“I was surprised and impressed by the quality of the work you have accomplished on this intriguing subject. It is an interesting synthesis that is complete and well documented, and based on numerous references as well as interviews with witnesses. It is also a pioneer step, since this book is the first to be written on a subject that has hitherto never been dealt with by historians. By straying from the well-beaten tracks of military history, you shed an interesting light on little known aspects of the last world war, with unusual stories that one has a tendency to qualify too quickly as myths or legends.”
David WHITING, son of Lord DOWDING.
Former RAF engineer and journalist.
Fréjus, 15 April 2009.
“Your book had me holding my breath all the way through. I love your style. I must read more of your work. I sent the English verson to a close American friend, Professor Tom Hatfield of the University of Texas in Austn. He is dean of the faculty of history, and specialises in the history of the second world war in Europe. He told me he had been overwhelmed by it, he had given the information to his students, and had encouraged them to get a copy.”
Anvers, 23 June 2009
“Pierre- Antoine Courouble’s book must take the credit for compiling all that may have been said or written about what was one of the greatest myths of the last war.”
L’Aerobibliothèque, 19 August 2009
“I have just finished reading your book. I read it in one go. I’m not a specialist of any of the subjects dealt with or mentoned, and yet I found myself enthralled by it straightaway, it got my attention, and I took great pleasure following your investigations. Bravo for the suspense maintained all the way through. I felt I was sharing your emotions as you went on researching. My father would have loved it. Thank you.
Alain MORINAIS, entrepreneur and writer, son of one of the witnesses mentioned in the book, now deceased.
Cachan, 3 October 2009.
“This book is the first to be written on a contraversial subject that has never been dealt with by specialists. Writer and journalist with a passion for history and aeronautics, the writer engages in a real police investigation, worthy of Sherlock Holmes, digging out the truth behind the myth, the history behind the legend.”
Georges BERNAGE, 39-45 Magazine.
“Pierre-Antoine Courouble prepares the way on a subject as yet untouched and full of surprises, heralding new explorations. This is an unexpected book which is enriching and well-documented. The multiple twists of an astonishing investigation unfold page after page.”
Bernard BOMBEAU, journalist in charge of editing for Air & Cosmos. Member of ANAE (National Academy of Air and Space).
20 September 2009.
“It was very daring to undertake an investigation on such a subject! Was it an interest in history or the wish to find the truth about this “rumour”? In any case, this was what the author wanted when he wrote this well written book, whilst not imposing his version of the truth.”
Christophe CONY. Writer and journalist specialising in aeronautic history.
Avions Magazine, January 2010.
“The enigma of the wooden bombs reads like a detective novel. I found myseslf plunging into the intrigue immediately, sharing the emotions of the researcher in his quest for historical truth. An unexpected book, particularly well documented, and which allows the reader to make his own judgement on an astonishing puzzle concerning the second world war.”
Peter HAAS, German translator.
Troisdorf, 22 February 2010.
“The weapons of war are manifold …. One army making fun of another is part of the rules of war. And irritating the adversary is good warfare! Imagine how annoyed the Germans were when they received these wooden bombs!”
Alfred PARAVY. Squadron Leader (ER) Former fighter pilot in the Navarre squadron 1944-1945, then test pilot at Mont de Marsan until 1967.
Aix-en-Provence, 17 March 2010.
"Hello Pierre, Well done, you are having good results with your “wooden bombs” against those "wooden heads" that did not believe your story! With our good wishes to you all."
Darrell H.EGBERT, Lieutenant-Colonel (ER) in U.S. Air Force. Committed in 1943 as a bomber pilot.
18 April 2010.
" This book covers a topic that has been never treated so far by any writer or historian of the Second World War. Indeed it tackles a subject that may be taboo or disturbing at first sight. During the Second World War, did pilots of the opposing sides engage in acts of mockery towards their adversaries? The participants in these stories were pilots who were just 20 years old. Was their humour a release from the fear and horror of war? Or was it used by the warring parties as a means of psychological warfare ? The absence of any serious historical study on the subject for 65 years as well as a blackout on the subject on the part of the official authorities is perplexing. This book allows the reader to make his own judgment on this amazing World War II enigma that involved the Royal Air Force, the U.S. Air Force and the Luftwaffe . "
Eberhard EIMLER, retired Luftwaffe General. Inspector General of the Luftwaffe 1983-1987.
14 September 2010.
"Mr. Courouble has carried out an investigation on a subject that is historically true since I personally witnessed the dropping of wooden bombs in 1943 on a fake airfield near Potsdam. At the time I was a young pilot, a second lieutenant, stationed in Luftkriegschule Werder. I wish him success in his ambition to find one of these allied pilot who participated in these droppings. And I'd dearly love to clink glasses one day with the one who took such great pleasure in dropping wooden bombs on to my head! ... "
Werner THIEL. Lieutenant Colonel Luftwaffe (ER).
