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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Narative, 15 July 2008
This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
This book (author Keven Wilson) should be read by all those interested in WWII events. Young men, pilots,airgunners or whoever were very brave people and many gave their lives flying night after night to Gemany to win the war. The author has done a lot of research to tell you and I the extreme difficult periods the aircrew faced passing through flack and German fighters. Bomber command were flying aircraft which often iced up yet the only warmth they had was their flying suits. So many failed to get back to the UK having been shot down or burned whilst crashing. A gripping and detailed narative -find out the courage and enthusiasm the aircrew portrayed. So few British are aware of the tragic events that took place - read it
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bomber Boys: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin, 29 Mar 2008
This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
A well written account of Bomber Command's development from a rather amateur outfit to a giant killing machine. Was 'Bomber' Harris right to believe he could win the war by bombing alone, given that no-one had ever tried before? One thing is for sure - Bomber Command's thousands of young men who flew the operations in the dark skies over Germany paid a horrendous price, but certainly brought the war to the German people when no-one else could. In doing so, they sowed the first seeds of doubt in the minds of the German High Command about the future of the Thousand Year Reich. The book also charts the race of the scientific 'boffins' on both sides to counter each new development to regain the (always temporary) advantage. The fear and fascination of 'flying into hell' is graphically captured, and the isolation of the few who managed to escape from falling bombers over enemy territory. It remains a matter of shame that the courageous men of Bomber Command were not honoured with a campaign medal, regardless of the doubts cast over the campaign in the latter part of the war. Kevin Wilson's book leaves us in no doubt of the debt owed to these men.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The debt we all owe, 3 May 2008
This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
With most of the UK's population born since 1945, the Second World War is becoming a distant, hazy conflict with seemingly limited relevance to the early 21st Century. Yet without the heroism of the RAF and the rest of our Armed Forces, Hitler might well have won the war and inflicted mass punishment on the peoples of these islands.
Fortunately this account of Bomber Command's campaign in 1943 shows what a massive debt we owe to aircrews whose chances of getting back to their bases were horrifyingly low. Through its graphic descriptions of the aerial battles and moving interviews with the dwindling band of survivors, this book brings home the vital role of strategic bombing in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Read it and give thanks for the sacrifices Britain's young men made for us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real insight about Bomber Command, 18 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. P. M. Hyde "explorer" (dorset) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
My father was in 49 Squadron and completed his tour before being "rested" as an instructor with 17 OTU at Silverstone.Unfortunately an engine on the Wellington caught fire on landing approach and the Emergency landing was made difficult as another Aircraft was blocking the Runway so all the crew was killed bar the rear gunner who was thrown out and my father who was very badly burned and became a member of the Guinea Pig Club

This book is a very good account of the bomber crews and the realities of the RAF Bomber Campaign -the youthful age of Aircrew (and not as portrayed in the films ),the sheer odds against finishing the tour,the stress and fatigue,the mistakes made and more.Everyone should read this book to recognise the sacrifice that was made by the Bomber crews and still has not been truly appreciated
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning history laced with diary accounts, 20 Feb 2012
This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
In this first volume, Mr Wilson provides a vivid description of life and times in Bomber Command during the crucial year of 1943 when the RAF started to conduct raids of which produced significant impacts upon the Nazi regime and the German homeland. His book is very well researched and interlaces first-hand accounts from diaries and journals with the author's excellent writing on a subject which he clearly knows well. It brings together strategic matters, battle accounts and domestic details which would be mundane were they not set in such a pivotal time of the war, and of 20th century history.

The book deals with both the bravery and tragedy on the RAF aircrew side but does not ignore the human suffering in the target areas. The area bombing campaign, like any such military operation which resulted in thousands of deaths deserves close analysis after the fact. Mr Wilson is in my view balanced on the question of whether the campaign was "right" - clearly no argument would convince the relatives of innocent civilians killed by area bombing - but comes down on the side of the argument that had, this battle not been waged, the Nazi regime would probably have continued its war against the allies and its subjugation and slavery of conquered peoples for much longer, even developing its own nuclear arms.

