Read War Dog: The No-Man's Land Puppy Who Took to the Skies by Damien Lewis Online


Thrilling and moving in equal measure, 'War Dog' is a story of loyalty in the face of extraordinary adversity, and of the unshakeable bond between a man and his best friend in wartime Europe....

Title : War Dog: The No-Man's Land Puppy Who Took to the Skies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780751553475
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

War Dog: The No-Man's Land Puppy Who Took to the Skies Reviews

  • Kathleen
    2019-02-02 15:36

    Downloaded from Audible, narrated by Derek Perkins. A five-star performance! The narration improved on the story, I believe, which is saying something. His voice is easy on the ears and distinctly different for dog and man. Apparently, the book includes old photos, so I missed out on that, but I easily found several photos online.This heartwarming and somewhat amazing biographical account is based on personal diaries, BBC footage and reports, and military documents. The "story" begins in France late in 1939, when native Czech Airman (bomber) Robert Bozdech is shot down in France, over enemy lines. Hiding out with his wounded pilot in an abandoned farmhouse, he discovers a starving newborn German Shepherd, whom he names Ant / Antis. Unable to abandon the puppy to certain death, he hides Ant inside his jacket and crawls through thick snow across "no man's land" -- bombs dropping from both sides, narrowly missing Robert, Ant, and his pilot Pierre. Within fewer than 24 hours, the young warrior pup is already defending Robert and Pierre. In the months and years that follow Antis saved lives several times. This decorated dog rescued civilians buried under rubble in shell-shocked, battle-worn Britain, alerted men and women of incoming attacks at various Royal Air Force bases, and flew alongside his best friend in Wellington fighter planes. This account focuses more on the tight bond between dog and man, less on the war itself. Still, there are some interesting war nuggets: Hitler's Czech invasion, Czech airmen joining the French Air Force to fight Nazis, France falling to Hitler, French and Czech soldiers fleeing to England to join the RAF and continue to fight Nazis, the bombing of Britain (so much bombing!), various bomber planes (Wellingtons, Liberators, etc.), and the place of dogs in the military during war (most pets were not allowed during war, so this story is unusual).Various secondary characters added much to my enjoyment of the story. The quality of the writing is good, but not great. The story felt heartwarming. I chuckled several times, and held my breath with worry a few times, too. The pace flows quickly. I learned something about the war from this unlikely perspective.However, some redundancy and overused phrases (e.g., "he looked deeply into his dog's eyes") cost the book one star, along with the rushed ending. (I wanted to know more about Robert's wife and son in Communist Czechoslovakia, and more about his postwar life in England.) Some writing felt like a telling of events, without the heartrending poignancy of other animal stories (but some sections are definitely moving). Some parts needed more depth, like why did he (view spoiler)[ leave his wife and baby in Czechoslovakia? He better have had a good reason. Did she refuse to leave her homeland? (hide spoiler)]. Also, at times, the father-son "conversations" got old (the dog calls Robert "dad" as they "talk" to each other), but some reviewers liked that aspect of the book.Recommended for anyone interested in dogs and history.

  • Donna
    2019-02-02 19:26

    This was such an endearing story between a man and his dog. I am not a crier at all, but there were times where I felt my throat tighten and I had to blink back the tears. The bond that existed between the owner and his German Shepherd was so completely heart-warming. This is a non-fiction book, mostly written by someone who doesn't write novels. So I think you need to keep that in mind as you read thru it. The writing was okay. But with that being said, it certainly was able to get the details of this special relationship through. Some of the events seemed so fantastical, that it felt a little on the embellished side, but it all worked to help add to and build on this bond of love, devotion, and trust.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-01-22 15:25

