Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany Audiobook | Donald L. Miller | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany | [Donald L. Miller]

Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

This is the dramatic story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, this is a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden. Fighting at twenty-five thousand feet in thin, freezing air no warriors had encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear.
Regular Price:$34.96
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

This is the dramatic story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, this is a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden.

Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air no warriors had encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force Band. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. In 1943 an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of surviving his tour of duty. The Eighth Air Force lost more men in the war than the US Marine Corps.

The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors. Actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, as was “King of Hollywood” Clark Gable. The air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland.

Strategic bombing did not win the war, but the war could not have been won without it. American airpower destroyed the rail facilities and oil refineries that supplied the German war machine. The bombing campaign was a shared enterprise: The British bombed at night while American bombers attacked by day - a technique that British commanders thought was suicidal.

Drawn from interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, this is an authoritative, deeply moving account of the world’s first and only bomber war.

©2006 Donald L. Miller (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

Masters of the Air is a stunning achievement. The compound effect of the book’s narrative vitality and attention to human detail is terrific in all the meanings of the word - terrifying, extraordinary, highly admirable. What a story it is!” (David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (235 )
5 star
 (125)
4 star
 (79)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.5 (199 )
5 star
 (121)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.4 (200 )
5 star
 (109)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Antony Auckland, New Zealand 04-05-14
    Antony Auckland, New Zealand 04-05-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The greatest generation"
    What did you love best about Masters of the Air?

    You hear the voices of the "bomber boys" and those on the receiving end of the raids


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Masters of the Air?

    The witness accounts of fire storms. Very chilling.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This book has accounts of the heroism of ordinary people


    Any additional comments?

    As the years pass, WW2 has receded in to folklore. It has become almost unreal. This book reminds us of what the golden generation gave up for us and what we owe them

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 03-29-14
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 03-29-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    178
    128
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History Uncovered"

    Book describes just what the title says...from training to bombing missions to POW status and everything in between. It's well researched and well written with personal vignettes that are illuminating and illustrative. It's mostly about 8AF and 15AF (the other European numbered air force) gets short shrift in the deal. Probably, the book would have been too long. I enjoyed learning more about that time in history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill wilmington, DE, United States 12-01-13
    Bill wilmington, DE, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fear To The Nth Degree"
    If you could sum up Masters of the Air in three words, what would they be?

    Intense, educational, revealing


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Masters of the Air?

    The flights of heavy bombers into, what appeared and was for most, certain death


    What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A "You Are There" quality


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many moments..Heavies going down, RAF and American fighters going down and winningOne incident does stand out and without giving a total reveal the story Andy Rooney relates about a certain "belly gunner" he saw


    Any additional comments?

    An intense book...Educational...scary...mind bending. I've listened twice. Will listen again. Picking up this and that I missed the first 2 times around

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael HIGHLAND, CA, United States 07-03-13
    Michael HIGHLAND, CA, United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A History of Daylight Strategic Bombing in WWII"
    What made the experience of listening to Masters of the Air the most enjoyable?

    The leaders, from Carl Spatz and Ira Eaker, to the Wing and Squadron Commanders and pilots in the planes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jimmy Dolittle. While most familiar with his name will recall his Tokyo Raid, this book covers his involvement in the European Air War.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The discussions of the POW camps in Germany, and the "holding" camps for those who ended up in Switzerland. This was an aspect of the book that was unexpected, that made this a more complete history.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a great one-stop source for anyone interested in the History of Daylight Strategic Bombing in Europe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Tarrytown, NY, United States 06-03-13
    Andrew Tarrytown, NY, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2007

    Retired accountant and Certified Financial Planner.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must Read"
    What did you love best about Masters of the Air?

    The flow; the poignant narrative kept me fully engaged.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Indeed, the sad moment when the belly gunner was crushed to death.


    Any additional comments?

    Dean does an excellent job in reading the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Max Hollmann Florida 03-26-13
    W. Max Hollmann Florida 03-26-13 Member Since 2008

    Non Fiction Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unheralded bravery"

    This is an exhaustive history focused entirely on the 8th Air Force during World War II. At times it is exhausting reading. The airmen's stories become intensely personal and many, too many, were consigned to early deaths. Miller goes beyond the statistics in attempting to answer why/how does someone who knows the odds are against him (and his crewmates) from returning home climb into an airplane to bomb Germany and fight off the Luftwaffe. The answer lies in thier willingness to do their duty in the most prosaic way. They simply did their jobs without glory-seeking and lived from day to day. There is no attempt to burnish anyone's image. Miller treats straigtforwardly the lack of a long-range fighter escort and the resulting deaths caused by set minds on outmoded doctirnes and the inability for the top brass to have their minds' changed by the reality on the ground and in the air.
    I think the book will be more attractive to those interested in World War II. The author makes some basic assumptions: The reader knows something about European geography, war planes nomenclature and the general progress of the war as it moved from west to east. I recommend it highly. One of the better reads so far (March) this year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herb Rowley, MA, United States 03-07-13
    Herb Rowley, MA, United States 03-07-13 Member Since 2012

    I enjoy non-fiction history books. Audible is allowing me to catch up on all those classics I should have read before but never got around to. I have a long commute to work and audio books make the drive go so much faster.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent history of the 8th Air Force"

    I really enjoyed this book because the author humanized much of this conflict for me and helped me appreciate just how harrowing air combat was in the 1940s. He offers many specific stories about what individuals went through preparing for and executing very dangerous missions. Beyond that, he also tells in detail what the German civilians endured as a result of Hilter's determination to continue even when it was clear the war was lost. This is much more than just a dry historical recounting of the war as a whole. It is very personal and engaging. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Lake Forest Park, WA, United States 02-26-13
    Todd Lake Forest Park, WA, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great history of airwar up through WWII"

    The story provides great insights into the development of bomber warfare. Many recognized names (Dolittle, Yeager, Vonnegut, Gable, Rooney) in common knowledge are placed in the story with the background and their role in the war. The story also portrays the tragedy of leaders with strong wills and poor insight. These stories always make me appreciate the sacrifices those before me made in this war.

    The story becomes more muddled towards the end with repeats of events to tell from a different perspective or to make a different point. There was also some confusion (in my mind at least) as to the effectiveness and role bombing played in WWII. As such, I wasn't sorry to get to the end of the book. Otherwise, it was a quick and interesting read.

    The narrator did a very good job with a voice and style that was easy to listen to but carried the gravitas expected for this subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gorman Frostburg, Moldova, Republic of 02-20-13
    Gorman Frostburg, Moldova, Republic of 02-20-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful perspective on our "Greatest Generatio"
    What did you love best about Masters of the Air?

    We have all read or heard of the wonders of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation". We now have that translated into the European air war of World War II. The format and detail of the story line was well developed and consistent as you proceed through the war.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Masters of the Air?

    The use of detailed history of events, coupled with the "human" factor of individual stories, made the entire book a pleasure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Falmouth, ME, United States 02-19-13
    Joe Falmouth, ME, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing . . ."
    What did you love best about Masters of the Air?

    Despite enjoying WWII history, I never took much time to think about or learn about the bomber campaign and what it entailed . . . the lives it cost or it's broader impact on the war effort. My exposure to that campaign was numerous watchings of Twelve O'Clock high, thinking this sufficient to cover that part of the war. I had no idea of how this part of the war evolved, it's history with the bomber barons, and it's ultimate impact on victory over Europe. The author is unflinching in looking at all the angles - good and bad - of the campaign including the impact of terror bombing toward the end of the war and the impact on civilians.

    This is a fantastic, compelling and important story and I highly recommend it for everyone.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 23 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.