Y. 02-20-09
    Marcia Y. 02-20-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    351
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wow!"

    As an American I just didn't realize how much the Australian's did. Thank you for opening my eyes! Really enjoyed this one and his other book that Audible has. Listened to both at least twice. I hadn't realized that the German pilots never got a break until I listened to this but it made sense after I heard it in their own words. Thanks for of the eye opening experience!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke P. Anderson USA 05-12-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    507
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Marvelous"

    To me, this book is a "must read" for anyone who loves WWII aviation history.

    This book has great stories, and the author is a masterful writer and narrator. I've read (and listened to) a lot of military history -- I loved this one. Also, I liked that many of the stories were from RAAF pilots and crew. There aren't as many books from their point of view, and this book, in addition to being marvelous just on its own without any qualifications, is an excellent source from and tribute to those pilots.

    Thank you, Michael Veitch, for this wonderful book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 03-08-09
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 03-08-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    189
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    459
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "What? someone other than Americans flew in WW2?"

    It was refreshing to hear stories that did not revolve around the USAAF bombers and crew. I'm not faulting them at all, i have nothing but admiration for them.

    But there were others in the fight and this is their story. It is a series of vignettes featuring airman from Austrailia and New Zealand. They have remarkable first-hand accounts of what they did to aide Britain in the European theater while their own homeland was under attack.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marco Burwood, Australia 04-11-12
    Marco Burwood, Australia 04-11-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply a "Must Read""

    I was disappointed to see a reviewer critical of this book for recounting a story told by a former flyer. Sure it was an ugly truth that there was mistrust and national rivalries between the Allies. It remains a regrettable and tragic fact, but I do not think we should ignore that reality.
    The incident recounted in this book is one person's story. There are many other tremendous stories laid down in this book.
    I have no desire to hear sanitised patriotic history. I prefer to learn how things really were - right or wrong, politically correct or woefully biased.
    It is not the author's view, but the recollection of one individual who was there. Surely, as readers, we can accept that the terror of war in those urgent times led to many fears, suspicions, rivalries and tragedies.
    I found the author's warmth of understanding for the veterans to be touching. He has done a great job of sensitively opening very deep memories. This book is a great effort at preserving history and I could not recommend it more highly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Conklin, NY, United States 10-08-10
    John Conklin, NY, United States 10-08-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Very Disappointing"

    I love accounts of the brave men of WWII. This book however is not recommended if you happen to be an American how feels our country contributed greatly to the defeat of Germany and Japan. Mr Vietch, and his self described lefty leanings, takes every opportunity ti portray American air crews as incompetent, disliked by their allied counter parts. According to the men interviewed this hatred was to the degree that in chapter 17 he recounts the RAF and RAAF pilots cheering on the German pilot attacking an American bomber. I have walked away from this book placing the Australians on par with the French, and based on this work, I frankly am of the opinion, we should have allowed the Aussies to become a Japanese colony.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
Sort by:
  • Dave
    ManchesterUnited Kingdom
    10/20/09
    Overall
    "Enjoyable, informative and at times haunting."

    I'm quite familiar with the WWII air war over Europe, and the contribution made by "empire" pilots and crew, but this is a fascinating account of the war in Europe, Africa and the South Pacific as seen through Australian eyes.
    Veitch, initially in an unplanned way, began to capture and record accounts of wartime experience from Australians who had served in and around the allied air forces during WWII, and this book is his retelling of these firshand and very personal accounts, often in the words of the participants.
    Its been a very enjoyable listen and I learned much.
    Rather than concentrating exclusively on the fighter pilots and bomber crews, there are fascinating accounts from flying boat crews, air reconnaissance pilots, transport pilots and crews and of captivity and of rescue. Although for obvious reasons many of the accounts focus on Europe, I was unaware how much Australia itself had been bombed by the Japanese, and that the RAAF operated so extensively in the South Pacific.
    There is much dry, irreverent Aussie humour. The reading is warm and engaging. Only after listening did I realise this was actually the voice of the author himself. He does a fine job of reading his own material. There are also moments of great poignancy however - both in time of conflict, and after.
    This is a fine book, both for listeners familiar with the war in the air, and those yet to become so, and I recommend it.
    Veitch was given so much material that could not be included in this book that he has written a sequel "Fly" , and I am off to download this next.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Russell Harbison
    7/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just the ticket!"

    My first review for Audible brought about by the need to express my admiration for 'Flak' and the reader/author, Michael Veitch. Michael if you are reading this 'Good on you, mate!' you certainly 'got it' in my opinion, The book and your narration scored at every level, the factual account, historical notes, humor, drama and respect came through in each chapter. More than any film or other book I have read this audio book had me flying over the Bass Straits on the way to work and then the French coast on the way home. As soon as I 'landed' it was straight onto Wikipedia researching the facts and figures I'd been listening to, I'm still enjoying the book long after it ended!
    Should you spend a credit on this? Did you ever make an Airfix kit? Did you ever hear a Merlin engine? Ever see a Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane flypast? Need I say more?
    Finally to the 'boys' involved. Michael's book and rendition underlines the respect, thanks and awe in which he (and I) regard these not-forgotten men (and women) caught up in an extraordinary time.
    Off to download the next book 'Fly' now - happy commuting!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allan
    Plymouth, United Kingdom
    2/7/13
    Overall
    "FLAK"

    This is so humbling to listen to these Aussies talk about their experiences during the war. As they talk about their experiences in a so matter of fact manner.That it beggers belief that they are actually talking about frontline combat which more than likely made them fill their pants!!!! The narrator talks you through the approaching stories in the same matter of fact tone as the actual combatants do themselves. Yet all the time they are telling their stories. These men talk down their bravery as nothing more than they were just doing their job. As it was a job that needed doing!! All through this audio book there were moments of hilarity....as long as you have the same sence of humour as the Aussies....as well as sadness at the losses they experienced. Though moreso their indomitable spirit and loyalty speaks volumes with their own spoken words. This is definatly well worth listening to folks. Find out for yourselves how brave these men were and how they just played their war time experiences down to what can only be described as, in their own words, "nothing special" An absoulute brilliant listen, very humbling and educational to boot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Dunbar, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Great flying memoirs from the heroes down under."

    Was a wee bit suspicious that this might prove to be another one of the numerous tombs pertaining to the Second World War that is either far too serious and detailed (at least for my boredom threshold) or so badly written that you want to grab the author and teach them basic writing skills (keep my references to my self). This book was neither, the stories were varied, amusing (sometimes in a way that you'd only expect from the antipodes) and very gripping with more than a few emotive moments of sadness, relief and delight shared with the various contributors. Looking forward to obtaining the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.