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Biggles of the Camel Squadron

(Biggles #3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  645 ratings  ·  34 reviews
No date of publication stated.

Fictional (based on fact) stories of experiment, trial, and error in the Royal Flying Corps, in World Wat 1 (The Great War):

How 'Biggles' Was Born
Glossary Of Terms Used
The Professor
The Joy Ride
The Bridge Party
The Bottle Party
The Trap
The Funk
The Professor Comes Back
The Great Arena
The Dragon's Lair
Biggles's Day Off
Hardcover, red cloth cover, gold blocked on spine, 215 pages
Published by The Thames Publishing Co., London (first published 1934)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  645 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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(Inspired by the lead story, "The Professor")

Wittgenstein of the Camel Squadron

1. Let us consider an individual, we may call him L, who joins a World War I fighter squadron. L says to himself that there is no problem. Aerial combat is merely geometry; one projects the trajectories of the two aeroplanes and the machine-gun bullets, and computes the appropriate times and angles. But when he describes these reflections to his new comrades, he is met with howls of derision. Why?

The rest of this revi
I have happily returned to the world of Biggles. This one, unlike my last review, did not disappoint. It was much like the first two I read. Biggles, a fearless pilot, is still fighting the Germans during the First World War.

At first I thought this one would have the same things happen again like the others, but a few new characters were introduced (gotta love the Professor and Hartcourt) and the chapter when Biggles crashes at the British lines (during a fierce battle) was epic and unique.

A wa
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ^ by: my grandfather
Thanks to Capt. W.E. John's first-hand knowlege, his text is highly evocative, both in the detail of strategy, machinery, logistics, and above all in the language he uses.

Though he portrays war in the air as an adventure (remember: this is a childrens book), he does describe moments of sickening uncertainty; he does not trivialise war. His young reader is left older and wiser. By comparison, many childrens books published today seem thoroughly childish and lifeless.
David Hambling
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old School adventure done properly - jolly good show. Easy to mock, hard to copy, simple but technically meticulous stories give a fascinating insight into early flying - seen from a very particular perspective.
Also, very much darker than the 'jolly japes' image might suggest. Death, loss, grief and the futility of war are not far from the surface. Well worth a read.
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biggles is involved in 13 different action-packed incidents in 'Biggles of the Fighter Squadron'. It is towards the end of World War I and he has to be at his best to devise some outrageous, cunning and desperate schemes to down some German ace pilots, to rescue some of his pals or simply to stay alive to fight another day.

For instance he teaches a cocky young pilot, Henry Watkins fresh out of flying training, how to attack the Germans and return safely. Watkins, who does shoot down a German fly
Tim Gray
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Few characters span so much time so well, and I remember how much I loved this book having read some of the WWII adventures and detective books before it. If like me you have not read the earlier books first, pick this up this is not a prequel - it's a birth of a hero! ...more
russell barnes
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-youth, ww1
I want to be 12 again...
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Click here for a video version of this review:

Biggles of the Camel Squadron is the third of just under 100 Biggles books written by Captain W.E. Johns. The first was a collection of short stories set in the First World War, the second was a full length novel adventure, and in Biggles of the Camel Squadron we again return to the short story format at the front lines on France between 1914 and 1918.

Published in 1934 these stories first appeared in the magazines Popula
Madhulika Liddle
One of the early Biggles books, Biggles of the Camel Squadron is set in France during World War I. Captain James Bigglesworth ‘Biggles’ is a flight commander at the aerodrome at Marinique, from where he and his men cross over to wreak destruction in the German-held territory nearby. This is a set of connected stories, not a single novel, and each story has its focal point: a mysterious weapon the Germans start using; a harebrained new pilot (the Professor) who thinks air battles are all about ma ...more
Andrew Ives
(1956 hardback edition?) This is the third Biggles book that I've read and my favourite so far. Unlike the other two, this is a collection of 11 short stories and an interesting foreword. The stories are about as varied as a collection of stories starring a WW1 pilot could possibly be and surprisingly educational and action-packed for something written so long ago. About 3/4 of the way through this 215 page book come The Funk, The Professor Comes Back and The Great Arena, which I enjoyed the mos ...more
Robert Hepple
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1934, 'Biggles of the Camel Squadron' is a collection of 11 short stories covering the exploits of Biggles as a pilot with 266 Squadron, RFC, over the Western Front in WW1. The stories have a gritty realistic veneer, drawn from the authors experiences as a pilot in the same conflict, a value noticeably lacking in later Biggles books set from the 1950s. The stories themselves are very short and snappy with some great plot idea as well as some very silly plot ideas. The stories, ...more
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This is a collection of World War One English Flying pilots that is attributed to the fictus pilot Biggles. In WWI they started by dropping rocks on the german trench's as they flew over them, and moved up to 20 pound bombs loaded on the bottom of the wings. There were no rules or guidelines, so it was any thing goes, and try any thing. This is a fun read and shows the development of aerial warfare in the modern world. Fun read, and a must for any one interested in History. ...more
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars I enjoyed this book very much. It was interesting an eyewitness account of the early times of war aviation. Weird to think they had no radios and had to communicate visually with basic hand signals.
peter coates
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every schoolboy should read this book to get some understanding of WW 1

