Regular price: $29.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this aerial offensive quickly became known as “Big Week,” and it was one of the turning-point engagements of World War II.  

In Big Week, acclaimed World War II historian James Holland chronicles the massive air battle through the experiences of those who lived and died during it. Prior to Big Week, the air forces on both sides were in crisis. Allied raids into Germany were being decimated, but German resources - fuel and pilots - were strained to the breaking point. Ultimately new Allied aircraft - especially the American long-range P-51 Mustang - and superior tactics won out during Big Week. Through interviews, oral histories, diaries, and official records, Holland follows the fortunes of pilots, crew, and civilians on both sides, taking readers from command headquarters to fighter cockpits to anti-aircraft positions and civilian chaos on the ground, vividly recreating the campaign as it was conceived and unfolded. In the end, the six days of intense air battles largely cleared the skies of enemy aircraft when the invasion took place on June 6, 1944 - D-Day.   

Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 James Holland. Recorded by arrangement with Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

War in the Air: Sets stage with gripping narrative

There are many good books on the WWII air war in western Europe. I have read many American and German personal accounts and some general overview books as well. This book is the best to give you a sense of what it was like to fly 25 missions with less than 5% chance of surviving. And tells you what it is like to be a German fighter pilot having to fly two or three missions a day with dwindling resources. This is all pre-D-Day when the bombers were used as bait so the Germans would lose air superiority by the time of the invasion. There are some narratives from German civilians as to what it is like to have bombs fall all around you. The story is told at many levels from Jimmy Doolittle (yes,THAT Jimmy Doolittle) down to a tail-gunner sergeant. And we go from the mad man with the mustache who wants jet fighters to be bombers.down to German "aces" ( the Germans actually didn't use that term) who watch their comrades blown out of the sky. It goes on for months and much of the book is taken up with setting the stage which is vital and informative. By the time you get to Big Week at the last fourth of the book you are a veteran and you are right there as each day brings great success and great heartbreak. You root for the various true life people whose stories are told from their diaries. It is all weaved together.very well.and is well done at all levels. Bravo!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful