Angels in the Sky

How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel
Narrated by: Tom Perkins
Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: History, Middle East
5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Angels in the Sky is the gripping story of how an all-volunteer air force helped defeat five Arab nations and protect the fledgling Jewish state.

It is the exhilarating account of a ragtag band of volunteer airmen from around the world who fought for Israel during the war of independence. They arrived from America, Canada, Britain, France, and South Africa. Almost all were World War II combat veterans. Many, but not all, were Jewish, and many knowingly violated their nations' embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel.

They smuggled in Messerschmitt fighters from Czechoslovakia, painting over swastikas with Israeli stars. They flew British-built Spitfires and American Mustangs, risking their lives for a righteous cause. Surrounded by Egyptian, Jordanian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese forces, Israel would have been crushed without the air support provided by the "angels in the sky".

Briskly written and based on first-person interviews and extensive archival research, here is a modern-day David-and-Goliath tale and popular history at its best.

©2017 Robert Gandt and Michael Flint (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Angels in the Sky

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly excellent story - highly recommended

This book captures the history of the volunteer airmen who came to Israel’s rescue in its war of independence. The story is action packed and speaks to the many challenges of acquiring, equipping and flying war and transport planes during an embargo of the new Jewish state. It also touches upon some less know (at least to me) support that Egypt was receiving throughout the war. I won’t spoil that story for you.

The performance was excellent, but the narrator botched many of the Hebrew and Arabic names in the book.

3 people found this helpful

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FULL OF MIRACLES

Best non-fiction book I have ever read. Probably not fair to others to compare, since the story is full of miracles, and bravery, and VERY shocking deceit. With " friends like these (USA State Dept of post WWII)" who needs enemies.

3 people found this helpful

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Way More Than the Std Story We've All Heard!

Wow, what a great book! Many of us amateur aviation history fans have heard how a few Jewish and gentile pilots flew Czech-built Messerschmitts during Israel's 48 War of Independence and that's where the story usually stops. This book goes way deeper - it wasn't just a few fighter pilots, it was also bomber pilots, and it was transport pilots, it was savvy businessmen willing to go to jail by flouting export regulations to get Israel the planes it needed. This story flows like a novel - it's interesting, follows twists and turns, has heroes (and a few villains), shows the pain of loss, and the thrill of ultimate victory.

Here are a few things (spoilers - sorry) I didn't know before listening to this book that might pique the interest of aviation fans, like myself:
- The last Israeli victories of the war were actually over 4 RAF (not Egyptian) Spitfires
- The IAF used T6 Harvards (planes without dive brakes) as dive bombers
- Israel flew B17s in combat
- Early in the war the combat consisted of Israeli pilots flying ex-Nazi equipment against Egyptian pilots flying ex-British equipment

The book is not super-technical but technical enough to be credible.

In listening to this book I couldn't help but think, Wow, this would make a great movie!!!

The narrator was good although his pronunciation of certain Hebrew words and Israeli place names was a bit off, which can be a bit jarring.

Overall, though, highly recommended!!!

3 people found this helpful

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This book is one of my favourites

Any additional comments?

This book is one of my favourites; what a fantastic story about the survival of Israel. In today's world, when mentioning the word Israel can be controversial, it is nice to go back in time and see how these people wanted to survive. If you are World War II history buff and love Israel and airplanes, you will love this book. The writing is very well done!.

3 people found this helpful

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The Hand of God

In listening to this book, there are so many miracles, amazing protection, and promises fulfilled.

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  • Ed
  • 09-07-18

please vet your narrators!!!

the story is amazing. this is the second book I have listened to in which the narrators have none & apparently receive no instructions in pronunciation of words ( even city names ) that are not English. The reader's mis-pronunciation was distracting & annoying to hear, a problem easily avoided with coaching or vet'ting. Audible, you can do better than this...
would still recommend, but be warned....

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling and gripping!

Grabs you and doesn’t let go! As a retired military aviator and a Jew, this book makes me wish for a time machine so I could have been part of this grand adventure and worthy cause.

1 person found this helpful