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Bomber Command: Reflections of War Volume 2 Hardcover – 17 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation (17 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184884493X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848844933
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Martin Bowman needs no introduction to Association members. His latest book not only retains the factual information that we are so used to, but also his capability to enthral readers. Martin is one of Britain's best World War II authors and this is the latest of his publications maintains the standard that we expect from him. This book takes us into 1943 so we must look forward to the next volume to read of the exploits of our Charles Lofthouse on the Peenemunde raid. - 7 Squadron Association

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An almost day by day account of Bomber Command's war, given largely in the words of the aircrew themselves. The courage,skill and dedication of these men was simply staggering, and Martin Bowman has done a fine job in bringing their stories together. The title 'Live to die another day ' is tragically only too appropriate.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am collecting the whole series of these Martin Bowman Books as they are so well done and very interesting for my Nephew as he is really into Bomber Command.
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By Miss Jane Crampin on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have bought my dad 4 out of the 5 of these books and he tells me they are all equally as good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Bomber Command at War Volume 1 & 2! 20 Dec. 2012
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
RAF BOMBER COMMAND, REFLECTIONS OF WAR is yet another account of the RAF at war from the prolific Brit author Martin Bowman. In this case, it entails a five-volume history of Bomber Command ops. A strong point is Bowman's use of hundreds of first-person reminiscences by Bomber Command aircrew & ground-crew, wives/girlfriends of Bomber Command personnel, Luftwaffe nightfighter crews and civilians living in occupied Europe.

Thus far I've only read Volumes 1 (ISBN 9781848844926) and 2 (ISBN 9781848844933). Both volumes offer a highly-detailed, in-the-cockpit chronicle of Bomber Command's growth and combat ops in in the early and mid-war years.

Volume 1 starts off, rather unconventionally, with a ten-page narrative of an Englishwoman who met an RAF crewman in 1939, later marrying him and their wartime life together. Following that, Bowman shifts to a straight-forward narrative describing the RAF at war's outbreak, its early - and varied - missions supporting the Allies in France, mining ops in the North Sea and the beginnings of its night-time campaign against Germany.

Reading Bowman's narrative and the first-person reminiscences, it's heartening yet sad to read of the intrepid but often unsuccessful efforts of Whitley, Hampden, Blenheim, Wellington, Stirling, Halifax and Manchester aircrews circa 1939-early 1942 to strike the enemy. The shift to night-time attacks was inevitable given that some of the Bomber Command a/c such as the Hampden, Blenheim and Whitley were obsolescent. The Wimpy, though more capable, likewise, couldn't survive in the daylight skies of Europe. Still other designs - the Halibag, Stirling and Manchester - were just being introduced and would post mixed records. Tactics and formations were in flux. Long-range navigation was a major problem; most RAF night-time raids of this period rarely hit the designated targets. Yet the crews "carried on."

Like the first volume in the series, Volume 2 offers up a mission-by-mission account of the combat ops flown by the intrepid yet often inexperienced aircrews and the evolution of Bomber Command. By February 1942, when Arthur Harris took over Bomber Command, the British high command was committed to a policy of area bombing of German cities. Though the number of newer a/c such as the Halifax and Lanc was growing, other squadrons were still operating Wimpeys and even Whitleys. The mid-war years did see a steady growth in the number of aircraft 'Bomber' Harris could send against targets in Germany, France and Italy not to mention mining ops in the North Sea, etc. Likewise, new tactics such as Master Bombers, Pathfinders, 1,000-plane raids, etc. and more deadly weapons were experimented with in efforts to sharpen what was still a blunt instrument into the war-winning force Harris believed it could be.

Both volumes include two eight-page inserts that depict a variety of Bomber Command crews, aircraft, combat scenes, Luftwaffe and civil defense personnel, crash sites, etc.

To be honest, both volumes are best savored a chapter at a time. Each is a dense if enjoyable read, stuffed full of details about hundreds of different missions. The numerous reminiscences - some quite extensive - really bring Bomber Command's night war to vivid life.

Both volumes are good additions to the literature on the RAF and especially Bomber Command at war. The air war fought by Bomber Command was long, varied and brutal. Over 55,000 of a total of 125,000 aircrew were KIA, a 44% death rate. The early segments of that air war are vividly detailed in these first two volumes of BOMBER COMMAND, REFLECTIONS OF WAR. Highly recommended.

*****
NOTE: There seems to be some confusion as to the actual title of the books in the series. The Amazon listing for the series is incorrect and does not agree with info found in the books themselves. (1) The title given on the title-page in both volumes is: RAF BOMBER COMMAND, REFLECTIONS OF WAR rather than BOMBER COMMAND, REFLECTIONS OF WAR. (2) The sub-title given on the title page of Volume 1 is COVER OF DARKNESS 1939-MAY 1942 and not RETALIATION 1939-1941. (3) The Amazon listing for Volume 1 incorrectly labels it as Volume 2!?!

Likewise, the Amazon entry for the actual Volume 2 is wrong. It gives Volume 2's subtitle as: INTENSIFIED ATTACK 1941-1942. Wrong! The title page of my copy clearly has the sub-title as: LIVE TO DIE ANOTHER DAY (JUNE 1942-SUMMER 1943). Confusing, to say the least. I sent those corrections to Amazon but no joy.
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