    4 ½ stars. Audiobook needs a pdf file for pictures.Wow. Wonderful. Fantastic Story. True story about a dog and his loyalty and love with his owner.I was so captivated. Could not stop reading. A pilot Robert was shot down by the Germans in 1939. There he met abandoned puppy Antis who would die if not rescued. Robert crawled for hours to safety with the puppy in his shirt. This is one of those truth is stranger than fiction stories. Amazing things happen. It’s nonfiction but embellished with assumed/fictionalized dialogue. I liked the way that was done. It made it more enjoyable.The story is about the dog Antis from 1939 until Hitler surrendered in 1945. The epilogue states that Antis did some heroic things after the war during Robert’s travel from Communist occupied Czechoslovakia to Britain. That was one sentence. I wish the author wrote more about that.I’ve heard and read about psychic events here and there. I want to believe those things exist. And this book reinforces my belief. In one episode Robert is on a plane. Antis is at the base. At 1 am Robert is wounded. At that exact moment Antis began howling and grieving in a way he had not done before.TEARS:Antis died after a normal life span for a dog of fourteen years. Robert lived after that without Antis. At the end of the book I had a crying session. Antis lived a full life, but I still grieved.PICTURES:There are pictures in the physical book. I wish the author provided a downloadable pdf file for audiobook buyers.AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:Derek Perkins did an excellent job.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 9 hrs and 2 mins. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: 1940 - 1945 Europe and Great Britain. Book copyright: 2013. Genre: nonfiction, dog nonfiction.

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-02-18 17:29

    “The Dog Who Could Fly” by Damien Lewis, published by Atria Books.Category – War/Dogs Publication Date – June 10, 2014If you are looking for a book on the Second World War, if you are looking for a book on air combat, and if you are looking for a book that tells the story of an extraordinary dog, this is your book.In 1929 Robert Bozdech and his pilot were shot down over German territory. They found refuge in a farm house and found a German shepherd puppy. A puppy they were going to leave behind but Robert could not find it in his heart to abandon the dog. Thus began an unbelievable story of friendship, loyalty, and devotion that far exceeds any animal relationship story that I have ever read.Ant or Antis as the dog became known, was so truly devoted to Robert that when Robert went on missions Ant would wait on the flight line for his return. It did not matter how long, how cold, or how wet it was Antis would remain at his post. He would even refuse to eat until his master came home. His devotion became such a problem that Robert was given permission to bring Antis along on the sorties flown into enemy territory. Antis had several close calls with death when he almost froze to death on the flight line, was hit by shrapnel, shot by a farmer, and most disturbing when Robert tried to break him of his devotion by ignoring him.A fantastic story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. A story that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

  • Allan
    2019-01-22 22:24

    As a dog lover, I was always going to enjoy this book, written by Lewis but based on the unpublished memoir of Robert Bozdech, a Czech airman whose relationship with his dog, Antis, resulted in fame during WW2.Describing the book without spoilers is impossible, but from Robert's unlikely discovery of Antis as a puppy, an unbreakable bond was forged between man and dog that is documented here. No doubt more than slightly embellished-Antis was a remarkably talented dog if the words contained within the tale are completely true-but it is a highly enjoyable read. The reader cannot help but root for both as they come up against the obstacles that face them throughout the war, or be touched by the devotion shown by the animal toward its master. I wouldn't have bought this book, save for it having been an Audible Daily Deal, but it was a nice change and an uplifting experience listening to it.

