Reach for the Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader, Legless Ace of the Battle of Britain

Front Cover
Naval Institute Press, 2001 - History - 384 pages
27 Reviews
Douglas Bader was a legend in his lifetime. After losing both legs in an air crash in 1931 and being dismissed as a cripple by the Royal Air Force, he fought his way back into the cockpit of a Spitfire to become one of the great heroes of the Battle of Britain. This inspiring biography of the famous World War II fighter pilot, first published in 1954, has a following of faithful readers who come back to the book time and again to re-read, share with their children and pass along to friends. Not many books have made such an impact on people's lives.

Bader's story is so extraordinary that no one would dare invent it, and Brickhill succeeds in matching the excitement of Bader's war deeds with the triumph of his greater battle over a severe handicap. Told he would never walk without a cane, Bader learned to dance, swim, golf, and play tennis. Told he would never fly again, he became not only one of the RAF's top combat pilots but a squadron leader and innovator of fighter tactics that helped win the Battle of Britain. Among the thrilling incidents chronicled in the book are Bader's first successful encounter with an enemy plane, his own shoot down, and his succession of escapes from German prisons.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Reach for the Sky

User Review  - Katy - Goodreads

after reading the reviews on this site, I wonder if maybe I read a different Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhall? I found Bader so unlikeable, that I couldn't hardly stand it. I also couldn't stand ... Read full review

Review: Reach for the Sky

User Review  - Guy - Goodreads

An inspirational, fantastic book! This book describes Douglas Bader's life as a child, through school, to RAF Cranwell (pilot training school), his accident, recovery, back to civvy street, back in to ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

PAUL BRICKHILL was shot down over Tunisia on March 17, 1943. He was captured by the Germans and soon transferred to Luft III, where he joined organization "X" working on the great escape.

Bibliographic information