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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2013
This is an excellent and gripping account of the story of the disaster that was Nuremburg. The detailed statistics of the raid have been more than adequately dealt with in previous publications; the story here is told, as it should be, by the men who took part and the effect it had on them, written by a man who experienced war operations personally. I agree with a previous reviewer that errors have crept into the text (Wrattling Common should have read Wratting Common), but mistakes of this nature appear to be prevalent in recently-published books on the RAF.

This book is a must for those interested in Bomber Command operations in World War II.
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on 29 May 2013
As the title says this is a gripping story. My own Father served in Bomber Command (as a Navigator) and I now understand why he never talked about it. A must for anyone, even with a tenuous connection to the RAF.
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on 31 July 2014
I have read quite a few accounts of air warfare and bombers (both allied and German) and this one has a very interesting and engaging way about it. For example it gives great context to what the rest of the day of a mission was like. It looks at what they ate and what the girls they spoke to before take off said. It paints a very vivid picture of the younger brothers and sisters back at home anxiously thinking about their elder brothers.
All in all it's a great book. Even if it was just the mission details and some of the actual testimony of the raids it would be very good. But what sets it apart is the common everyday bits which give great context and tell us as much about the war as the bits about dropping bombs etc
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on 1 March 2014
The Nuremberg raid resulted in more RAF deaths in one night than the entire Battle of Britain.

Even if you have read the Middlebrook account of the raid this is well worth the purchase. Whereas Middlebrook has written the definitive account allied to personal recollections, Nichol concentrates on the personal, some of which is similar, however it is the illustrations of the veterans which REALLY brings the story to life. These elderly gentlemen; many of whom one can also be seen in his younger version; as little more than teenagers (or even as teenagers) went through the most terrifying experience. It is being able to look at the photographs and realise that 'this' happened to 'him' - which strikes home. The extra previously unpublished information alone about Cyril Barton VC and Chris Panton (Just Jane) from their surviving families, makes the book worth the money. The account of one veteran who was unbelievably classed as LMF simply for sticking up for his rights beggars belief in the system. This book reaffirms John Nichol in the same league as Martin Middlebrook and Kevin Wilson.
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on 10 June 2013
An enjoyable read. You feel a part of the action and what these courageous guys went through brings it ALL home how lucky we are to be part of a free society. Anyone who loves aeroplanes and history will enjoy this. I admit I felt a sorrow at what these heroic guys went through, especially the ones who did not return. The experiences of the few who lived and shared their thoughts for all to read is a testimony to what we owe the RAF Bomber Command boys. A pity the politicians of the day washed their hands of the bomber boys sacrifices!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just as well we have made amends albeit a little late!!!!
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on 27 May 2013
An excellent book well written & researched. Gives the human side of so many ordinary young men who were doing an extraordinary job.
Recommended reading for anyone with an interest in history; however It would in my opinion appeal to those who would like to know what young people are capable of!
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on 12 July 2013
...about what it cost to keep the free world free.
Meticulous research, and a very human approach to what is a story about young men who took as normal the kind of risks I couldn't comprehend.
well-written in a straightforward way, the simplicity of the "storyline" betrays the dreadful reality of Bomber Commands day in, day out battle over Germany. John Nichol's sympathy for his subjects is clear, and he has taken the "RAF's worst night" to highlight what they went through every time they took off, not just on this raid. And not just in the skies - the treatment these men received from their superiors when they couldn't take any more would be intolerable today, Nichol's examples of the RAF's attitude to battle fatigue are as chilling as the carnage in the air.
A well-researched, and extremely readable, account of a particularly bloody night, that pays an overdue tribute to 125000 heroes, 55000 of whom paid the highest price of all...
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on 15 February 2014
I have read the Martin Middlebrook book on this raid, and hoped this would give some new insight into the raid.

The Barton VC information was interesting, but I did not feel I had discovered much new after reading the book
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on 28 February 2014
I found this story to be very emotional and inspiring throughout and it helped me personally to appreciate the unconditional sacrifice these men made for us.
My own father was a tail-end Charlie and I have a hand written account of one his raids over cologne.
I salute them all.
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As a modern German city, Nuremberg held great significance for the Nazis as the location for their major political rallies.

Wartime Allied policy was after 1941 to destroy as much of German industry, its infrastructure and transport systems as was possible with the view to shorten the War and to cause German surrender. It was politically a hot potato at the time and has remained so since. Certain town and cities may not have fitted into the main parameters but were politically important and that was Nuremburg's fate.

It was also one of the best defended locations in Germany and the death toll of airmen was very high and was even more catastrophic for its population as most of the city was eventually destroyed. This book is that story. Its author is John Nichol, the airmen's modern day equivalent who fought and was captured in the first Iraqi war.
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