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The Bombing War: Europe, 1939-1945
 
 

The Bombing War: Europe, 1939-1945 [Kindle Edition]

Richard Overy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

Magnificent ... must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war ... It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century (Richard J Evans Guardian)

Monumental ... this is a major contribution to one of the most controversial aspects of the Second World War ... full of new detail and perspectives ... hugely impressive (James Holland Literary Review)

This tremendous book does what the war it describes signally failed to do. With a well-thought-out strategy and precision, it delivers maximum force on its objectives ... The result is a masterpiece of the historian's art (The Times)

What distinguishes Mr Overy's account of the bombing war from lesser efforts is the wealth of narrative detail and analytical rigour that he brings to bear (Economist)

Excellent ... Overy is never less than an erudite and clear-eyed guide whose research is impeccable and whose conclusions appear sensible and convincing even when they run against the established trends (Financial Times)

It is unlikely that a work of this scale, scope and merit will be surpassed (Times Higher Education)

Hard to surpass. If you want to know how bombing worked, what it did and what it meant, this is the book to read (Times Literary Supplement)

My book of the year ... A staggering amount of research ... provides a sober and realistic assessment of [the bombings'] impact on the warring nations and on the civilians who bore the brunt of its impact ... It's hard to imagine a more thorough account: a masterpiece (Richard J Evans New Statesman BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

A much needed breath of fresh air ... Overy argues his point with the confidence of someone who knows he is master of his subject: his rich and varied approach, coupled with exhaustive research, makes this probably the best history of bombing of the past 20 years (Keith Lowe Telegraph)

A superbly detailed account of a terrifying aspect of the Second World War (Simon Heffer New Statesman BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

An extraordinary and far-reaching history ... the first full narrative of the bombing war in Europe ... Overy's scope is incredibly broad and well-researched, also highly readable (Spectator)

This is a tough, hardheaded and meticulous work of military history ... It is worth reading (Dan Jones Telegraph BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

Overy's history explains and explores strategy, tactics, technology and results in one seamless story that shatters myths and establishes truths (Nigel Jones Sunday Telegraph)

Utterly fascinating ... What is most surprising in Overy's book is its remarkable contemporary relevance (Edward Luttwak London Review of Books)

The first full narrative of the bombing war in Europe (Commander Barney White-Spunner Country Life)

Product Description

The ultimate history of the Blitz and bombing in the Second World War, from Wolfson Prize-winning historian and author Richard Overy



The use of massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize civilians was an aspect of the Second World War which continues to challenge the idea that Allies specifically fought a 'moral' war. For Britain, bombing became perhaps its principal contribution to the fighting as, night after night, exceptionally brave men flew over occupied Europe destroying its cities.



The Bombing War radically overhauls our understanding of the War. It is the first book to examine seriously not just the most well-known parts of the campaign, but the significance of bombing on many other fronts - the German use of bombers on the Eastern Front for example (as well as much newly discovered material on the more familiar 'Blitz' on Britain), or the Allied campaigns against Italian cities.



The result is the author's masterpiece - a rich, gripping, picture of the Second World War and the terrible military, technological and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all its participants into an abyss.



Reviews:



'Magnificent ... must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war ... It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century' Richard J Evans, Guardian



'Monumental ... this is a major contribution to one of the most controversial aspects of the Second World War ... full of new detail and perspectives ... hugely impressive' James Holland, Literary Review



'This tremendous book does what the war it describes signally failed to do. With a well-thought-out strategy and precision, it delivers maximum force on its objectives ... The result is a masterpiece of the historian's art' The Times



'It is unlikely that a work of this scale, scope and merit will be surpassed' Times Higher Education



'What distinguishes Mr Overy's account of the bombing war from lesser efforts is the wealth of narrative detail and analytical rigour that he brings to bear' Economist



'Excellent ... Overy is never less than an erudite and clear-eyed guide whose research is impeccable and whose conclusions appear sensible and convincing even when they run against the established trends' Financial Times



'Hard to surpass. If you want to know how bombing worked, what it did and what it meant, this is the book to read' Times Literary Supplement



About the author:



Richard Overy is the author of a series of remarkable books on the Second World War and the wider disasters of the twentieth century. The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia won both the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hessell-Tiltman Prize. He is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Penguin publishes 1939: Countdown to War, The Morbid Age, Russia's War, Interrogations, The Battle of Britain and The Dictators. He lives in London.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 20007 KB
  • Print Length: 821 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (26 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C9Q24NE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 20 Nov 2013
By John M
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent account of the bombing carried out by all players in WW2, covering much more than the raids and the damage. Balanced, thorough, comprehensive, and a fascinating and compelling read. Highly recommended.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Boy 27 Nov 2013
By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is by any standards a big book, and would still be big if we ignored the many many pages of notes and sources. It is never therefore going to appeal to the casual reader. However, as a non-propeller head I found it excellent at setting the position for the various parties. The bombing war brings out strong opinions and Overy's book reinforces Wedgwood's view that "History is lived forwards but it is written in retrospect. We know the end before we can consider the beginning and we can never wholly recapture what it was to know the beginning only.". One soon grasps that so much in war consists of guessing. The Germans guessed wrongly in the Battle of Britain and the Allies did so during the bombing; all based on worthy attempts at getting the correct data of course. Only when the war was over could we peek behind the curtain and see the views of the Germans as to what did or did not work. One makes war as one can, not as one should as Kitchener used to say to me.

