With an introduction read by Max Hastings. Bomber Command's offensive against the cities of Germany was one of the epic campaigns of the Second World War.
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 began in 1939 with a few score primitive Whitleys, Hampdens and Wellingtons, and ended six years later with 1,600 Lancasters, Halifaxes, and Mosquitoes razing whole cities in a single night. Max Hastings traced the developments of area bombing using a wealth of documnets, letters, diaries, and interviews with key surviving witnesses. Bomber Command is his classic account of one of the most controversial struggles of the war. Max Hastings, author of over 20 books, has been editor of the Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard. He has received many awards for his journalism and was knighted in 2002.
©1979 Max Hastings (P)2014 Audible Studios
This is a well told story of the other great air campaign of the Second World War. In the US we normally only hear of the 8th Air Force. Well done on a wonderful telling of the story of Bomber Command from 1939 to 45.
Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.
My favorite WWII book, second only to The Rise and Fall. I often fear getting into my car to hear the book, wondering what our poor lads will suffer tonight. And the most thoughtful and cogent analysis of area bombing you will EVER hear. I told my WWII POW father to NOT read this book. He will be right back there in the 15th AF flying over Poland and Hungary. Too real. Just awesome.
There were some very good portions of the book, but it dragged endlessly in some areas making the listening arduous to say the least, boring to say the most. An abridged version, I think, would be much better and you could cut the length in half. I believe it had too much added hyperbole for dramatic effect and that coupled with getting too far into the minutia of each operational plan and detail was mind numbing. Edwards was just alright, his singing was horrible though, yes he sings at one point. I guess I expected more from this book and was looking for the British side after listening to "Masters of the Air" by Donald L. Miller. This book is completely and strictly an historical account for history's sake and it reads like one. As opposed to "Masters of the Air" "Bomber Command" is boring.
I enjoy history and especially WWII and while I'm not looking for it to be entertaining in the fictional sense of entertainment it does need some level of personal dramatic effect to bring it to life. This book had none of that. That said, if you really enjoy knowing each and every detail of WWII without really getting a feel for the personal emotions of the characters being discussed then you'll likely enjoy this book.
Hastings as always brings both the humanity and the horror to war. His tales of the bravery of Bomber Command's crews and breathtaking and the aftermath of a firebombed German city will leave you heartbroken and horrified. His is a master of his craft.
Great analysis, great history, and exceptionally well spoken. Highest recommendation. A fascinating and moving story very relevant for today's issues.
"Target for tonight"
The full and accurate history of bomber command is astonishing
All the brave crew members
clear and good paced narration
the bravery of all the crews
an excellent book
"Masterful Military History"
Hastings presents an extraordinarily multifaceted picture of the role of bomber command in world war 2 through the eyes of flight crews, those who planned the raids, famous figures like Churchill and Bomber Harris as well as those who were bombed. Gripping first hand accounts of bombing raids are intercut with fascinating explanations of how the big beasts of the allied military fought over how best to deploy their forces against Hitler. And all of this is brought to life through Hastings' trademark hard work in finding letters and journals as well as eye-witnesses he can interview which are skilfully built up to create a mosaic of human detail which in turn shows how the international conflict unfolded. The author adopts this approach in all of his books but it seems to work especially well here as he explores the morally complex issues associated with young men risking terrible odds to bomb civilians as part of the fight against Hitler and Nazism. The result is a five star listen which stayed with me long after the first listen. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in history or ethics.
If you enjoy this one it's worth noting that Hastings' Das Reich offers an interesting follow up to the sections of this book that deal with the furious debates within the Allied Command about how air power could best support D-Day forces. They work well as a double bill.
Arguably the most controversial and debated allied campaign of the war, impossible to have an informed opinion without first reading this work
"Nice balance view of Bomber Command"
Brings to life the personalities of BC but don't pull any punches at describing both the positives and negatives of the management, strategy and tactics used.
Very enjoyable listen.
"Very interesting, a unique insight."
Extremely interesting, the author manages to create an engaging narrative that truly conveys the tragic losses of the bomber crews who died for their country.
"A fitting tribute"
All in all, a very good audio book.As an aviation enthusiast i Had more than a passing familiarity with the subject of RAF heavy bomber operations to start with, and yet I still learned a great deal and felt entertained throughout. This will certainly bear re-listening in the future.
Very good narration
Very interesting store and opened my eyes to the truth
No always an easy listen but one that every body should listen to
"Must read for anyone interested in bomber command"
Great detailed and frank history of Bomber Command. Fascinating to understand what drove the strategy and the men who carried it out.
No - they both serve the purpose well. Listened to the audio version whilst touring France recently.
The realisation of the bravery of the crews - especially in the early years when they flew almost expecting to "get the chop".
Also the complete inability of anyone to control, or even try to control, Harris.
You don't "enjoy scenes" in a book like this.
"Hard to digest but makes you "think"!"
Only really suited to history buffs this one. Great level of detail but too much to take it all in.
The final section that describes the (arguably) unnecessary final raids in the last few months in the war does make you think. I like the way it's written based on facts and conjecture rather than taking sides on the matter.
Whilst naming the pilots involved and the accompanying anecdotes are just the backbone of how the book is written, it's hard to feel for it and I ended up imagining them in characatures of British Airmen, be it the moustachioed airmen from Allo Allo or the pompous Airmen from the Great Escape.
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