View Full Version : Project Emily - John Boyes

03-10-2008, 20:32

Project Emily - John Boyes
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: The History Press Ltd (4 April 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0752446118
ISBN-13: 978-0752446110

I bought mine at Waddo and finished reading it by Monday morning.
I have longed for a book on the Thor for so long that I half daydreamed about writing one myself. Thank goodness I now don't have to as this book is far better than I could ever manage. From the political background, rushed testing and installation, to crew reminisces and incidents, it's all here in as much detail as anyone would like.
Is it perfect? No. I would have liked a missile cutaway and enough detailed drawings to make a 1/72 model site but I don't think this info is out there anymore anyway as previous books on the cold war have alluded to its destruction on both sides of the Atlantic. Oh well, lets hope Google comes up with something someday.
Despite this, I strongly recommend you get it, I really don't think this book will ever be bettered.

Peter Kirk
27-12-2008, 16:58
Review based on reading 30% plus a quick flick through.

The book covers the short lived deployment of Thor IRBM's in the UK. The author takes us through the birth of IRBM's to give a background to Thor. He then follows through the initial agreements with the US on UK nuclear deployment to the final disbandment of the Thor squadrons. Of particular interest to me is the chapter on selecting the bases which guides you through the thought process that decided on the bases actually used and those that were rejected.
The narrative is fairly easy to follow but I must admit to getting a bit confused though this is because I am reading in short burst seperated by many hours. The subject is well researched and there are plenty of notes at the end of each chapter where sources are listed.
Period photographs are minimal but the are a number of modern ones showing remains. There are also three plans of the Thor sites, including one of Witchford which was replaced by Mepal. There is, of course that wonderful picture of the Carnaby loop which seems to encapsulate the three periods of Carnaby's life. There are a number of tables which are used to show base structures, both proposed and final and a number of appendices.
This is a subject I know little about so cannot comment on any errors that may have crept in. It would be interesting to hear comments on the other books especially from those who have more than one.

John Boyes
30-07-2009, 12:21
Just been advised by one of your members of the review of my book 'Project Emily'. Thanks to those concerned for your various kind comments. For those wanting a copy the good news is that it is being reprinted in September. Currently discussing with publishers what updates/typos can be incorporated.

Yes, the plans are not good. They were scanned professionally from the originals in The National Archives and that is the best that could be done.

I am currently writing a follow-up book ‘Thor and the RAF – UK and US launch sites’ which will hopefully address the issue of site layouts. more diagrams of the missile, launch sites etc. This follows a visit to Vandenberg AFB last year.

If anyone has any information on Thor sites etc. that they are happy to share, I am always pleased to correspond.

30-12-2010, 19:13
Still working on 'Project Emily Vol 2' I'm afraid, I have been preoccupied with other matters! Much new and interesting information promised.

01-01-2011, 18:48
Got "Project Emily" for Christmas - great book for the most part and heartily recommend it, but it really was lacking in illustrations. I appreciate plans in archives are often poor quality and faded but they can be redrawn with relatively little effort and they really needed to be reproduced much larger than they were. Second the request for cutaway etc. of the missile itself