Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
should have conceded like the French
on 13 July 2014
Having read this author's account of the war in Russia, I was expecting a similarly concise, accurate overview of the bombing campaigns of WW2. Sadly, Overly hoists his colours as soon as the 10th page. This is an account blatantly biased against the British RAF bombing strategies. Even before the 100th page, the British are blamed for triggering the Blitz, the Dutch and Poles for failing to surrender Rotterdam and Warsaw. Overly suggests the they, and the British, should have conceded like the French, to avoid their cities being bombed! Every bomb dropped by the Germans - wherever- was SOLELY intended for military targets, never civilians, unlike the nasty allies. Similarly, ever bomber flown by the Germans had pinpoint navigation and bomb aiming devices, so unlike the allies, THEIR bombs never missed. Casualties caused by German bombing were accidental and unintentional, unlike the allies. Every German war document quoted -be warned, there are 1,000's- is taken as gospel. The author shows a worrying disregard for the idea that these documents, written during wartime, were quite probably tainted by wartime political expectations, or fear, or propaganda, or that the document's authors were promoting their own agendas etc. Unlike the allied documents of course, which were all wrong, unprofessional and inaccurate. Sorry, after 150 pages I have enough of this diatribe of hindsight driven, smart-arsed author. The book is now condemned to my bookcase. This book does contain many new and refreshing expositions on all sides, that is true. Where it fails so lamentably is in its premature statement of the authors personal assessment of the allied ( principally British) bombing campaigns. I need not read any further to know that he will condemn utterly, Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne. That he will continually apologise for the poor Germans whose intention was simply to crush all of Europe, murder jews and others by the million and whose own bombing campaign was never meant to terrorise these peoples. Overy overlooks that his book, which seeks to absolve Luftwaffe bombing from intentional terror, fails to recognise that this same group of German commanders shot partisans, gassed 6 million innocent jews, killed and murdered 29m Russians. Why on earth Overy should believe that such a group of murderous people would also be merciful to the civilian population of a country they intended to supress by airbourne attack, I just do not know. Sorry Richard, but this account sucks.