This is a long book but it argues its case closely and I enjoyed it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've read some other histories by Overy, so had high expectations of this. Overy has created an extensive, although highly readable, account of bombing during the second world war. It opens with how bombing became a tool of war and the fears expressed in the interwar years. Many believed that the bombing of civilians would lead inexorably to the collapse of society. We know this didn't happen and, it's possible that even *with* the information they had at the time, people were scaremongering a little. All that notwithstanding, strategic bombing rightly still held terror for civilian populations.

After this, the book focuses on the effects on civilian populations in Britain, Germany France and, gratifyingly, the Soviet Union. Not wishing to diminish the experience of people in this country, but the effect of the war on the people of the USSR was huge and is a story I don't feel we hear often enough.

There's much to unpack in this book. For example, he discusses how strategic bombing wasn't all that effective and is too damaging to people's lives. There is also the fact that - especially at that time - it was very difficult to properly aim bombs, making the chances of even meeting the stated objectives.

There are hundreds of pages here, so the survey is comprehensive. It is also well referenced and noted (a significant portion of this intimidating book is the notes at the end!)

This is a highly recommended book. If you have any interest in the subject, this is worth looking at.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars get ready for a long haul! 28 Nov 2013
By D. Thurgood VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a heavyweight book, no doubt about it. It's long. Very long. Is it worth it? Definitely. Superbly researched and written, this will become the final word on the bombing of Europe in the Second World War. Covering the politics of both the Allies and the Axis, in great detail, it leaves no stone unturned. Overy has not only done his own homework, he's done enough to keep several PhDs happy too. An incredible effort that is to be commended. If war history is your thing, this is the book for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Right on Target 31 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I doubt if there has been a more detailed insight into this aspect of World War II. Details of civil defence measures are perhaps a touch overplayed but interesting nonetheless. The chapters on the offensive against Italy are particularly interesting
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By Tim62 VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Richard Overy is to be congratulated on producing a work that is sure to become the standard overview of bombing in WW2. For too long studies of bombing in English have largely been limited to the impact of the Luftwaffe on Britain, or the bombing of German cities by RAF's Bomber Command and the USAAF.

For instance, The bombing of Italy and France both saw roughly the same number of civilians killed as were killed by the Luftwaffe in their bombing of Britain, but only recently have we had a study on this in English - Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Allied Air Attack, 1940-1945 by Claudia Baldoli and Andrew Knapp. Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Allied Air Attack, 1940-1945

I did not know until now that Italy received some 370,000 tons of bombs, nearly five times the total dropped on Britain by the Luftwaffe, while France received over 570,000, nearly eight times the British figure. In each country, over 55,000 civilians died.

And as for trying to find anything on the bombing of Soviet cities by the Luftwaffe, or the bombing of other European countries during WW2 - there has been almost nothing in English.

There is of course nothing wrong in looking at the above topics in isolation - but if one truly wants to grasp why European states undertook to bomb each other in the way they did between 1939-45, what air defence precautions states took in the 1930s, and how the bombed societies survived - then this is the book for you.

What is fascinating is how societies, even liberal democracies which had signed up to various pledges to place some limits the impact of bombing, quickly overcame their moral scruples in the furnace of total war, and moved to a position of moral expediency where the end justified the means. A truly important study.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
all fine
Published 17 days ago by Ramade
4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed study of the bombing war in Europe 1939 ...
A detailed study of the bombing war in Europe 1939 to 1945, Taken from contemporary sources it should give one cause to think. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Anthony John Whetstone
2.0 out of 5 stars should have conceded like the French
Having read this author's account of the war in Russia, I was expecting a similarly concise, accurate overview of the bombing campaigns of WW2. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. M. Herbert
2.0 out of 5 stars long winded and dull. I could not recommend it to anyone
I found this a difficult book to read, long winded and dull. I could not recommend it to anyone.
Published 1 month ago by David Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY readable and fine history.
Afirst rat account of the blitzs I lived through and the background to them. VERY readable and fine history.
Published 1 month ago by Lancs Peter
2.0 out of 5 stars The Bombing War was it all worth it?
A very depressing read,full of charts and cold statistic concerning the human tragedy that was the air war over Europe 1940-45. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jackie jayes
4.0 out of 5 stars Analytical and accessible.
A very well presented book
on the moral and philosophical issues surrounding the German and Allied bombing campaigns of WWII.
Published 2 months ago by kingcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be the Definitive Study
Richard Overy’s new book has had positive reviews from much more prestigious readers than I and it is not difficult to see why. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Callow
2.0 out of 5 stars More of a text book than a historical account
I previously read "Guns at Last Light" by a different WWII author and had hoped that this book would be in the same vein, but unfortunately the writing style was too... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cozzy Leicester
4.0 out of 5 stars War Book
This was a present for my husband. He says it was very interesting and informative.

Told the story as if it was just happening.
Published 4 months ago by sooty14
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