Excellent book. All Biggles books are first class reading with a touch of reality. Every one a thoroughly good read
Gerard Mc Mahon
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First real book I ever read (in 1960 at age 8) - 1956 Dean hardback copy without the dust cover - my teacher had a little class library. I duly read all Biggles, followed by Gimlet, mostly as 2/6 Armada paperbacks.
Lee Perry
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Biggles book and this book would lead me to collect many of the other stories. Without a doubt a real fictional hero and was an inspiration to my love of aircraft and military history. A childhood favourite! An adult fond memory.
J Grimsey
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boys (and girls) own stuff and nostalgia for a 64 year old - read in 2 sittings, Cost me a £1 - worth every simple penny
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One from my childhood. You can't beat Biggles...

I had a first edition of this, the first Biggles book, when I was a kid; wonder what happened to it?
Nobi Nobes
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! I loved it!
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Biggles, it's part of my childhood, and it's fun (within the context of a beastly war) ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Biggles!!!
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a thrilling book filled with humour along with an immensely successful imagery portrayed by the author. Clearly a must read for war enthusiasts
Brian Gormley
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice little book, and a quick read. There’s no story arc really, it’s more a compendium of short self-contained stories from a short period in WW1.
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A series of classic WW1 Biggles stories. Varied and exciting.
Des Cave
Typical Biggles stories. This is more a book of short stories each one a chapter in the book, but there is a thread of continuation overall.
Anthony Peter
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of Biggles when I was young, and then one day I finished one and thought 'I've had enough of that'. I'd have spotted the formulaic gung-ho plotlines, I guess. However, I recently read a review of a biography of W E Johns which suggested he was not quite the simple soul the Biggles books might have suggested to me all those years ago.

So I got hold of an early collection of Biggles stories which has an introduction by Johns which makes it clear that the stories are all based on actua
David Sarkies
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Somewhat darker than the other World War I short stories
4 August 2013

I'm not sure if I can say all that much about Biggles after reading this book. For some reason I simply could not get into it the same way that I got into the other WWI Biggles books that I read. Okay, he does crash a couple of planes, and does deal with the Germans a couple of times, but for some reason this book seemed to be a little ho-hum, and also a little darker as well. Okay, a number of the stories were a little light
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who like flying paper planes.
All of the Biggles series are interesting. I had an earlier edition in the 1980's and have read nearly all of his series. W. E. Johns does a capitaving work. For every one who love flying paper planes. ...more
Easy to read adventures of the famous pilot.
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-reader
Read during Primary School, along with every other Biggles book I could get my hands on!
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Invariably known as Captain W.E. Johns, William Earl Johns was born in Bengeo, Hertfordshire, England. He was the son of Richard Eastman Johns, a tailor, and Elizabeth Johns (née Earl), the daughter of a master butcher. He had a younger brother, Russell Ernest Johns, who was born on 24 October 1895.

He went to Hertford Grammar School where he was no great scholar but he did develop into a crack sh

Other books in the series

Biggles (1 - 10 of 126 books)
  • Biggles The Camels Are Coming
  • Biggles and the Cruise of the Condor
  • Biggles Flies Again
  • Biggles Learns To Fly
  • Biggles and the Black Peril
  • Biggles Flies East
  • Biggles Hits the Trail
  • Biggles in France
  • Biggles and Co.
  • Biggles in Africa

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