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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 August 2017
Brought for my Brother he did seem pleased 😁
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on 21 January 2011
There are some annoying things about this product:-

(1) a fair bit of repetition of particular archive clips
(2) some relatively contemporary footage in monochrome to try and blend in with the archive bits
(3) some gratuitous footage regarding the 8th USAAF
(4) episodes 5 and 6 are transposed in order

But, on the whole that is tolerable for the good stuff:-

(1) Plenty of archive footage, including coverage of Whitleys, Hampdens, Blenheims (Mks 1 and later), Wellingtons, Beauforts, Manchesters Mk 1 and 2, Stirlings, Halifaxes and Lancasters.
(2) Some good interviews with Bomber Command veterans, e.g. including a survivor of the Augsburg raid, so not just the most familiar stuff, and also some German interviewees
(3) Bomber Harris's newsreel appearance in full (I've never seen this complete elswhere, its always a few clips)
(4) It does cover the whole of the period 1939 to 1945 including 1943 and 1944

So if you are interested in the history of Bomber Command, this is a good addition to your collection
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on 17 March 2013
A very good visual history of a sometimes very negelcted subjust in view of the area bombing later in the war. It is a story that needed to be told and I enjoyed it. Well worthwhile seeing for any WW11 history buff.
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on 28 March 2013
As the Bomber Boys have now been granted recognition for their deeds during the War Years this DVD is for my friend who is a former Airman and admires the Bomber Boys greatly
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on 4 August 2010
Stunning piece of work. Bomber crews were "family". You picked your flying partners by looking at them and wondering if they had the right stuff and would fit in. All of them did!!

2 years from applying to flying and then maybe no more than one sortie. Bravest people in the history of WW2 and sadly their leader Bomber Harris not really recognised until too late. He loved "his boys" and was proud of their achievements - we should be too.

"They have sown the wind. Now we will reap the whirlwind"

Excellent Film
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on 11 January 2011
Very good value for a set of DVDs about the RAF DURING THE Second World War buy it now
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on 11 August 2015
This is compelling viewing, especially taking into account the period covered. I think the whole RAF has less squadrons now than Bomber Command started the war with, (but that is something else). Good to see that Churchill's distancing from Harris was shown, a point often overlooked when the subject of area bombing is shown.
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on 20 February 2012
I'm happy that one of the reviewers mentioned that Sections 5 and 6 were transposed because after a few minutes of failing to find Section 5 I began to wonder if I was having a stroke. What had happened to "windows" and the Mosquito raid on the Dutch prison?

There is inevitably some repetition of the news footage. I can't count the number of times we see the same unidentifiable airplane in the furry distance plunging towards the sea, followed by streams of tracers. Much of the footage is familiar from other documentaries but some of it is not. The footage that isn't familiar, isn't familiar for a reason. A lot of it is old and scratchy. Some of the movie clips don't match the events being described. And the explosion of Hood is lifted from "Sink the Bismark" to illustrate the demise of the Tirpitz.

The narration tends to be bookish, along the lines of, "Three hundred and twenty-two bombers attacked the city of Kiel and delivered five hundred and forty tons of bombs. This killed four hundred and thirty and displaced one thousand and one civilians. Twenty-five aircraft were lost, two in the channel." After a while, the viewer become numb with numbers.

However, the personal point of view is presented by several talking heads, both British and German, and they cover not just individual experience but the opinions of the speakers as well regarding the whole enterprise of area bombing.

Some of the experiences described are so hair raising I wouldn't believe them if I saw them in a feature film. A Wellington (I think) is struggling to reach its base in England. One engine is leaking oil and finally catches fire. They're not going to make it. So a crew member volunteers to climb out on the wing and place a canvas cover over the engine, hoping to smother the flame. They manage to smash a hole in the perspex just large enough for him to crawl through -- but not if he's wearing a parachute. So they tie a line around his body and as he crawls out onto the crippled and bent wing, the pilot lowers his landing gear and flaps to slow the airplane down to just above stalling speed. The fellow inches towards the flaming engine, punching holes in the wing fabric between the geodesic spars and -- mission accomplished, he crawls back into the airplane. He's awarded the VC but comments that he didn't think it was such a big deal.

In his famous speech, Harris was entirely correct when he promised near the beginning of the war that that little cloud on the horizon would turn into a hurricane. Britain began the bombing with a handful of squadrons of out-dated and unglamorous airplanes with names like the Fairy Battle and the Bristol Blenheim. They'd been first-line aircraft when designed but aviation development was lightning-fast in the late 30s and when war broke out they were under powered and under armed. (I wish the film had dealt in more detail with these little-known aircraft. As it is, they are presented en masse and you can't tell one from another. I had to look them up in a reference book.) The first raid suffered fifty percent losses. And losses continued to be appalling for the first few years of the war -- ten and twenty percent, thirty percent over Nuremberg. They remained high until later in 1944, even when the Lancaster was deployed, the finest heavy bomber of World War II.

The film raises moral questions, of course. The campaign removed whole cities from the map and killed innumerable civilians, including French and Dutch. Harris always said he was acting under direct orders and one supposes he was, though one also imagines that he might have had something to say about those orders. (After one particularly devastating raid, even Churchill said the strategy should be reviewed.) A talking head points out that, brutal as some of these raids were, the Nazis were being even more brutal in their genocidal programs. I think this logical fallacy is known as "tu quoque." At the relatively recent unveiling of a monument to Harris, the Queen Mother's speech was interrupted by boos.

It's easy to be judgmental at a remove of more than sixty years. At the time, probably fewer objected because generally the public doesn't have a very clear idea of exactly what's going on. Hamburg removed from the map? Fine, it's an enemy city. They're not crouched in the cellars with the old ladies and infants.

From the point of view of people as a species, Homo sapiens, war is a paradoxical way of resolving conflicts. Not any particular war, but "war" in the abstract. (No country ever "starts" a war; it's always the other fellow's fault.) It kills off hordes of people. It puts a dent in a nation's age structure. It assures that energy is invested not in civic maintenance and improvement but in expensive weaponry that's designed to do nothing but destroy others. It promotes a culture by killing its members.
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on 9 July 2012
When the Nazis ruthlessly bombed Britain, Churchill promised they would get it all back with interest and this story tells us how they did it through the vision of Bomber Harris and the bravery of the air crews; well illustrating that if you start a nasty war, you better be sure you can finish it.
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on 14 January 2015
Bought as a gift for others I can only assume it is another DVD telling the story of particular part of world war two it appears to be of good quality and the resipiant of this gift was very happy
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