  • Elisabeth
    2019-01-27 22:42

    2.5 stars. The story at the core of this book is one that appealed to both my love of dogs and my interest in WWII history—the story of an abandoned German Shepherd puppy rescued by downed Czech airman Robert Bozdech, who became Bozdech's loyal sidekick and mascot of the RAF squadron his master joined, even flying with him on bombing raids over Germany. I have a German Shepherd myself, whose intelligence and devotion to her human family continue to amaze me, and many things about Antis' personality rang true to me. For instance, his habit of doing a "headcount" every night on the close-knit group of Czech airman who bivouacked together, pushing an affectionate wet nose into their faces as they were falling asleep—my dog does that with our family every morning and sometimes at night. Antis' devotion to his master led him through an escape from occupied France, air raids, and more; and when left behind while Bozdech flew missions, he would lie by the airstrip and refuse all food and shelter until his master returned, suffering cold and exposure almost to the point of death on several occasions.However, the way the book was written bugged me almost from the first page. Author Damien Lewis chose to write it in a style that's more like quasi-fiction than history, heavily dramatizing every scene with loads of reconstructed dialogue that doesn't feel at all authentic. Though Lewis' main source material was an unpublished manuscript by Robert Bozdech himself, this even goes for scenes where Bozdech himself was not present to witness conversations. (Take for a small example the dialogue with the chaplain on page 173, which smacks of all the cloying cliches ever given a fictional chaplain.) Furthermore, on many occasions Lewis tries to write from the perspective of the dog himself, attributing human-like thought processes and emotions to him and imagining the details of incidents where he was separated from his human companions. ("Antis was mortified...If there was one moment more than any other when the dog wished that he could speak to his master and explain things, this was it" [p. 241]) For me this had the effect of pulling me out of the story and automatically stretching the credibility of some of Antis' adventures, whether the facts are true or not (and a few, mostly his interactions with people in England rather than his war exploits, already seem a bit exaggerated). And it does seem that more pages are given to Antis' escapes from angry policemen and farmers and RAF red tape than to his actual combat exploits.(Additionally, the dog owner in me bent a skeptical eyebrow at the multiple occasions Antis was fed chocolate, which can be poisonous to dogs.)It was an interesting story, but I felt I had to slog my way through a number of awkwardly and even poorly-written pages to get the meat of it.

  • Heather
    2019-01-27 21:20

    Completely and utterly riveting!! This is an absolultely amazing book, made even more astounding by knowing this is based on a true story. Robert, a Czech pilot, flying with French Airforce, is shot down in No Man's Land. While getting his French pilot to safety, he finds an abandoned puppy and feeds it, thus starting a bond that is to last years and surmount seemingly impossible odds. When they leave, the puppy comes too, stuffed in Robert's flying jacket.Later, the dog flies with him on missions, the flamboyant French turning a blind eye. But when the French are invaded, the Czech pilots flee to England to continue flying against the enemy. How Robert smuggles Antis into the UK, is an amazing story. Once in the UK , it is a little while before Robert is flying against the enemy again, but wherever he goes, Antis goes too. Antis has a sixth sense for sensing the enemy aircraft, alerting of incoming planes on several occasions even before the warning sirens go off, and thus saving lives on numerous occasions. One such time, he not only warns of the incoming aircraft, but helps dig out survivors of the bomb blast.Then Robert joins the 311 Flying Squadron and be and his crew fly the Wellington bomber, C for Cecilia. Robert is the rear gunner. After surviving an attempt to evict him from the Air base, Antis becomes the 311's mascot and waits faithfully for his master to return from each mission. On one mission Robert is injured.....and does not return. Antis' 3 day vigil affects the dogs health. Once both Robert and Antis recover from this ordeal, Antis takes matters into his own paws!! He sneaks aboard C for Cecilia, and stows away unseen for the mission!! He only appears when they reach an altitude at which you need oxygen, when he has to share Robert's oxygen mask! After this mission, Robert and the crew can't leave their lucky mascot behind, he gets his own oxygen mask and flies on many missions, providing comfort and courage to the lonely rear gunner position. He stoically endures shrapnel injuries, not making a sound to distract Robert while he is on a mission. Eventually his injuries ground the dog, but he has an amazing fighting spirit. After escaping enemies abroad, he has to evade enemies at home, learn even more paitence, and endure painful seperations from his beloved master, Robert. This is one absolutely amazing TRUE story. What a dog! What a Hero.

  • Charlie
    2019-02-20 19:20

    I really like books that can keep my interest thru out the story. This is one of them. First and foremost I received this Advanced uncorrected book from the publisher as a winner on AND now my review.The title of the book - The Dog Who Could Fly - is exactly that- this incredible dog named Antis did fly many, many missions during WW11 with his BEST buddy - Robert Bozdech, a Czech airman flying with the RAF Bomber Command. However, not all the flights and land journeys were of the legal nature for the German Shepherd. But despite all the obstacles and War injuries and the Strong Will of Antis and the help from his War buddies he managed to survive and live beyond the end of the war. HOW was this possible? Read the book. I did and sure glad I was one of those lucky Goodreads winners. Thank you Damien Lewis for putting together a very worth while and INTERESTING book that should be a hit for those interested in the incredible stories that were part of WW11.

