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.
“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)
For the WWII enthusiast, this title is a must. Masters of the Air is an excellent read, one of which I enjoyed from cover to cover. There is plenty of insight, information, and detail about the battles fought in the air over Europe, and all told from the first hand accounts of those whom flew the missions. So much detail in fact that (at times) you might get bored or lose your train of thought. I was thoroughly interested from cover to cover but some of the historical anecdotes were very administrative and lacked the personality of the individual crewman which makes for a long(er) read.
There are countless historical pieces which provide the reader/listener with insight from noted reporters such as Cronkrite, and Rooney, and the interviews and personal quotes from such notables as Chuck Yeager, and Tom Landry are enlightening and refreshing. Even learning of the eventual loss of Glen Miller had my ear. From a broader perspective nothing is left out which leads to a very long, long read. Without the excellent, even-toned narration, ones mind might start to drift.
Add this title to your queue, you won't be disappointed.
I read nothing that is popular.
I'm always well invested when reading anything from WWII because I can't never get enough information. Their generation was the finest crops of people that was born. As a World as a whole, that generation all fought and stood together in what they believed in. There was no divided lines and they all came together for a common cause to root out the hatred and evil that was about to spread through the lands. They were the greatest generation that lived among us. No others comes close.
"Masters of the Air" is a lot more than air force infantry of the 8th, it's a vast overview of the war. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand used to be my favorite war book of all times, but Hillenbrand wrote it as a memoir for Zamperini. Donald L. Miller writes "Masters of the Air" as a book on history with facts. This book is more than the bombers. It's well put together in a cohesive way.
The two books that I mentioned is far different from each other. Hillenbrand drives her readers' emotions to finish the life about the war hero. Miller goes into great technical detail on the 8th. Both novels are excellent, but I favor Miller's work more because he covers German, British and America without focusing on one fixture in the novel.
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to know more about the POW's and the technical aspect of being on a bomber.
it's interesting to hear the stories... being retired Air Force we don't understand how lucky we really are...
I started this book thinking it would be only moderately interesting and I was not certain I would make through the entire 25 hours. However, it is a compelling account of the role of the air power in WWII and I learned a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of using this relatively new technology in war. I was amazed at the high casualty rate. I enjoyed the discussions on the ethics of the types of bombing used as well. Ultimately I not only listened to the entire 25 hours, but I was disappointed that the book had to end.
if you enjoy WWII history this will be enjoyable. indepth look at the air campaign of Germany, how the Allied sir campaign came to be, the behind the scenes discussions between England and American planners and generals. Attempts at times to offer moralizing occassion, but mostly a straight forward history of the hell that is war.
Read it now
The details and analysis along with pure entertainment value. It is a great balance of history and narrative.
Robertson Dean nails this.
There is a story about a ball turret gunner when landing gear fails....
A uniquely profound account of the war, centered around but not exclusive to, the bomber groups. This is a massive and superbly researched series of interconnecting stories about most aspect of the air war. It recounts the egos, terror, despair, barbarism, lust and despondency of humanity involved in desperate conflict. I learned a great deal and “enjoyed” this book (of one can enjoy such a book) immensely. Robertson Dean does a superb job of narration.
Report Inappropriate Content