7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A very well written, detailed and comprehensive description of this important operation,
This review is from: The Peenemunde Raid: The Night of 17-18 August 1943 (Pen & Sword Military) (Paperback)
As a military history enthusiast I read this book with a real pleasure and I recommend it to anybody interested in WWII.
Author made a very thourough research on the topic and wrote the book in a very accessible and pleasant to read but still very rigourous and professional style. The story of creation of Peenemunde research center, of its internal organisation and of the progress on V-1 and V-2 programs until 1943 is described in detail, as is the intelligence gathering by the British (some of it provided by Polish underground Home Army) and the planification of this very long range and difficult bombing operation. This raid was even more daring, when one considers that many of the bombers were still the relatively old Halifaxes and Stirlings! The description of the raid itself is EXCELLENT! By moments I almost felt as if I was in the cockpit of one of RAF bombers! Luftwaffe's reaction is also described in detail and it is a very surprising story which you desserve to discover yourself...
Once the book started to describe the effects of the bombardment as perceived by those who were at the receiving end, the reading became for me very personnal, because my maternal grandfather was one of Polish slave laborers rounded by the Nazis in 1942 and he found himself deported to the concentration camp desserving Peenemunde - and he saw the raid up close and personally... As you are maybe aware, because of an error of targeting (quite frequent in night operations in those times) RAF bombers flattened not only the research center itself, but also the adjacent camp of slave laborers (mostly Polish deportees). Hundreds of the latter were killed, as the camp, for obvious reasons, didn't have any bomb shelters for the prisoners... My grandfather was amongst the lucky survivors (and he ultimately also survived the war), but as long as he lived he never forgot that night.
Author describes in great detail the results of the raid, which were ultimately lesser than expected. The controversial issues of numbers of civilian victims (mostly Polish slave laborers) and of the supposed strafing of fleeing German women by gunners in British bombers are not avoided - to the contrary.
In conclusion, from the first to the last page, I found this book extremely well written, very honest in its description and analysis of events and I believe it is the best position on the market on this important operation.