28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Masterly overview of bombing in Europe during WW2,
This review is from: The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (Hardcover)
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Richard Overy is to be congratulated on producing a work that is sure to become the standard overview of bombing in WW2. For too long studies of bombing in English have largely been limited to the impact of the Luftwaffe on Britain, or the bombing of German cities by RAF's Bomber Command and the USAAF.
For instance, The bombing of Italy and France both saw roughly the same number of civilians killed as were killed by the Luftwaffe in their bombing of Britain, but only recently have we had a study on this in English - Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Allied Air Attack, 1940-1945 by Claudia Baldoli and Andrew Knapp. Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Allied Air Attack, 1940-1945
I did not know until now that Italy received some 370,000 tons of bombs, nearly five times the total dropped on Britain by the Luftwaffe, while France received over 570,000, nearly eight times the British figure. In each country, over 55,000 civilians died.
And as for trying to find anything on the bombing of Soviet cities by the Luftwaffe, or the bombing of other European countries during WW2 - there has been almost nothing in English.
There is of course nothing wrong in looking at the above topics in isolation - but if one truly wants to grasp why European states undertook to bomb each other in the way they did between 1939-45, what air defence precautions states took in the 1930s, and how the bombed societies survived - then this is the book for you.
What is fascinating is how societies, even liberal democracies which had signed up to various pledges to place some limits the impact of bombing, quickly overcame their moral scruples in the furnace of total war, and moved to a position of moral expediency where the end justified the means. A truly important study.
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Initial post: 26 Sep 2013 13:07:31 BDT
How did you manage to read and review this book sixteen days before its publication date of 26 September?
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2013 13:19:16 BDT
Hi Ypres, good question. I got sent an uncorrected proof - which doesn't have some of the maps.
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