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His biographer Donald Sturrock described these violent experiences in Dahl's early life. Dahl said the incident caused him to "have doubts about religion and even about God".
He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and he became one of the world's best-selling authors.
His awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards' Children's Author of the Year in 1990.
Along with the only two other Shell employees in the entire territory, he lived in luxury in the Shell House outside Dar es Salaam, with a cook and personal servants.
While out on assignments supplying oil to customers across Tanganyika, he encountered black mambas and lions, among other wildlife.
His first language was Norwegian, which he spoke at home with his parents and his sisters Astri, Alfhild, and Else.
Dahl and his sisters were raised in the Lutheran faith, and were baptised at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped.From 1929, when he was 13, Dahl attended Repton School in Derbyshire.Dahl disliked the hazing and described an environment of ritual cruelty and status domination, with younger boys having to act as personal servants for older boys, frequently subject to terrible beatings.In August 1939, as the Second World War loomed, the British made plans to round up the hundreds of Germans living in Dar-es-Salaam.Dahl was commissioned as a lieutenant into the King's African Rifles, commanding a platoon of Askari men, indigenous troops who were serving in the colonial army.Dahl was surprised to find that he would not receive any specialised training in aerial combat, or in flying Gladiators.On 19 September 1940, Dahl was ordered to fly his Gladiator by stages from Abu Sueir (near Ismailia, in Egypt) to 80 Squadron's forward airstrip 30 miles (48 km) south of Mersa Matruh.After a 600-mile (970 km) car journey from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for flight training with sixteen other men, among whom only three survived the war.With seven hours and 40 minutes experience in a De Havilland Tiger Moth, he flew solo; Dahl enjoyed watching the wildlife of Kenya during his flights.He continued to advanced flying training in Iraq, at RAF Habbaniya, 50 miles (80 km) west of Baghdad.Following six months' training on Hawker Harts, Dahl was commissioned as a pilot officer on 24 August 1940, and was judged ready to join a squadron and face the enemy. 80 Squadron RAF, flying obsolete Gloster Gladiators, the last biplane fighter aircraft used by the RAF.