  • Lori
    2019-02-08 22:36

    An incredible story of the extreme dedication and loyalty of a German Shepherd for one man.

  • Eli
    2019-02-16 19:31

    Great book for dog lovers. Also another example of truth being stranger and more amazing than fiction sometimes. A lovely read at the beach, and coincidentally about a Czech pilot during WWII. Nice non-fiction match to The Prague Sonata that I was listening to as an audio book on the trip.

  • Evelyn
    2019-02-05 17:33

    An amazing true story about a WWII Airman and his amazing dog. I couldn't put it down.

  • Skye
    2019-02-10 18:16

    A War Story, A Love Story Bound to be a New BestsellerThe Dog Who Could Fly: The Incredible True Story of a WWII Airman and the Four-Footed Hero Who Flew at His Side, by Damien Lewis (Simon & Schuster, 2013, 288 pages, $26 - and worth every penny!) Enthralling ReadBy the co-author of Sergeant Rex, The Dog Who Could Fly only gets better and better as you find yourself reading faster and faster. You know the ending but you have to read the whole book to find out how it gets there.Like a murder mystery or crime movie, you know exactly how many pages are left or how many minutes: you just can’t figure out how it happens but finally everything falls into place and you are satisfied that there is only one way for the story to end.And it is a good one!UnderstatedDamien Lewis’ writing style is understated with fairly short sentences and words, though there are a handful of glitches where a British word or sentence structure causes a bump. It is not a children’s book, however, though I can see a children’s version in the future. Many years ago, it was to have been a movie by Twentieth Century Fox and hopefully it will be again when the popularity of this book receives a new audience.The Dog Who is an easy read, perhaps even a ‘beach book’ or a ‘plane read’ but you won’t have time for a nap in flight once you start The Dog Who! Full of suspense and love, loyalty and humor, it also has a riveting plot as well as character development, war buddy camaraderie, and even a few love interests - the primary one being between dog and man. The war and flight accounts are not detailed enough, however, to lose women readers, and veterans will reminisce about their own war experiences and ‘battle buddies.’The Dog with Nine LivesAntis the German Shepherd Dog is four weeks old when discovered in an abandoned house in No Man’s Land by two European airmen shot down by the Nazis. Antis adopts the gunner, a Czech airman (Robert Bozdech) flying for Free France and later for the RAF. He is fed chocolates (not recommended) and becomes an ‘early warning signal’ for the ‘bad guys,’ be they on ground or in the air.Thus, Antis saves lives, over and over again (humans have difficulty believing the canine’s extraordinary and amazing sense of hearing, though). In the process, he stows aboard a fighter plane, is eventually wounded by flak, is fitted for his own oxygen mask, sustains gunshot injuries inflicted by an irate sheep farmer, survives a crash landing, and lives many additional adventures, one seemingly more breath-taking (or humorous) than the last – but there are also sad moments and forebodings which must be endured as well.Grounded at last by injuries, Antis patiently waits on the runway every time his airman leaves on a mission: when the returning plane must land at a different airport due to weather, injuries, or running out of fuel, Antis continues to wait . . .The Heart of the StoryAntis is the dog everyone wants – the dog we call a ‘heart dog.’Originally published in Britain as War Dog, The Dog Who is primarily a love story between a man and a dog. When I read in the preface that everafter, the Czech airman never had another dog and would not permit his children to have a dog either, I felt that was going a bit too far, but that was before I read the complete story of Antis’ loyalty and deep deep love for the man who saved him as a pup.A bond like no other I have ever seen portrayed in a book, the bond between Antis and his human is tested again and again - and survives, just as the RAF mascot dog and his person survive the war. The Czech airman finally learns that in war, you have to put your dog first, every time.I would read anything by Damien Lewis: Sergeant Rex is next on my list. Put it and The Dog Who on your list, too.*I generally avoid rating books, and I’m a tough grader, but I do give The Dog Who an A minus – only because I dislike the dated term, master, and prefer the British title of War Dog - trivial reasons perhaps, you might think. If so, you can raise Antis’ grade to an A!

