Customer Review

2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Bombing War was it all worth it?, 3 July 2014
This review is from: The Bombing War: Europe, 1939-1945 (Paperback)
A very depressing read,full of charts and cold statistic concerning the human tragedy that was the air war over Europe 1940-45.
Exposes several myths mainly it was the RAF that started the systematic destruction of most of Europe and also destroys the of stated 'Moral high ground' that has always been quoted.Most chilling of all was the fact that over 600,000 Germans alone were killed in the bombing,over 50,000 French people died mainly in the bombing during D-Day landings and after,the senseless destruction of the monastery at Monte Cassino when it was not even used by the German Army 'til after its destruction,Dresden gets a passing mention of course but the whole book just trots out the numbers without any emotion as in the description of the horrific fire bombing of Hamburg where thousands of mainly women and children were incinerated.
Most high level bombing produced thousands of deaths,schools filled with children,churches even were targeted,either accidentally or more likely a target too good to miss.Of course thousands of RAF/US Airmen died(over 50,000 RAF alone)
And the cruel callous way they were treated by Air Chief Marshal Arthur 'Bomber' Harris who comes over as being no better the many a war criminal was another stain on this country.all in all a thoroughly depressing read.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jul 2014 15:14:16 BDT
Hywel James says:
I don't feel you should rate a book poorly because you found it a depressing read. That's a bit like complaining about the New Testament because in each of the four gospels Christ ends up crucified. The rating should reflect the book's effectiveness in dealing with the subject in hand and from what else you say, it seemed to do that. If, on the other hand, you want a book that pays more attention to the human story I would recommend Jorg Friedrich's "The Fire: the bombing of Germany 1940-45".

Posted on 10 Jul 2014 17:04:42 BDT
This not so much your personal views of the strategic bomber offensive. Sadly, you seem not to be speaking from a position of strength even there. In particular, you are utterly incorrect to define "the cruel callous way they were treated by Air Chief Marshal Arthur 'Bomber' Harris". Bomber Harris defended his crews at every opportunity and was absolutely livid at the way they were treated at the end of the war - as politicians ran for cover in the face of the potentially damaging news of the effects of the SBO. You can, if you like, criticise Harris for the SBO (though he was following direction from the political level and was not the architect of area bombing as some will say), but you most certainly cannot criticise his loyalty to his men; they, in turn, were incredibly loyal to him.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2014 10:10:38 BDT
Weedavie says:
I'm about to buy the book so I'm talking from my current knowledge base. The bombing campaign was invaluable to the politicians until the invasion in 1944. Butch Harris (as his crews admiringly called him) should then have been reined in but proved uncontrollable. Some of the bombing after that certainly appears like war crime. Dresden obviously, but I'm just back from Wurzburg which was devastated in March 1945 for no good reason. Harris should have been sacked by January 1945.
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