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Seek and Strike (Paperback)

RAF Brüggen in War and Peace

Aviation > Royal Air Force Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Cold War

By Nigel Walpole
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 376
Illustrations: 260 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526758422
Published: 21st July 2020
Last Released: 20th January 2021



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Seek and Strike – RAF Brüggen in War and Peace is an anecdotal history of the largest RAF station in Germany. Optimised for a new breed of aircraft, and to NATO requirements, this huge airfield was cut out of the Elmpt Forest, on the German border with Holland, and completed in one year to become operational in 1953. First occupied by a fighter wing equipped with Vampires, Sabres and Hunters, its ‘Seek and Strike’ motif took on real meaning when the station re-equipped with strike, attack and reconnaissance Canberras, followed by strike/attack Phantoms, Jaguars and finally Tornados.

RAF Brüggen was at the forefront of the Cold War, during which innovation and determination brought it many accolades. It further distinguished itself in the Gulf War and continued to play its part in subsequent monitoring operations in that theatre; it was also the only Tornado Wing to operate directly from its home base during the Kosovo campaign.

This is the story of a station at war, of the men and women at the sharp end and in support. At work and play, it was they who made Brüggen what it was, excelling in all things and justifying a claim to have been RAF Germany’s ‘jewel in the crown’. With its closure in 2001, the RAF relinquished its last main operating base outside the UK. Brüggen was indeed ‘last and best’.

This book is a slice of the RAF and NATO in Germany through the Cold War. Nicely paced text, the author’s personal experiences, and extensive illustration, makes this an outstanding book. – Most Highly Recommended

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This book goes a long way to aide the reader to understand what it was like to serve with the RAF in Germany during the golden age of jets.

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Review by CGJ

The narrative is an easy read; the story is always interesting, and I would have thought it worthy of a hardback presentation. The content of this edition differs only marginally from the original but if, like me, you missed it first time around, this one is well worth the price.

RAF Historical Society Journal, No 75 (Jan 21)

Seek and Strike – RAF Brüggen in War and Peace will appeal to those with an interest in Cold War and modern military history. Those who served in Germany, and at RAF Brüggen in particular, will find this book evokes many memories.

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Flight Line Book Review

As featured on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

A great look into the operations, personnel and the war planes that made the Cold War and gulf war. The stories of both the flying and the background to the people and events made this a great read. The human interest pieces really made this more of a telling about a family then a military establishment.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I like the setting,the writing style,the plot,the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing.I would gladly reread it again.

NetGalley, Nicole Bannister
 Nigel Walpole

About Nigel Walpole

Nigel Walpole joined No.26 (Hunter Day Fighter) Squadron in 1955, served on Swift and RF-101 (USAF) tactical reconnaissance squadrons, commanded No.234 (Hunter FGA), No.II (Hunter FR10) and No.12 Buccaneer Squadrons, before his appointment as OC Operations Wing at RAF Brüggen in 1977, flying Jaguars. He gained another perspective of air power as Brigade Air Support Officer, 16 Parachute Brigade, was made responsible for fast-jet operational training in the MOD and completed his career as the Assistant Chief of Staff Offensive Operations, Second Allied Tactical Air Force, in Germany. Retiring from the Service in 1988, he became the air weapons adviser to British Aerospace.

Perfect Partner

RAF and East German Fast-Jet Pilots in the Cold War Thinking the Unthinkable (Paperback)

RAF and East German Fast-Jet Pilots in the Cold War is the result of ten years of research, involving many visits to the former German Democratic Republic by a small Anglo/German team of military specialists. Their purpose was to explore the lives of RAF and East German fighter and fighter-bomber pilots, in the air and on the ground, at work and play, during the Cold War in North Germany. The book is based largely on personal testimony from these pilots, coupled with facts drawn from official archives and comment from other historical sources. Where possible, political considerations…

By Nigel Walpole

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