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on 17 December 2015
first class book
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very detailed account of the use of air bombing during the Second World War. The author is a Professor of History at Exter University and he speciallises in World War 2. This book is over three inches thick and contains in depth accounts of the strategy and effect of the bombing campagins of the Germans and Aliies during the war.
The effect of bombing raids on potential civilian targets is a difficult area which we face in conflicts around the world today. Here you can read about how inaccurate the bombing was most of the time, and about just how inefficiant the bomber planes were.
It is only recently that the crews of bombers during the war have had there contribution to the war effort recognised with the London memorial. Read this book to discover the truth about how hard it was to be a memeber of a bombers crew.
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on 1 February 2016
great book
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I can't really fault the book at all, at the outset the author states that he is aiming for a very comprehensive account and this is certainly what he has delivered.

But its just a very long read. He's covering the whole of Europe and the whole of the second world war, and the upshot is a book of several hundred pages. So comprehensive it may be, but set aside a decent amount of time to complete this read.
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on 21 March 2014
This book covers all aspects of the bombing campaign throughout Europe, but it does so in places (such as concerning technology and some significant operations) rather briefly, where further information would have been interesting. Nevertheless I was unaware of many of the topics explored. It is easy to read although inevitably it is a large book, however about 1/5 of it is references. I'm sure these references will be interesting to researchers wishing to make detailed further study, but their value for the casual reader is questionable. The book reads well when it is relating facts, but it gets a bit tedious where it is explaining public opinion and different policies; I think these areas could have been more tightly written. More on how the personalities of the chief players, like Harris, affected the decisions would have been interesting.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
And what a beauty it is. This is an amazing `Lancaster' of a book with perhaps `heavy' not being an ideal word to use and `all encompassing' would be better, but you catch my drift. For anyone who requires a detailed discussion about the heavy bombing offensive of WW2 then this is the book for you. At times it's just a little too detailed and I suspect a little judicious pruning would widen it's appeal as I suspect its size would put many off who would find it more than precise and more than interesting. I would, though have liked more on the wonderful precision raids that the British mounted on the dams, the Tirpitz, the Amiens prison, the U-boat pens and many more barely discussed in the book.

At it's end I couldn't help but wonder if vast resources and unquestionably brave men, together with leading-edge technical and manufacturing skills had been misdirected, and whether the heavy bomber was, a little like the battleship, already obsolete and had been surpassed by other technologies - as evidenced by the way the Americans and Russians pounced on Von Braun and as many V2s as they could get their hands on, respectively, at War's end.

It's all too easy for us to adopt a reflective stance in the light of retrospective vision but I wonder if the blitz as suffered by London in WW1 taught the English that they just had to develop a bomber capability. ( see `First Blitz' by Neil Hanson) For the Germans at the end of WW1 it was perhaps seen as a wasteful extravagance and I wonder if Hitler saw the development of a decent 4-engined bomber as being unnecessary - perhaps fully expecting the war to be over within weeks of him `kicking the door in' in Russia and he never saw it as a means either of inflicting substantial harm on the British or even as a means of supplying Paulus after Stalingrad - much to Germany's loss of course. I wonder what might have become of us had Germany developed 4-engined bombers of the quality of the Lancaster and had them ready for the Battle of Britain?
Moreover, after the war people, politicians and even whole countries developed selective memories of exactly what the brave young airmen had been asked to do.

Ultimately, for the vast majority living through this, it boils down to something very simple. The Lancaster is fuelled, bombed-up and ready. You've seen your capital bombed, your parents or friends killed; a regime that is deporting many thousands of Jews and others, then distributing their possessions to former friends and neighbours and yet blaming them for the war!; a regime that will import thousands of slave workers and force them to work in inhumane conditions; together with a conflict that was foisted upon you - the bomber is all set to go and gives you at least a chance of hitting back - now, just where do I sign up! Enjoy and with my thanks.

NB: I read an uncorrected proof version of the final book and I'm sure the nasty spelling mistake in Chapter 9 has been sorted, and also my review book didn't contain maps or illustrations.
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on 17 May 2014
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 laboured for me. Good as a text book but not as an informative read.
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on 9 February 2014
Purchased on behalf of my Dad. I am not a war historian but my Dad is and he is very pleased with this book. Plenty for him to read!
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on 28 February 2014
Of all the books I've read on the subject of the WW2 air war this is the far the best.
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on 2 January 2015
Solid historical work but level of detail makes for a heavy read !
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