Synopses & Reviews
Bomber Command's air offensive against the cities of Nazi Germany was one of the most epic campaigns of World War II. More than 56,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew and 600,000 Germans died in the course of the RAF's attempt to win the war by bombing. The struggle in the air began meekly in 1939 with only a few Whitleys, Hampdens, and Wellingtons flying blindly through the night on their ill-conceived bombing runs. It ended six years later with 1,600 Lancasters, Halifaxes, and Mosquitoes, equipped with the best of British wartime technology, blazing whole German cities in a single night. Bomber Command, through its fits and starts, grew into an effective fighting force. In Bomber Command, originally published to critical acclaim in the U.K., famed British military historian Sir Max Hastings offers a captivating analysis of the strategy and decision-making behind one of World War II’s most violent episodes. With firsthand descriptions of the experiences of aircrew from 1939 to 1945 - based on one hundred interviews with veterans - and a harrowing narrative of the experiences of Germans on the ground during the September 1944 bombing of Darmstadt, Bomber Command is widely recognized as a classic account of one of the bloodiest campaigns in World War II history. Now back in print in the U.S., this book is an essential addition to any history reader's bookshelf.
is Sir Max Hastings’ classic account of one of the most controversial struggles of World War II: the British air offensive against the cities of Nazi Germany.
Sir Max Hastings, recipient of the 2012 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, has written one of the classic accounts of World War II. Upon publication, Bomber Command, winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize, attracted controversy but today is widely considered a classic account of one of the longest and bloodiest campaigns of World War II. This work, in Hastings’s characteristic prose, profiles the harrowing experiences of Bomber Command’s aircrew from 1939–45, the entire length of the air war of Europe, as well as the controversy surrounding the development and implementation of area bombing. Written from a vast collection of documents, letters, diaries, and interviews from many surviving senior officers, Bomber Command remains an important contribution toward understanding one of the most violent struggles of the war.
About the Author
Sir Max Hastings is a famed British journalist and military historian who has served as a foreign correspondent for the Evening Standard and as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph. Currently, he writes columns for the New York Review of Books, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, and the Sunday Times and is also the bestselling author of numerous history books on World War II, the Korean War, and the Falkland Islands.www.maxhastings.com
Table of Contents
ForewordPrologue: Norfolk and Heligoland Bight, 18 December 1939Chapter I In the Beginning, Trenchard: British Bomber Policy, 1917–40Chapter II 82 Squadron, Norfolk, 1940–41Chapter III 10 Squadron, Yorkshire, 1940–41Chapter IV Crisis of Confidence, 1941–42Chapter V The Coming of Area Bombing, 1942Chapter VI 50 Squadron, Lincolnshire, 1942 1. Harris Conducts an Overture2. OperationsChapter VII Protest and Policy, 1942–43 1. Dissent2. Casablanca—The Airmen Victorious3. The Tools of DarknessChapter VIII 76 Squadron, Yorkshire, 1943 1. The Ruhr2. Hamburg3. Courage Chapter IX The Other Side of the Hill: Germany 1940–44 1. The Destruction2. The DefensesChapter X Bomber Command Headquarters, BuckinghamshireChapter XI Conflict and Compromise, 1943–44 1. The Battle of Berlin2. The American BreakthroughChapter XII Pathfinders: 97 Squadron, Lincolnshire, 1944Chapter XIII “A Quiet Trip All Round”: Darmstadt, 11/12 September 1944Chapter XIV SaturationChapter XV The Balance SheetAppendix A Bomber Command sorties dispatched and aircraft missing and written off, 1939–45Appendix B Specifications and performance of the principal aircraft of Bomber Command and Luftwaffe night-fighters, 1939–45Appendix C Letter to Sir Norman Bottomley, Deputy Chief of Air Staff, from Sir Arthur HarrisAppendix D Comparison of British and German production of selected armaments, 1940–44Appendix E Schedule of German cities subjected to area attack by Bomber Command, 1942–45Appendix F Comparison of Allied and German aircraft production, 1939–45Bibliography and a note on sourcesNotes and referencesGlossary of ranks, abbreviations and codenamesAcknowledgmentsIndex