I believe if you read history you should not limit yourself to a single account of a period but if the air war of WWII is of interest to you do not miss this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 24 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
One of a trio, Kevin Wilson's book evokes the terrible pressure our under-rated bomber crews were under in the '39-45 war. This is a brilliant read and makes you wonder why anyone ever volunteered (as my father did) to put themselves through such an experience. top-rate stuff and all of it true
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Brother, 22 Oct 2011
Brilliant! My brother, who was in Bomber Command in the war-Jack Elliott, was mentioned 3 times in this book. He kept a Red Cross Diary while a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft 3. The details in the book were identical to what he had written/ told us.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bomber Boys - Kevin Wilson, 26 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
A wonderful book, moving, exciting, informative and superbly researched by the author. An absolute must for anyone interested in the history of World War 2 and of the role of the RAF's Bomber Command in securing the allied victory. The writer is currently working on a book with related subject matter,
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boys a nation would prefer to forget, and why., 10 Sep 2011
By 
HuddyBolly (Larnaca, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
For all those who espouse totally ignorant, or at best, ill informed opinions about RAF Bomber Command; about what occurred, and why; frequently without ever having taken the trouble to learn the the most basic facts; this book should be made compulsory reading.
It explains in detail the truly awful consequences to all concerned; and especially to the young men who formed the aircrews; of the task that they were ordered to carry out BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY.

The fact that the politicians; and especially Churchill; having enthusiastically given the war directives that led to Bomber Command's comprehensive destruction of the Reich; then tried to distance themselves from any responsibility for what they themselves had ordered, is one of the most shameful examples of cowardly conduct to arise from the conflict.

Churchill's Battle of Britain praise for Fighter Command, well deserved as it was; might have been better kept for the 55,000 aircrew of Bomber Command who died fulfilling his, and his government's directives for taking the war to the heartland of the Third Reich.

This is the chilling story of those young men, who's actions it seems; even today, Britain and it's government would prefer to forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping true story of many former RAF bomber crews during WW2, 8 July 2014
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943: The Ruhr, the Dambusters and Bloody Berlin (Bomber War Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
The first part of Kevin Wilson's factual trilogy about the RAF's Bomber Command during the Second World War.

References within another author's work were made solely to the second volume of the trilogy and individuals named within it but did not mention that it was one part of three. That volume was purchased in isolation but, after discovering that it was part of a trilogy, the remainder had since been purchased.

This volume concentrates on the campaigns of 1943. This was the period of the War when Allied successes were frequent and becoming the norm; from 1939-42, Germany was able to achieve most of its aims with apparent ease and at alarming speed by overwhelming opposition with attacks by land and air but their successes became harder to find and to secure. The so-called submarine war had turned around from Germany's advantage and more of their submarines were sunk than were Allied or friendly merchant vessels, the Battle of Stalingrad had ended and Rommel's troops were vanquished at Alamein.

Bomber Command had started to utilise its 'Big Wing' system whereby hundreds and sometimes up to 13 or 1400 aircraft would attack a single target and airborne radar became available. Although initially basic and unreliable, it provided a means to identify the towns and cities and thus to concentrate the bombs on a far narrower area and to do far more damage as a result. Factory production, railways, fuel distribution and Germany's major cities became regular targets.

Some of the most significant of the 1943 raids were those on the production areas of the Ruhr valley and the single raid on its dams. The intention was to cause such damage to industry and electricity production that it could take at least several months to repair and make good. The Dambusters raid required a new weapon and a modified aircraft to carry it. Crews needed to be trained to deal with the problems that the task highlighted, all outside previous experiences. Some of the skills they learned, although many of those on the raid were lost, would prove useful later. Also included were some of the earliest large-scale raids on Berlin which were considered among the most dangerous due to the city's intensive defenses. Earlier Berlin raids had involved much smaller numbers of aircraft and were more for propaganda effect than attempts to cause serious damage.

The book is mostly based upon interviews with some of the men involved during the period covered or the stories they left behind. The same method was used for the remainder of the trilogy. It demonstrates some of their problems, their attitudes and how they coped with the circumstances thrown at them. Coping meant displaying behaviours that would not have been acceptable at other times or in different situations; it was then accepted as 'normal'. They simply lived their lives for that day as tomorrow might not arrive. Their life expectancy was often counted in the number of flown sorties and most losses were suffered before they flew their fifth. Most of the crew members were very young and some would never see their 20th birthday; the older and more experienced were mostly under 30.

Highly informative and it provides a valuable resource for future generations. It also allows an understanding and appreciation of what was achieved and those that participated in it.
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