  • Lori
    2019-02-03 18:38

    Anyone who has had a beloved dog will love this novel... It's heartwarming and shows the amazing bond that can happen between a man and his dog! This would've been an easy 5 star except that I felt the middle dragged on a bit ... but still a sweet, sweet story!

  • Jami
    2019-02-17 20:24

    I love the story of Robert and Antis; their bond is amazing! I can't believe the situations they were able to escape from during wartime. This was an informative and interesting story that was also emotional and heartwarming!

  • Karen
    2019-02-05 17:22

    Full disclosure--I'm a dog lover and I'm definitely a huge fan of this remarkable a dog! What an amazing, wonderful, feel good story!

  • Mandy
    2019-01-23 23:42

    Great book. Loved it. Absolutely loved it :)

  • Kristin Ogburn
    2019-02-02 21:16

    Amazing story about an amazing dog! Hard to believe it is true!

  • SFrick
    2019-02-11 20:19

    I found this(Bozdech ) obsessive behavior with respect to his dog(antis), a little overkill especially for the fact that it could have been easily addressed at least in the end.I understand the airmen has been serving his country and lived under extremely stressful conditions while performing his duties, But!There is no explanation other than a few words about his first wife and child.And also then denying his second family from having a dog with just a flat NO you will not have one, to me begs the question of his stability.Other than that the book was well worth the read.

  • Gail
    2019-01-26 18:16

    a great story of a brave pup and his owner, also the rest of the crew who would do anything for the pup who they looked upon as a very important member of their crew! Reading this book; had me on a rollercoaster of so many feelings. Proud, amazed, happy, sad, ashamed how some people reacted towards this dog, who with his crew and owner saved so my lives, while doing so, put their own in grave danger! I know that it was their job, but WOW! It made me feel how greatful l am for what l have and how we take our family; friends and our pets for granted!

  • Kathleen Guthrie Woods
    2019-02-19 22:17

    (Listened to the audio, narrated by Derek Perkins)I picked this up to have something to listen to at the gym (because watching the morning news was too depressing). The upside is that I frequently stayed on the treadmill or elliptical machine longer than intended to find out what happened next. The not-too-bad downside is I frequently gasped or laughed out loud and fought back tears--in public. A fantastic true story that fans of WWII history will love. A must for dog lovers.

  • Jarl Balgruuf
    2019-01-24 18:32

    If you're a dog lover, a history/WWII enthusiast, or both I believe you will enjoy this book. The interactions between Robert and Antis are often touching or hilarious. It's a well written book and does a great job of telling the story without getting too bogged down. Highly recommend.

  • Sharon
    2019-02-17 16:14

    Great story about one man's life in the Air Force with a dog during WWII. His dog saved his life on many occasions, which more than made up for all the trouble he caused. With one story after another, you see the incredible bond between man and dog.

  • Patricia
    2019-02-11 18:18

    Czech Airman Robert Bozdech was shot down during WW II behind enemy lines and rescued a German Shepherd puppy from a deserted farmhouse. The story of their escape to England and continued role in the war is incredible. Food: Fish & chips.

  • Italy
    2019-02-18 20:28

    This was interesting. I love learning about WWII, and this book was honest as well as sweet.

  • MiRanda
    2019-02-16 17:14

    Meh. It was okay.

  • Nathaniel
    2019-02-06 17:28

    i liked it

  • Michael Scott
    2019-01-25 16:30

    (Listened)I liked this book, but expected more in the end. The end was pretty blah and probably could have been told as an epilogue.

  • Merlin
    2019-01-30 19:15

    A very enjoyable book to read about a dog that got saved in the war which devotes his life to his new master and helps save people's lives.

  • Kate Rupley
    2019-01-23 17:28

    A story worth reading. Lots of tales in a timeline.

  • Rachel Green
    2019-02-05 23:31

    Absolutely loved this book - a truly remarkable story of the bond that existed between Robert Bozdech, an airman with Bomber Command & his dog Antis during World War Two.