It was premeditated, planned and executed with callous indifference to the suffering on the ground.
And, seven decades later, it remains one of the most bitterly controversial aspects of the Second World War.
The strategy grew out of new military thinking -- that ‘strategic bombing’ of homes and civilians would crush the spirit of the enemy to resist, and so shorten the war on the ground.
This ‘experiment’, as Bomber Harris, of British Bomber Command, described it, continued for months – killing 100,000 people in single nights of slaughter in Dresden and Tokyo.
But what did ‘terror bombing’ actually achieve?
Did it break the Japanese and German regimes?
In this graphic account, Paul Ham examines the truth about the air war in 1944 and 1945.
'Firestorm' is based on an edited extract from 'Hiroshima Nagasaki', the complete history of the atomic bomb by Paul Ham, published by HarperCollins Publishers.
Paul Ham's work has been widely praised.
"[A] vivid, comprehensive and quietly furious account...Paul Ham brings new tools to the job, unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort. He has a magpie eye for the telling detail" - Ben Macintyre The Times.
"We are in Paul Ham's debt for showing that it is unjustifiable to consider ever again dropping an atomic bomb...Comprehensive and horrifying" - Jonathan Mirsky Literary Review.
"Provocative and challenging, Paul Ham's book strips away the cosy myth that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the Second World War...A voice that is both vigorous and passionate" - Christopher Sylvester, Daily Express.
"Controversial...Well documented and stringently argued" - Peter Lewis, Daily Mail.
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