Troisdorf, 28 December 2010. (Born 24 August 1923 in Dillenburg, Werner Thiel died on Friday, 2 March 2012 in Troisdorf)
"I was barely 10 years old when my father told me that in Tunisia "the British" had bombed a fictitious field with wooden bombs. He belonged to the 44th Signal Regiment and was working with American and English liaison officers. Why did he remember it as an English action rather than an American one? ... To round it off the fictitious attack was followed by a real attack on the authentic active field. Your work is to be credited with shedding light on facts which have never been considered or analyzed by historians. One of the worst forms of vanity is to believe that something we do not know about does not exist. "
Thierry GEHAN. Lieutenant-Colonel (R) air force infrastructure officer. Founder member of Veterans Aerodromes and ANORAA (National Association of Reserve Officers of the Air Force) member.
Nanterre, 22 February 2011
"I am surprised that this issue is now a matter of controversy for some people. The dropping of these wooden bombs was not a result of individual initiatives by pilots, but operations organised as part of psychological warfare actions aimed at demoralizing the enemy, and comparable to the dropping of leaflets, only more efficient. During my years of research on what was the Normandy front, I met several witnesses in this matter including a Canadian flight officer who had carried out this type of mission for the SOE. Thank you for your book. "
Dr Jean-Pierre BENAMOU. Historian, creator of the Bayeux Memorial. President of the "D-day Academy. Co-founder of "Magazine 39-45" and the Caen Memorial.
Bayeux, 15 April 2011.
"As great lover of the history of World War II, I could hardly wait to read your book. I discovered criticisms about you on the internet, and I found it hard to understand the relevance of some of the contreversial comments. Yet I come from a medical environment where we are sometimes at loggerheads over childish things. Which shows that, wood for wood, wooden bombs can cause wooden controversies ... Anyway, congratulations on your investigation and thank you for the good read."
Dr Olivier DEVANT.
Marseille, 8 July 2011.
" Pierre- Antoine Courouble has been a member of the "Association Anciens Aérodromes" since its beginnings. He was even one of the pioneers who joined the first research group on airfields in the Nord area before its creation in 2009. His historical studies focus on the Lesquin airfield and the history of wooden bombs . He conducts his research with rigour, consistency and passion, travelling frequently to meet witnesses and visiting national and international archives. This study of wooden bombs is a topic that we have often come up against in our research on WWII airfields . Pierre can be credited with never giving up on this quest despite the difficulties and prejudice and sometimes a degree of hostility linked to the fact that the subject seems inexplicably disturbing. Within our association, Pierre-Antoine enables us to collect evidence on this subject which, of course, we add to the local memory of some aerodromes."
Laurent Bailleul . Founding President of the association "Former Aerodromes" Second Lieutenant (RC) of theAir Force .
Merville, 22 December 2012.
"I just finished reading "The riddle of the wooden bombs" and I appreciated the quality of the investigation that you have carried out. This is an informative book that does not neglect any trails. A good piece of investigation. Congratulations and good luck in your continuing research. "
Memory Bordeaux-control, 13 January 2013.
" Hello Mr. Courouble ,
I would like to add my testimony to your records as a former fighter pilot who spent thirty years in the cockpits of F -100 "Super Sabre", all kinds of Mirage and Jaguars. Yes, the wooden bombs did exist, either for training uses or for "responding to a provocation." Let me explain. At the end of the 2nd World War, the views and the authors of Western Europe concentrated mostly on the "successful hits" by the Allies, ignoring those of the Germans, which is understandable. The Allies knew about the Germans’ fake airfields, but the Germans also knew the positions of those of the Allies. There were bombings by both sides on fake targets with wooden bombs to show that the bomb dropper was not taken in. I do not think that the use of wooden bombs was decided at the highest level in the hierarchy. I rather think that the decisions came from the people in command at levels further down (squadron, wing, etc.). The wooden bombs, which were identical to the real ones, were used for training pruposes, but cost far less. More recently, during operation "Harmattan" in Libya, inert bombs were dropped on targets (and this was confirmed by the staff of the French air force). Indeed, as the guidance of bombs is now extremely precise, it was envisaged to drop an inert bomb on an armed 4x4, for example (this also avoids collateral damage) and the target is destroyed by kinetic energy. I hope I have added my stone to the building in order bring the truth out into the open. Regards. Paris, 23 January 2013 . "
Pierre- Alain ANTOINE, Colonel (ER) former fighter pilot and former head of the “Patrouille de France”, electronic warfare operational advisor, aviation historian, author of several books including "The Battle of Britain. A tribute to Heroes."
"Henceforth, the wooden bombs story is no longer a myth, but a historically proven fact."
David WHITING, fils de Lord DOWDING. Ancien technicien de la RAF et journaliste.
David WHITING, son of Lord DOWDING. Former RAF engineer and journalist. On the English forum "Battle of Britain Historical Society 23 September 2009.